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When the very moralistic college ethics instructor (Aykroyd) finds himself living next door to an accused German death camp commander (Lemmon), he takes it upon himself to rid the world of this man. And even though he manages to kill him, he does it so cleanly that no one accuses him and it isn't until he guiltily marries the German's daughter (Tomlin) that he discovers the truth about the man... Written by
BOB STEBBINS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The line between comedy and drama is thin and sharp in Getting Away With Murder. This film could easily have been a serious drama about a crisis of conscience.
While watching poor Dan Aykroyd deal with his oh so overdeveloped sense of ethics I was reminded of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Do you remember in that film how at the political convention for statehood how James Stewart left and confessed how his conscience was in agony over the shooting of Liberty Valance. To which John Wayne properly replied, "you talk too much, think too much" and after that heart to heart talk Stewart goes back and starts his political career.
All I could think of was that Ethics professor Aykroyd needed a good conversation with the Duke. He's contacted by the FBI who tells him that the kindly old German neighbor just might be a fugitive Nazi war criminal.
Aykroyd realizes that American due process could leave Lemmon around for years so any man of conscience would just kill this guy. Which he resolves to do. Lemmon does die in this, but more I can't and won't say in this rather whacked out comedy which turns on Aykroyd's exquisite conscience. He so needed John Wayne to tell him he thought too much.
Lily Tomlin brings her own brand of zaniness into the film as Lemmon's daughter. Still Getting Away With Murder will never rank in the most noted of either Jack Lemmon or Dan Aykroyd comedies.
It was asking the audience to think too much.
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