IMDb > Murder by Death (1976)
Murder by Death
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Murder by Death (1976) More at IMDbPro »

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Murder by Death -- Trailer for this classic Neil Simon film starring Peter Sellers

Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   20,512 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
Neil Simon (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Murder by Death on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 June 1976 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
By the time the world's greatest detectives figure out whodunnit... you could die laughing! See more »
Plot:
Five famous literary detective characters and their sidekicks are invited to a bizarre mansion to solve an even stranger mystery. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Interesting cast make interesting spoof! See more (153 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
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Directed by
Robert Moore 
 
Writing credits
Neil Simon (written by)

Produced by
Roger M. Rothstein .... associate producer
Ray Stark .... producer
 
Original Music by
Dave Grusin 
 
Cinematography by
David M. Walsh (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
John F. Burnett (film editor)
 
Casting by
Jennifer Shull 
 
Production Design by
Stephen B. Grimes  (as Stephen Grimes)
 
Art Direction by
Harry Kemm 
 
Set Decoration by
Marvin March 
 
Costume Design by
Ann Roth (costumes designed by)
 
Makeup Department
Joe DiBella .... makeup (as Joseph Di Bella)
Charles H. Schram .... makeup supervisor (as Charles Schram)
Vivienne Walker .... hairstylist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Fred T. Gallo .... assistant director
David Sosna .... second assistant director (as David O. Sosna)
 
Art Department
Terry E. Lewis .... property master
 
Sound Department
Jerry Jost .... sound mixer
Joseph Kite .... boom operator
Tex Rudloff .... re-recordist
Frank E. Warner .... sound effects editor (as Frank Warner)
 
Special Effects by
Augie Lohman .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Edesa .... assistant cameraman
Norman Harris .... gaffer
Richard Moran .... key grip
Roger Shearman .... camera operator (as Roger Shearman Jr.)
Mel Traxel .... still photographer
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Tony Faso .... costumer: men
Agnes G. Henry .... costumer: women
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Margaret Booth .... supervising film editor
John Brice .... apprentice film editor
Michael A. Stevenson .... assistant film editor
 
Music Department
George Probert .... music editor
 
Other crew
Charles Addams .... title drawings
Frank Bueno .... assistant to producer
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer
Shari Leibowitz .... assistant to production manager
Mary Malin .... assistant: to Ann Roth
Vince Martinez .... auditor
George Rondo .... dialogue coach
Carol Shapiro .... unit publicist
Julia Tucker .... script continuity
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
94 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Myrna Loy was originally offered the part of Dora Charleston (a role that was a spoof of the character that she had played in the Thin Man movies) but she declined, later stating that "it would have been ridiculous to have Myrna Loy doing Myrna Loy". She also stated that she didn't want her "ass pinched by David Niven".See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): At one point in the dining room Milo Perrier is referred to as Marcel Perrier. Marcel is Milo Perrier's chauffer.See more »
Quotes:
Miss Withers:Murderpoo?
Jessica Marbles:Yes, dear, we're going to have a lovely murderpoo.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofs Rebecca (1940)See more »

FAQ

Whom are the characters based upon?
See more »
22 out of 29 people found the following review useful.
Interesting cast make interesting spoof!, 14 March 2001
Author: the amorphousmachine from Australia

I remember seeing 'Murder by Death' once as a kid, so I thought I might rent it again. Unlike my numerous viewings of 'Clue', watching 'Murder By Death' seemed a new yet reminiscent experience.

'Murder by Death' is written by Neil Simon and directed by Robert Moore. It stars Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, Maggie Smith, James Coco, Peter Falk and David Niven. It's about five of the world greatest detectives that are invited to a mansion for dinner and a murder. It's basically a spoof of the on the mystery genre and the great detectives of literature and film. I am not familiar with Neil Simon's written work but the script did have some funny but also repetitive moments. Robert Moore's direction was adequate and the performances were good- most notably from Peter Falk and Peter Sellers.

Made in 1976, it's hard to imagine comedies being produced like this today. The main problem with 'Murder By Death' is that it seems to forget it's visual medium, and most of the gags come from the script. It's safe to assume that anyone could have directed this film, as it was the scriptwriter (Neil Simon) who was credited alongside the title. I felt that the mansion wasn't explored enough and therefore the mystery element was lacking. But then again, it was a comedy/spoof! I particularly liked the blind butler (Alec Guinness) and deaf cook (Nancy Walker) interaction! Peter Seller's Wang was very funny too, but I'm afraid some of today's politically correct audience will have a hard time separating racism from the obvious stereotypes in the portrayal of Wang and the other characters in the film. One must understand that the humour isn't based on race, rather Sellers was portraying a modern (at the time) 70s comic take on depictions of stereotypes within the character displayed in earlier detective, Charlie Chan. It was an obvious spoof on stereotypes already established in the famous detectives of the early era of film and literature.

There is also a really interesting performance by a young James Cromwell in this film, which was pretty funny. 'Murder by Death' is an interesting film, if only for it's cast in an unusual spoof on the unique mystery genre. It's fairly enjoyable to watch but it isn't a laugh-a-minute experience. *** out of *****!

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