Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978) Poster

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sheer comic delight from beginning to end
Robert D. Ruplenas4 January 2000
This one is going to make it to the roster of all-time great comedies. Its sheer classiness and the elegant level of its wit on both the verbal and visual level - so different from the crassness and vulgarity of much American comedy (the more so in recent years) - made me suspect an English touch, and sure enough, the Canadian-born director, Ted Kotcheff, made his career in the UK. Jacqueline Bissett is a delight to the eye and George Segal makes a charmingly roguish screen presence; they work wonderfully off each other. But Robert Morley - perfectly cast - runs away with the whole movie with his acerbically comic portrayal of the gourmet-cum-gourmand Max. The wonderfully funny food references throughout, and the gorgeous cinematography of European locales put the icing on this comic eclair. And, just for good measure, first-time viewers will have a devil of a time trying to decide just who is killing the great chefs of Europe. This ranks right up there with the best of the Ealing Studios work. A must-see for connoisseurs of literate comedy.
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A Meal of Murder
EmperorNortonII30 December 2001
"Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?" offers up a tasty recipe, combining mystery with laughs. This movie is peppered with colorful characters, such as Max, the snobbish English gourmand magazine editor, Robbie, the brash American fast food magnate, and a host of eccentric chefs. And you also get a feast for the eyes, with colorful views of London, Paris and Venice, and lush images of haute cuisine. This movie is satisfying, and perhaps will leave you hungry for more!
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Cooking up a delightful comedy murder mystery.
ozthegreatat4233011 April 2007
This is one of those often overlooked comedy gems, which people miss probably because of the title. George Segal is a riot as the entrepreneur ex-husband of Pastry Chef Jacquline Bisset, who is chasing her around Europe to get her to be the Spokes person for his latest Food chain of restaurants called "H-Dumpty" Bisset's character is one of four chefs being honored by being invited to create part of a fabulous meal for the Queen of England, set up by a very Obese Robert Morley, as the acerbic and insulting Editor-in-chief and Publisher of a first class gourmet magazine. But after the great dinner someone starts bumping off the four chefs in the manner of their own specialties. The suspects include Segal and other envious chefs not invited to participate in the historic event. Bisset becomes rather concerned when she realizes that she is the last name on the list. From there the mayhem and madcap comedy ensues. Let the game begin.
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a tasty whodunit
HardToFindMovies12 November 2000
This is one of those rare comedies that doesn't become dated and stale over time. The European air of this film keeps the pacing smooth and interesting and fortunately George Segal doesn't try to take over the picture. Robert Morley is fantastic in a tour de force performance as the world's largest and greatest food snob-a total snot who lives very moment filled with food, dry wit and sarcasm. The food looks great and one should definitely have snacks handy when indulging in this fine film. As for the whodunit? When the killer was finally revealed I had guessed wrong and enjoyed every moment. I should note that this fine comedy can often be difficult to locate for viewing in the USA and I have never seen a sharp DVD print -- still this film will make you smile and laugh and is well worth seeking out.
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The movie is a murder mystery and not a fashion show
jameschastain471 April 2008
The mystery is the thing.

Some of the greatest Chef's of England and the Continent are being murdered all around and no one knows why. But everyone certainly knows how for all of them, whoops, wont tell more don't want to spoil any second of this movie. But yep this is a real serious murder mystery alright! The fun is in the timing, these are some of the best actors of the times. Finest of their times to be honest.

Whether handsome, beautiful or ugly, that is immaterial. They are all consummate actors, ACTING and creating the characters we either grow to love, hate, loath or find funny as hell. BUT no matter how we react to them, they do what great actors do, they make the viewers really believe in them.

The comedy and the black humor are a mix of Keystone Cops and Burns and Alan craziness. Take it for the fun it is and enjoy the movie with friends. A party is in order for this one, good wine, cheeses, fancy deserts and a little sinister fun.
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The Souffle Also Rises
gregorybnyc13 May 2004
I dimly remembered this culinary comedy from the late 70s without

much affection, until a friend decided to bring along a video to be

shown after a Thanksgiving dinner last year. It's a great idea. Stuff

yourself and then take a movie break before dessert. Nothing too

heavy--preferably something light and frothy. I'm glad we did. This

is an adorable movie, and I don't know why it didn't strike me that

way the first time around.

