7.0/10
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Little Murders (1971)

PG | | Comedy | 9 February 1971 (USA)
Pitch black comedy about a young nihilistic New Yorker coping with pervasive urban violence, obscene phone calls, rusty water pipes, electrical blackouts, paranoia and ethnic-racial conflict during a typical summer of the 1970s.

Director:

Alan Arkin

Writers:

Jules Feiffer, Jules Feiffer (based on the play by: "Little Murders")
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Elliott Gould ... Alfred Chamberlain
Marcia Rodd ... Patsy Newquist
Vincent Gardenia ... Carol Newquist
Elizabeth Wilson ... Marge Newquist
Jon Korkes ... Kenny Newquist
John Randolph ... Mr. Chamberlain
Doris Roberts ... Mrs. Chamberlain
Lou Jacobi ... Judge Stern
Donald Sutherland ... Rev. Dupas
Alan Arkin ... Lieutenant Practice
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Storyline

An idealistic girl, Patsy Newquist, saves a young apathetic photographer, Alfred Chamberlain, from a gang of hooligans. She falls for him, but he turns out to be a nihilist. They go out anyway. All this happens against the background of random shootings in NYC (at the time the play the movie is based on was written, the city was going broke). Her family accept him, but when she tries to change him and get him to find meaning in life, things go horribly wrong in a cruel twist of fate. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Funny in a new and frightening way !

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 February 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jules Feiffer's Little Murders See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,340,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Star Elliott Gould starred in the original 1967 Broadway production of "Little Murders", which flopped after one week of seven performances in late April at the Broadhurst Theatre. Gould was the only cast member to appear in the film, reprising his role as Alfred Chamberlain. The Broadway cast included Barbara Cook as Alfred's girlfriend and future wife Patsy Newquist, Heywood Hale Broun as her father Carol Newquist, Ruth White as her mother Marjorie, and David Steinberg as her brother Kenny. Phil Leeds appeared as Lt. Practice and Richard Schaal was Rev. Dupas. Alfred's parents did not appear as characters in the original play. See more »

Quotes

Judge Stern: My father worked fourteen hours a day in a sweatshop on lower Broadway, number three hundred and thirteen. Our first apartment was a five flight walk up, four and a half room, cold water flat with the bathtub in the kitchen and the toilet down the hall. A hundred and forty two Hester Street. Three families used the toilet. An Italian family, a coloured family, a Jewish family. Three families with different faiths. A one thing each of those families had in common. They had in common the ...
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Connections

Referenced in Remington Steele: Breath of Steele (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Skating In Central Park
Composed by John Lewis
Performed by The Modern Jazz Quartet
Through the courtesy of United Artists Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pitch-perfect black comedy
27 July 2001 | by craigjclarkSee all my reviews

It doesn't get any darker than this, folks. Jules Feiffer shows off his penchant for absurdity and his mastery of the monologue (Lou Jacobi, Donald Sutherland and director Alan Arkin each get one powerhouse scene where it's basically all them with the other characters reacting). The cast is excellent and their handling of Feiffer's language is amazing. Elliot Gould's performance is particularly effective, and Vincent Gardenia as his father-in-law is hysterical.

I saw this film and then read the play it was based on, and both give off the same claustrophobic air of desperation while still being side-splittingly funny. It is definitely worth hunting down. In the words of Father Dupas, it is "all right."


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