A middle-aged couple suspects foul play when their neighbor's wife suddenly drops dead.A middle-aged couple suspects foul play when their neighbor's wife suddenly drops dead.A middle-aged couple suspects foul play when their neighbor's wife suddenly drops dead.
- being followed in a car
- cheap hotel
- reference to warren comission
- reference to orson welles
- reference to bob hope
- 135 more
Some of the dialogue is amusing, like when Carol insists that Larry accompany her to the suspects' apartment for some serious nosing around. Says Larry: "I can't relax; I'm in a strange man's apartment in my T-shirt and pajamas".
My impression is that at least some of the dialogue is semi-improvised. Whatever the dialogue method, the result is back and forth banter that sounds highly natural and convincing. When you combine this naturalistic style of talk with terrific performances by Allen, Keaton, Alda, and several other actors, the time flies by, and you're sorry when the film ends.
The murder "mystery" element isn't really believable. But that's okay, since it's strictly ancillary to the characterizations and the humorous talk. Even so, there is indeed a puzzle that will be solved by the film's end.
Editing and cinematography are fine. Background music features 1930's and 40's pop songs. With all the NYC street scenes, I even learned what New Yorkers mean when they refer to a "crosstown bus".
Normally, I don't care for talky films. But the dialogue here is so clever that the cinematic experience is pleasant despite a talk heavy script. "Manhattan Murder Mystery" provides a lot of enjoyment, at the expense of a neurotic character whose life is turned into a fun house of comically scary and startling events.
- Feb 4, 2009