Maybe it was the horrible and dated costumes designed for

Jacqueline Bissett. How does one take one of the most beautiful

women in the world, and tart her up in the most ridiculous

fur/leather thingies. She looks like a cheap Vegas dancer here.

George Segal doesn't escape either, wearing jeans looking like he

was poured into them and cowboy hats, he looks like the sweet

Jewish boy he is, playing in Daddy's clothing.

The heart of the movie is the wonderful Robert Morely, who plays a

gleefully glutinous gourmand and food editor who between bites

insults just about anyone coming towards him. Only Jacqueline

Bissett manages to escape his wrathful tongue. I'm not

complaining. Morely is a total delight as the misanthropic

epicurian monster.

The mystery isn't much of a mystery, and the chemistry between

Bissett and Segal doesn't appear to be setting off many sparks.

But you can waste your time on far worse things than this modest

delight, filmed all over Europe. The food looks great, and oh that

nasty Morely!
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Feasting any way you look at it
bkoganbing6 May 2012
I noted that the only award recognition that Who Is Killing The Great Chefs Of Europe was from the Golden Globes with nominations for Jacqueline Bisset as Best Actess and Robert Morley as Best Supporting Actor. That was a mistake because this film is totally dominated by Robert Morley giving him a great role to chew on literally.

During the Sixties and Seventies Robert Morley became an international symbol of the United Kingdom with his commercials for British Airways and his promise that 'we'll take very good care of you' made to the world. I have no doubt that the films he appeared in and some of them were dreadful got a bit more revenue at the box office with Morley's appearances. But this film is far from dreadful.

In fact if you like Robert Morley this film is a treat for his fans everywhere. In this black comedy Morley plays a food critic who has the first requisite of being a food critic, he loves to eat. And he's got the girth to prove it. But along with all that good eating comes some health problems and his doctor says he has to go on a diet or else.

Right after that several of the chefs around Europe whose dish specialties have become Morley's favorites start dying in some very bizarre ways. On the list is Jacqueline Bisset whose specialty is pastries as desserts and there is a special method of dispatch earmarked for her.

Never fear Jackie has a protector in George Segal who is restaurateur/tycoon and coincidentally happens to be once married to Bisset. Can Segal figure it out, can the police figure it out, can he save the last of the great chefs?

For all that you must watch the film. But I guarantee that the laughs are there, the European photographed scenery is great, and Robert Morley is in top form. For his fans especially, this film is a must. Definitely in the top five of his best roles.
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"Is your Diagnosis Going to Take us Through a Change of season"
BaronBl00d15 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I love this movie and I loved it when I first saw it come out back in 1978. It has dated well and I am amazed - astounded if you will - by the lack of love a film like this has received on here. Sure it has mostly good reviews, but it(at this point in time) has only 10 reviews. 10? TEN! That is all a film like this with an incredibly witty script, a couple A-listers like George Segal and beautiful Jacqueline Bisset, a catchy musical score by Henry Mancini, artful comedic direction by Ted Kotcheff, and a Tour-De-Force performance by Robert Morley - alone reason enough to see this film. All the previous reasons I listed make this film a whole lot of fun. Kotcheff has skills and creates a solid mystery amidst some pretty funny situations and even more importantly really witty dialog. There are a couple of scenes(okay, the food fight scene near the beginning of the film) that are a little too over-the-top, but how about the zippy repartee between Segal and Bisset(did I mention how absolutely gorgeous she is?) What about the wonderful character acting by the likes of Jean-Pierre Cassel and one of the dead chefs or that of Phillipe Noiret or Madge Ryan or Jean Rochefort or even some small character parts like those played by Gigi Proietti as an Italia detective, Frank Windsor as an irritable Scotland Yard inspector, Peter Sallis and an irritable French chef, Joss Ackland as a snooty chef working for the queen, or John Le Mesurier as a doctor to Max, the obese, gluttonous, selfish gourmand whose magazine published an article about the world's most fabulous meal. This meal and its quartet of chefs become targets for a killer out to kill the great chefs of Europe in the style of their own expertise. We get a cook simmered like his pigeons and one having his crushed in a duck press just as examples. The mystery part created by Ivan and Nan Lyons is wonderfully weaved and wonderfully written for this film and its great performances are all pulled together by the wit it generates. And most of that wit is carried on the gargantuan shoulders of Robert Morley as max who utters lines with perfection. I can watch this film again and again if for no other reason than to see/hear Morley's performance. He is that good. I believe this was an Oscar-worthy performance. Every line is a verbal thrust and parry for his razor-sharp tongue line with acid. Morley is a treat to see as he makes himself even more huge in a larger -than-life role as Max. Just listen to that speech he gives in the doctor's office about every fold of his fat being a brush-stroke and every chin a concerto. Wow! Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? is a fun, exciting film mixing comedy with class.
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"Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe" is a True Delight!
zardoz-1314 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Without the well-fed likes of Robert Morley as an elephantine gourmet, "First Blood" director Ted Kotcheff's "Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe," a lively whodunit with class, wouldn't be half as much fun. Morley commands attention throughout with his witty dialogue and his snobbishly insouciant sense of over-refinement.

