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Murder by Death (1976)

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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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:

You are cordially invited to dinner... and a murder! 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

In addition to the spoofs of the various detective characters such as Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, the film gives a nod to Agatha Christie's most famous story, "And Then There Were None" (aka "Ten Little Indians"), the most recently filmed version having only debuting around a couple of years earlier [See: And Then There Were None (1945)]. The novel deals with a series of murders that follow a child's nursery rhyme. One of the lines of the rhyme in the Christie story is "Three little Indian boys walking in the Zoo / A big bear hugged one, and then there were two", and the corresponding murder is committed by dropping a bear-shaped marble clock onto the head of one of the victims. In "Murder by Death", four stone bear-shaped statues are dropped toward most of the guests in turn, hitting Marcel the chauffeur. See more »

Goofs

The maniacal laughter just before the credit rolls does not match the mouth of the laugher. See more »

Quotes

Sidney Wang: Someone just put deadly snake in room. Wake me when it come near bed.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: Starring (In Diabolical Order) See more »

Connections

Featured in Murder by Death: A Conversation with Neil Simon (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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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