6.3/10
854
22 user 10 critic

They Only Kill Their Masters (1972)

California small town police chief investigates a suspicious death involving the victim's own dog that presumably killed its owner.

Director:

James Goldstone

Writer:

Lane Slate
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Garner ... Abel Marsh
Katharine Ross ... Kate Bingham
Hal Holbrook ... Dr. Warren G. Watkins
Harry Guardino ... Capt. Daniel Streeter
June Allyson ... Mrs. Watkins
Christopher Connelly ... John
Tom Ewell ... Walter
Peter Lawford ... Lee Campbell
Edmond O'Brien ... George
Arthur O'Connell ... Ernie
Ann Rutherford ... Gloria
Art Metrano ... Malcolm
Harry Basch ... Mayor Wendell
Jenifer Shaw Jenifer Shaw ... Diana
Jason Wingreen ... Mallory
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Storyline

An enigmatic young woman has been murdered in a small California coast town. The investigation by the local sheriff uncovers a complex web of relationships centering on the victim; the scattered trail of evidence ranges from a mysterious photograph to the victim's own dog. During the investigation, the sheriff meets and becomes romantically involved with a woman whose connection to the murder is ambiguous. Written by Elisabeth Pruitt <foosi@global.california.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Was the murderer a man... or man's best friend?


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 May 1973 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Anha fagat mikoshand See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Garner's character Abel Marsh was later portrayed by Andy Griffith in two made-for television movies, 'The Girl in the Empty Grave (1977)' and 'Deadly Game (1977)', also written by screenwriter Lane Slate. See more »

Goofs

After Abel breaks up the fight the bar tender gives him a half a pitcher of beer and bottle o liquor. When he turns and goes to the table it's become a full pitcher. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Abel Marsh: Neat!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
By the Sea...By the Sea..By the Beautiful Sea
22 November 2009 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

I agree wholeheartedly that this film is a screen writing mess, a rest home for aging once-great or near-great stars, and some of the sleaziest plot twists ever to come out of a pre-1975 MGM movie. Nonetheless, I also must confess being, at times, enamored with the film for brief periods of time. James Garner plays a sheriff in a small town out to find out what happened to a woman's body washed up to shore that had seemingly been attacked by her Doberman. the dog is assumed to be the culprit, but soon new evidence shows Garner that the woman led a secret life full of sex secrets with members of the town of both sexes. Anyway, we get lesbian overtones, three some references, love triangles, and so much more than you might expect in a film that was the last to be shot in MGM's Lot #2 with old friends like Arthur O' Connell, Ann Rutherford, Edmond O'Brien, Peter Lawford, June Allyson, and Tom Ewell showing up either in featured roles of cameos. Hal Holbrook plays a vet and adds some subtle subtext to the story despite the bizarre story he is involved with. Don't try to make too much sense out of what is going on and things will at least be adequate to get you through the film. Garner as always is a pleasure. Katherine Ross plays a lead role and the love interest(hard to believe she will be 70 in January!).


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