6.4/10
19,783
79 user 76 critic

Lonely Hearts (2006)

Based on the true story, two homicide detectives track Martha Beck and Raymond Martinez Fernandez, a murderous pair known as the "Lonely Hearts Killers" who lured their victims through the personals.

Director:

Todd Robinson

Writer:

Todd Robinson
1 nomination. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Travolta ... Det. Elmer Robinson
James Gandolfini ... Det. Charles Hilderbrandt
Jared Leto ... Ray Fernandez
Salma Hayek ... Martha Beck
Scott Caan ... Det. Reilly
Laura Dern ... Rene Fodie
Michael Gaston ... D.A. Hunt
Bruce MacVittie ... Det. Eastman
Dan Byrd ... Eddie Robinson
Andrew E. Wheeler Andrew E. Wheeler ... Det. Tooley (as Andrew Wheeler)
Alice Krige ... Janet Long
Dagmara Dominczyk ... Delphine Downing
John Doman ... Chief MacSwain
Bailee Madison ... Rainelle Downing
Ellen Travolta ... Ida
Learn more

More Like This 

Chapter 27 (2007)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A film about Mark David Chapman in the days leading up to the infamous murder of Beatle John Lennon.

Director: J.P. Schaefer
Stars: Chuck Cooper, Victor Verhaeghe, Robert Gerard Larkin
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  

The creative journey of Texas singer-songwriter Amy Cook and her band.

Director: Todd Robinson
Stars: Amy Cook, Bobby Daniel, John C. Kelley
Amargosa (2000)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The inspirational story of Marta Becket: 76-yr old singer, writer, dancer, painter, visionary, and her creation Amargosa.

Director: Todd Robinson
Stars: Ray Bradbury, Tom Willett, Paul Becker
Phantom I (2013)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The haunted Captain of a Soviet submarine holds the fate of the world in his hands. Forced to leave his family behind, he is charged with leading a covert mission cloaked in mystery.

Director: Todd Robinson
Stars: Ed Harris, Julian Adams, David Duchovny
Highway I (2002)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After Jack gets caught with a Vegas mobster's wife in bed, he's gotta hit the road. Jack's best friend Pilot accompanies him, and the pair sets out on an adventure akin to Kerouac's "On the Road".

Director: James Cox
Stars: Kimberley Kates, Jared Leto, Jake Gyllenhaal
Sunset Strip (2000)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A comedy that takes place over twenty-four hours on the Sunset Strip, in 1972.

Director: Adam Collis
Stars: Simon Baker, Anna Friel, Nick Stahl
Basil (1998)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A lonely young aristocrat in turn-of the century England stuggles to meet the approval of his over-bearing, class-conscious father while trying to please the selfish woman he loves.

Director: Radha Bharadwaj
Stars: Christian Slater, Jared Leto, Claire Forlani
Sol Goode (2003)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Sol Goode has led an easy life thanks to his charm, good looks, and quick wit, but now he faces eviction and the threat of having to get a real job. He also meets the most beautiful woman he's ever seen - but she can see through his lines.

Director: Danny Comden
Stars: Amanda Anka, Jason Bateman, Beau Baxter
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Documentary exploring the career of noted film directer William A. Wellman.

Director: Todd Robinson
Stars: Alec Baldwin, James Cagney, Mike Connors
Prefontaine (1997)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Based on the life of Olympic hopeful Steve Prefontaine, a long distance runner who lived in Oregon and died young.

Director: Steve James
Stars: Jared Leto, R. Lee Ermey, Ed O'Neill
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A tenacious lawyer takes on a case involving a major company responsible for causing several people to be diagnosed with leukemia due to the town's water supply being contaminated, at the risk of bankrupting his firm and career.

Director: Steven Zaillian
Stars: John Travolta, Robert Duvall, Kathleen Quinlan
Angel Fire (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Director: Todd Robinson
Stars: Jeff Kober, Peter Brennan, Danny Chambers

