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

Photos (See all 21 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Murder by Death -- Trailer for this classic Neil Simon film starring Peter Sellers

Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   19,722 votes »
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Down 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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 »
NewsDesk:
(41 articles)
It’s Parody Time! Our Favourite Spoof Movies
 (From HeyUGuys. 12 November 2013, 5:51 AM, PST)

Long Before Obi-Wan There Were the Eight D'Ascoynes: Guinness Day
 (From Alt Film Guide. 2 August 2013, 7:24 PM, PDT)

Best Movie Ever?: “Private Benjamin”
 (From The Backlot. 1 August 2013, 6:14 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Crazy comedy-mystery See more (152 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Eileen Brennan ... Tess Skeffington

Truman Capote ... Lionel Twain

James Coco ... Milo Perrier

Peter Falk ... Sam Diamond

Alec Guinness ... Bensonmum

Elsa Lanchester ... Jessica Marbles

David Niven ... Dick Charleston

Peter Sellers ... Sidney Wang

Maggie Smith ... Dora Charleston
Nancy Walker ... Maid

Estelle Winwood ... Nurse

James Cromwell ... Marcel

Richard Narita ... Willie Wang
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Myron ... Myron the Dog (uncredited)

Fay Wray ... Screaming Door Bell (archive sound) (uncredited)
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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:
Peter Sellers reportedly played a number of practical jokes on cast and crew during filming, including once calling Neil Simon up whilst imitating co-star Alec Guinness and demanding a re-write of a key scene in the middle of the night. Neither Guinness nor Simon was amused.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: When Milo Perrier, Sidney Wang and Jessica Marbles find the dead butler, Wang feels the wrist for a pulse and declares him dead. However, he did not even allow two seconds when feeling for a pulse, this is too short a time to determine if a pulse exists or not.See more »
Quotes:
Sidney Wang:Calm yourself. Man who argue with cow on wall is like train without wheels: very soon get nowhere.
Milo Perrier:Oh be quiet! I'm sick of your fortune cookies!
Sidney Wang:Oh, man who is sick of fortune cookies...
[argument ensues]
Sidney Wang:Shhh, shhh... cow talk again!
See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

Whom are the characters based upon?
See more »
48 out of 56 people found the following review useful.
Crazy comedy-mystery, 26 February 2001
Author: jhaggardjr from Chicago, Illinois

"Murder by Death" is a comic murder-mystery done in absolute lunacy. I mean this is one screwball comedy that made me laugh out loud quite often. And yet, there are so many confusing moments that I didn't know what on earth was going on. It seems that writer Neil Simon was trying to complicate moviegoers with his screenplay to this movie which pays homage to detectives of old classic movies such as Charlie Chan, Miss Marple, Sam Spade, and Hercule Poirot. In "Murder by Death", a mysterious man invites the 5 greatest detectives to his home for "dinner and a murder" as he describes it. An all-star cast is featured here and all of them are very funny. The best: Peter Sellers in the Charlie Chan take-off. Sellers is of course best known for playing the inept Inspector Clouseau in the "Pink Panther" movies, but his role here as Chinese detective Sidney Wang is a hoot. He made me laugh the hardest. Just looking at him made me laugh. The way he talked made me laugh. He's naturally funny everytime he's on screen. Also funny: the great Sir Alec Guinness as a blind butler. I thought he was supposed to be a serious actor! I don't think I've ever seen Guinness in a movie comedy, but he makes the most of his character here. He comes second behind Sellers in the laugh department in "Murder by Death". Two other funny performances are turned in by James Coco and James Cromwell ("Babe" and "L.A. Confidential") as the Hercule Poirot sendoff and his chauffeur. It's funny to watch a younger Cromwell here speaking with a bad European accent. David Niven, Maggie Smith, Peter Falk, Eileen Brennan, Elsa Lanchester, and Nancy Walker also register laughs too. But the most downright goofiest character in "Murder by Death" is the host orchestrating this crazy game, played by Truman Capote. He's very funny too. Another major factor in the film are the sets of the old mansion the movie takes place in. They're marvelous. But at times the story gets real complicated and seems to get parts dislocated. It bothered me a little the first time I saw this. Now I just sit back and let the movie play on. Neil Simon intended on this to be a crazy comedy and in that way he succeeded. "Murder by Death" is all-in-all a very enjoyable movie.

*** (out of four)

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