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A Lovely Way to Die (1968)

A cop quits the force after too much disappointment in the system. He becomes a bodyguard of a rich recent widow. She is on trial for her husband's murder. He decides to help her clear her name... and get over her husband.


David Lowell Rich


A.J. Russell




Cast overview, first billed only:
Kirk Douglas ... Jameson Schuyler
Sylva Koscina ... Rena Westabrook
Eli Wallach ... Tennessee Fredericks
Kenneth Haigh ... Jonathan Fleming
Martyn Green Martyn Green ... Finchley
Sharon Farrell ... Carol
Ruth White ... Biddy
Philip Bosco ... Fuller
Ralph Waite ... Sean Magruder
Meg Myles ... Mrs. Magruder
William Roerick William Roerick ... Loren Westabrook
Dana Elcar ... Layton
Dolph Sweet ... Captain Haver
Dee Victor Dee Victor ... Mrs. Gordon
Lincoln Kilpatrick ... Daley


A womanizing policeman with a tendency for violent arrests quits the department rather than face an inquiry. He is recruited by a defense lawyer to assist with the murder trial of a young beautiful foreign widow whose older rich husband was killed. The wife and her playboy boyfriend are the defendants and the ex-cop is assigned to check out their alibi including a dubious witness. There is a larger criminal conspiracy underway and the relationship of the suspect and her husband and his murder get swept up in the cover up of the real crime. Written by prairiekid

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He uses his badge like a bludgeon...She uses her body like a lure! See more »


Crime | Drama | Mystery


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Ali MacGraw's film debut. See more »


The criminal gang has weeks to get their theft together and have already emptied the victim's bank account of millions and yet when Kirk shows up at the end the members are rushing to leave carrying a silver teapot and other artifacts in their hands out of the house to their car. See more »


Referenced in The Projectionist (1970) See more »


A Lovely Way to Live
Music by Kenyon Hopkins
Lyrics by Judy Spencer
Sung by Marge Dodson
[Played over end credits]
See more »

User Reviews

slow roll
19 June 2020 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

Police detective Jim Schuyler (Kirk Douglas) quits his job before he gets investigated for a history of rough treatment of suspects. He takes work from lawyer Tennessee Fredericks (Eli Wallach) and his client Rena Westabrook who is going on trial for the murder of her wealthy husband.

At first, I thought Jim is being hired to solve the murder. Instead, he's not much more than a bodyguard and the movie takes on a slightly comedic tone. I don't see how the clashing tones work in this movie. It's weird and it goes nowhere quick. The murder trial hangs over everything and lacks any tension. I really don't like the music. It takes over an hour before she asks him to find her husband's killer. Why hire a police detective in the first place if not to solve the case? I just wanted him to get going with the investigating.

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Release Date:

19 April 1968 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

A Lovely Way to Die See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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