Photos

Edit

Storyline

In the late 1940's, Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez were America's notorious "Lonely Hearts Killers". Their lethal scam was simple; they would swindle and then viciously murder lovelorn war widows who would answer their personal ads in which Ray would describe himself as a sexy Latin Lover. Ironically, Ray's initial introduction to Martha was as a prospective mark. But when they met, it was love at first sight, perhaps as a result of their penchant for kinky sex and their mutual love for duplicity and easy money. With Martha posing as Ray's sister, they bilked elderly spinsters and widows of their savings and then viciously murdered them in a bloodbath of sexual frenzy. When they were arrested, Martha and Ray confessed to 12 killings, although it is believed the actual number is closer to 20. At their sensational trial, Martha and Ray cooed, held hands and seemed as though they could not get enough of each other. Their plea of not guilty by reason of insanity was rejected, and on ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love kills. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and sexual content, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Salma Hayek wore blue contacts throughout the film because the real Martha had blue eyes but Salma has deep brown eyes. See more »

Goofs

After the police find the blood under the floor boards in Fernandez's house, we hear Hildebrandt's voice-over that the cops just missed the couple as they were 5 miles away in Seaford, NY buying a flop top car. Fernandez's home was in Valley Stream which is close to 20 miles away from Seaford, not 5 miles. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Det. Eastman: [to Robinson] Hey, we're all proud of you buster... Charlie... Small town cop dropping a pair like this. You wait a a lifetime never even sniffling this guy.
[chuckle]
Det. Eastman: You want to make a move to the burbs, you let me know. It's a phone call. Hey, maybe you wanna through the switch, I can fix that too.
[laughs]
Charles Hilderbrandt: You're such an asshole.
See more »

Connections

Version of Lonely Hearts (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm in Town
Performed by Frantic Faye Thomas
Written by Frantic Faye Thomas (as Faye Thomas)
Published by Swing Beat Songs (BMI)
Courtesy of Tuff City Records/ Night Train International
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

User Reviews

 
All the elements are there, including a great cast, but it doesn't click, doesn't tear into you
17 December 2011 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Lonely Hearts (2006)

A steady, interesting, colorful crime movie packed with both great old tropes from the film noir days and lots of familiar tricks. Amazingly, it's based on a true story from post-war America that goes way way way beyond the slimmed up version here.

The result is good, yes, but never mesmerizing, never a complete surprise, and never up to the potential of the either the source material or the talented cast. The very dependence of well known formulas for a kind of classic look and feel is what holds it back, because we know those formulas so well. The one aspect to the movie that is forcibly modern is the one that feels so forced it's almost pandering to a contemporary audience--lots of open swearing and sexual references in a manner not really "right" for a 1951 America.

Several lead actors are terrific. Salma Hayek, once she arrives, is an edgy bad girl, a woman with little moral code and a comfort level with blood and manipulation that makes an old school femme fatale look like schoolroom stuff. Her bad boy companion, Jared Leto, at first comes off as a Robert Downey Jr. wannabe, but he gradually hardens up his edges and by the end is pretty believable as a cocksure murderous idiot. The two cops, John Travolta and James Gandolfini, are a great pair, the one restrained and more in tune with the criminals, the other the sidekick with a good heart. (They might be modeled after, say, Glenn Ford and William Bendix, as two 1951 actors who could have pulled off the same roles with more conviction.)

The filming, the editing, the pace, the sets, the old cars, the interior and exterior location shoots, all of the nuts and bolts are in place here for a good movie. (Of these, the photography is the most routine, partly because of how it's directed, as in the last scene when the cops swarm the house--it could have been really exciting.) But overall it's the script--the script, not the story--that holds it all back. The parallel plots of the two criminals in their love affair crime spree and the cops on their trail is clear and fine, but unrevealing. The events happen, and we sort of know how it will end. And it does (not to give away anything!). If you want the true facts, go to the really long but readable account at trutv.com and type in the Lonely Hearts.

As a quick and hopefully helpful movie comparison, you can look at recent films like "Road to Perdition" or "Shutter Island" and see how a period piece film can brim with originality and better filming. A movie comes closer to this kind of familiar quality, based on older classic Hollywood models, is "Public Enemies" with Johnny Depp, though that one had some really beautiful moments in the photography. And what about that title? It is derived from the male killer's original tactic for getting money, which is given a comic treatment at the beginning of the movie--he writes to lonely women, gets them to fall in love with him, and steals their assets.

A final revealing note: the director is the grandson of the cop who led the original investigation into the crimes. That means he's really well placed emotionally, but as a director he's really incomplete. It's amazing, in fact, that he got the budget and talent he did with such a short track record. Opportunity squandered? Partially. Give it a chance.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 79 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 October 2006 (Taiwan) See more »

Also Known As:

Lonely Hearts See more »

Filming Locations:

Florida, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$80,423, 15 April 2007

Gross USA:

$188,565

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,520,835
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed