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Murder by Death (1976)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 20,448 users  
Reviews: 153 user | 50 critic

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

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Title: Murder by Death (1976)

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

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Two young men strangle their "inferior" classmate, hide his body in their apartment, and invite his friends and family to a dinner party as a means to challenge the "perfection" of their crime.

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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

Plot Keywords:

murder | detective | butler | guest | sidekick | See more »

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:

Crimen por muerte  »

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

Actress Eileen Brennan would later star in another Old Dark House murder-mystery comedy, namely Clue (1985), an adaptation of the board-game Cluedo, in which she played Mrs. Peacock. See more »

Goofs

At one point, Monsieur Perrier is separated from the others by a locked door. Sam Diamond solves the problem by shooting out the lock. However, later, when he and Miss Skeffington are locked in their bedroom, it doesn't occur to Diamond to free them using the same method. See more »

Quotes

[a bomb is about to explode]
Sam Diamond: I've got an idea! I don't know if it will work but I've got to try. Turn around!
Tess Skeffington: I've turned, Sam.
Sam Diamond: Whatever you do, don't turn around until I say so.
Tess Skeffington: [turns around] But Sam...
Sam Diamond: I SAID TURN AROUND!
Tess Skeffington: Yes, Sam.
Sam Diamond: Good! Cause... I think... I'm gonna cry.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the opening credits begin, a pair of black-gloved hands comes 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 comes into frame to close and lock the footlocker. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 52nd Annual Academy Awards (1980) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Great fun
16 March 2002 | by (Jacksonville, FL) – See all my reviews

Murder by Death is a fun movie that will no doubt be more enjoyable for fans of detective fiction and detective movies. The plot is about a group of detectives that are invited to a spooky house to solve a murder that hasn't been committed yet. The cast is star studded. Peter Sellers steals the show as the Charlie Chan character Mr. Wang. David Niven is typically classy and fun as the Nick Charles ripoff and Maggie Smith is great as the Nora Charles character. Peter Falk does his best Humphrey Bogart impression as Sam Diamond and it's pretty good. Elsa Lanchester makes a decent Ms. Marbles and the age factor is nicely aped when Estelle Winwood is mistaken for her character. James Coco is great as the Poirot character and overacts brilliantly. Truman Capote is extremely annoying but funny in spots as Lionel Twain. He's given some great lines to work with. The atmosphere is thick and the music is cool. The plot meanders toward the end and some of the "solutions" are pretty ridiculous but the rest of the movie is extremely enjoyable.

6.9/10


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