Early in the movie, Max (Robert Morley of "When Eight Bells Toll") grimaces when his physician advises him to diet or die! Instead of shock, Max registers a pained look of indignation on his cherub's face that is genuinely funny. "I am precisely what I am," Max explains, "because I have eaten my way to the top." As the title implies, the plot concerns a menu of murdered chefs and other unjust desserts, all of which are deliciously served up. When several chefs are found cooked in their own cuisines, dessert chef Natasha (Jacqueline Bisset of "Bullitt" in an array of chic attire) learns that her fellow bakers were dispatched the way you would dine. This means she's the next to die, but not if her fast foods expert and ex-husband, Robby (George Segal of "Where's Poppa?") can help matters.

Robby and Natasha set off to solve the mystery on cooked corpses that leads them across Europe. The action is set against the scenic cities of London, Paris, and Venice, all of which lenser John Alcott has filmed in bright but somber colors that prove a visual feast for the eyes.

Kudos are in order for Canadian helmer Ted Kotcheff. Although several ghastly murders occur, he keeps the gore off-screen and leaves it to your imagination. He also keeps the mystery unreeling at a breathless pace, building up a full head of suspense along the way as the murderer closes in for the big kill.

The entire cast here is in fine comic form, and their timing and dialogue delivery are impeccable. If there are a few red herrings too many, the outcome is nevertheless satisfying. Overall, "Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe" is a very stylish exercise in serio-comic murder mysteries a la Agatha Christie.
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A funny farce, failed by poor DVD product.
jaybird2k10129 June 2010
I loved this delightful farce, when it came out in the theaters, decades ago. Segal, Bisset, and Morley, are a joy to watch. I waited for years fro the DVD format to hit the shelves. What a disappointing experience. The disc is not letterbox, nor closed captioned, there is NO Menu, and looks no better than a VSH tape. There is a disclaimer, in fine print, that the DVD will only play on DVD "Play only" devices, and may not play on your PC. WD cheaped out on this product. The story is filled with fine foods, kitchen antics, and rapid fire funnies. It was filmed on location all over Europe. The grizzly murders,are shocking. The many characters are played broadly, but then this a comedy. Well worth your time.
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Delightfully offbeat comedy-mystery
gridoon20182 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of those films that grow on you gradually. In the first 20 minutes or so, it is a straight comedy and it feels rather forced; Robert Morley may be ideally cast as the obese and pompous food critic, but his pomposity comes dangerously close to obnoxiousness. The film starts to get better when the mystery elements are introduced, and the comedy becomes more satirical (the French top chefs welcome their own murders if they will prove that they were the best of their profession!); the offbeat mix of genres ultimately works, perhaps because it IS so offbeat - it pushes you a little out of your comfort zone. George Segal and Jacqueline Bisset share a wonderfully quirky chemistry - neither of them is particularly likable as a character individually, but somehow they make a very likable couple! This is perhaps the first time I've seen the classy Bisset do comedy, and she gives more snap to some of her lines than there is on paper (I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it's one of her own favorite performances, because it relies only minimally on her looks). At the end, even Morley's character becomes sort of endearing. Oh, and another great score by Henry - "Pink Panther" - Mancini. *** out of 4.
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One of my favorite movies
sirenebern11 January 2018
