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Murder by Death (1976)

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Five famous literary detective characters and their sidekicks are invited to a bizarre mansion to solve an even stranger mystery.

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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Maid
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Storyline

Despite not knowing him, the world's most famous detectives can't pass up the offer of a "dinner and murder" invitation from wealthy Lionel Twain. Each has no idea until their arrival at Two Two Twain who else will be in attendance. Those detectives are: amateur sleuths and New York socialites Dick and Dora Charleston, accompanied by their pet terrier, Myron; Belgian detective Monsieur Milo Perrier, accompanied by his chauffeur, Marcel; Shanghainese Inspector Sidney Wang, accompanied by his Japanese adopted son, Willie Wang; frumpish Brit Miss Jessica Marbles, accompanied by her invalid nurse, Miss Withers; and San Francisco gumshoe Sam Diamond, accompanied by his femme fatale sidekick, Tess Skeffington. The dinner part of the invitation runs into problems due to the non-communication between Twain's blind butler, Jamesir Bensonmum, and Twain's new deaf-mute and non-Anglophone cook, Yetta. On the murder side, the guests initially believe Twain will try to kill each of them. However, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

By the time the world's greatest detectives figure out whodunnit... you could die laughing! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

23 June 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Neil Simon's Murder by Death  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of eleven movies made by writer Neil Simon and producer Ray Stark. The films, most made at Rastar Pictures with film studio Columbia, include Murder by Death (1976), The Cheap Detective (1978), California Suite (1978), Chapter Two (1979), The Sunshine Boys (1975), Seems Like Old Times (1980), The Goodbye Girl (1977), The Slugger's Wife (1985), Brighton Beach Memoirs (1986), Biloxi Blues (1988) and Lost in Yonkers (1993). See more »

Goofs

From the time that everyone enters the dining room, to when Lionel Twain leaves, only 11 minutes of real time have passed. But dinner started at 9:00, and Twain later states that it's now 11:00. So supposedly 2 hrs have passed in only 11 minutes. See more »

Quotes

Dick Charleston: [Cutting-room floor-scene of the Charlestons driving through heavy fog to Twain Manor] ... You know something, darling? I smell crime in the air.
Dora Charleston: I'm not surprised. You just ran over a small animal.
Dick Charleston: Did I? Oh, sorry about that... LOOK OUT!
[he slams on the brakes to avoid hitting Tess]
Dick Charleston: ... Hello out there! Are you hurt?
Tess Skeffington: [exhausted from walking] ... Oh, I'm fine - I just hiked five miles back this way from the gas station. Thank Heavens you saw me when you did.
Dick Charleston: Oh yes, I wouldn't want blood on my ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

As the opening credits begin, a pair of black-gloved hands come into frame to unlock and open a footlocker containing the cardboard cutouts of the characters. These characters are displayed with their respective name credit. As the closing credits end, the same pair of black-gloved hands come into frame to close and lock the footlocker. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of my all time top 10 films
13 March 2004 | by (Surrey,England) – See all my reviews

An amazing ensemble cast who must have all had their tongues most firmly planted in their cheeks to produce their performances in this highly amusing murder mystery spoof.

By incorporating plots and characters from your favourite classic crime genres and gently poking fun at them all it is both funny and comfortingly familiar.

So if you want great visual gags (blind butler, deaf maid), superb one liners (especially from Maggie Smith & David Niven) and to escape for 90 minutes back into the gentler, less realistic Golden Age of Crime then you need look no further.

If only there were outtakes.


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