I saw "Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?" in its original run in U.S. theaters. I was nine years old, but my mother used to drag me to any movie she wanted to see whether it was "child-friendly" or not. I loved this movie then and have enjoyed every repeat viewing since. It's a stylish, frothy romantic comedy with a little bit of murder mystery (nothing that will tax your brain), sumptuous gourmet meals and elegant locales, and bitingly witty dialogue --mostly from the incredibly funny Robert Morley. The film revolves around two ex-spouses: world-renowed pastry chef Natasha (Bisset) and crass, wealthy fast food tycoon Robby (Segal), who re-unite to try to solve the caper when top chefs are knocked off around the capitals of Europe. They travel from London to Venice to Paris and back again, encountering an array of melodramatic, egotistical and hilarious chefs along the way, played by well-known European character actors (Philippe Noiret, Jean-Pierre Cassel, etc.). Bisset's clothes, designed by Donfeld, don't date very well, but it was the '70s. She's supposed to be quirky. She looks gorgeous nonetheless. The lighting in this film is perfume-ad soft. Some of the scenes where the chefs, especially Bisset, prepare their specialties make you want to jump through the screen. At nine, I never food could look like that! This movie is a few decades old, but retains its glamour and wit. Look for a very young Nigel Havers in a minor part early on.
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Barely-inspired black comedy scrapes by on some snappy dialogue...
moonspinner5520 April 2011
Famous European chefs are being bumped off in macabre ways; an American fast-food entrepreneur and his dessert-chef ex-wife try to find out who the killer is before she becomes the next target. Screenwriter Peter Stone, working from the novel "Someone Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe" by Ivan and Nan Lyons, gets in some good repartee between the former marrieds, even though George Segal is only half-present (and at times resembles a waxworks figure) and Jacqueline Bisset lugs around some of the ugliest coats imaginable. The supporting cast is under-used, and a midsection excursion to Venice (where Bisset interviews one of those pinching, flirty Italians) really drags its feet--not helped by the poor cinematography and the drab presentation. The whole film is overcast and chilly, with exteriors that look crummy, however Stone's wit occasionally comes through and he does provide a satisfying final twist. *1/2 from ****
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What murders?
Everything I've read about this movie says someone is bumping off chefs. That's amazing. I must've watched a different movie. I sat through about half an hour of utterly unfunny nonsense and no one got bumped off (although, I wish they had), and finally my wife and I voted to turn it off. So I have to confess that I never got to the part most of the other reviewers evidently found so funny and wonderful. This is a shame, because I've always been a big fan of Robert Morley, so I really had high hopes. But even Robert Morley was boring in the thirty minutes of this movie that I saw. I've never liked George Segal and was hoping he'd be a chef and would get bumped off, but no such luck. And the woman in the bizarre coat, how many animals was she wearing, and why? And what was the point of that girl who put together the bizarre food sculpture? Was she one of the iced (ha ha) chefs? So, with apologies to all of you who absolutely loved this movie, I regret to say it didn't even make a decent appetizer. Not worth the calories. A half-baked mess. A real crock.
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Agatha Christie meets the cordons bleus.....
dbdumonteil11 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A funny little comedy,which does not equal "theater of blood" ,which also featured Robert Morley (and his two puppy doggies).But there's a lot of fun guaranteed for all,and no misogyny,cause they included a woman (Jacqueline Bisset and her delicious "Bombe Richelieu" ) Best scene:Bisset,after a night in bed with Jean -Pierre Cassel wakes up and says: " It smells good!What are you cooking?" ,and ,horrified, realizes that it's her lover who simmers in the oven.

Excellent international cast,including two French luminaries Jean Rochefort and the late Philippe Noiret and George Segal,and great filming on, location,particularly Venice.
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