Little Murders

1971

Little Murders

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

56%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 9

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,107
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Little Murders Photos

Movie Info

Hilarity alternates with appalling disasters and violence in this disturbing comedy scripted by cartoonist Jules Feiffer, based on his stage play of the same name. This film represents well-known actor Alan Arkin's first time out as a movie director. The story concerns news photographer Alfred Chamberlain (Elliott Gould) who is unable to feel anything. He is ambivalent about whether this is a great advantage or something to blame his mother for. This begins to change when Patsy Newquist (Marcia Rodd) comes into his life. Alfred tries to get her to follow his philosophy of indifference and apathy while she and her family of oddballs, including her father (Vincent Gardenia), advocate joining the world's insanity. Highlights include vignettes of Donald Sutherland as a slick minister and of Lou Jacobi as a judge. Arkin shows up in front of the camera briefly as a police detective.

Cast

Elliott Gould
as Alfred Chamberlain
Marcia Rodd
as Patsy Newquist
Vincent Gardenia
as Mr. Newquist
Elizabeth Wilson
as Mrs. Newquist
John Randolph
as Mr. Chamberlain
Doris Roberts
as Mrs. Chamberlain
Alan Arkin
as Detective
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Critic Reviews for Little Murders

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (2)

Audience Reviews for Little Murders

  • May 24, 2016
    Comedy doesn't come much blacker than this adaptation of a Jules Feiffer play. Elliott Gould is a listless photographer who's so apathetic that he daydreams while being mugged. He meets an energetic optimist (Marcia Rodd, strangely forgotten today) who somehow falls in love with him and is determined to inject him with some pep. But in a city of daily escalating violence, it's hard for anyone to stay smiling for long. The characterizations are arch and hyperrealistic, and the action sustains an aggressively satirical edge. Vincent Gardenia is stellar in his typical role as a protective father with a temper, while Donald Sutherland (as a hippie preacher) and Lou Jacobi (as a God-fearing judge) add dazzling cameos and virtually steal the movie. First-time director Alan Arkin also has a scene as a frazzled detective, but sails far, far over the top.
    Eric B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 31, 2012
    Such was the depth of quality in seventies cinema that many movies of the era have been unfairly forgotten. While stars like De Niro, Pacino and Hoffmann are still lauded it's easy to forget how great Elliot Gould, Alan Arkin and Donald Sutherland were. All three feature in Arkin's directorial debut, a surreal black comedy which originally had Godard attached. Gould is great as a photographer who has lost the ability to feel and wanders through life with detachment. Marcia Rodd is the young woman obsessed with waking him from his emotional coma. Watch for Sutherland's hilarious cameo as the preacher of the "First Existential" church.
    The Movie W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2010
    This is a brilliant black comedy based on a great off Broadway play. The story is fantastic and comments on city life and the postmodern world in an outrageous way. I love this movie, and I recommend it.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Jun 20, 2009
    Entertaining. Sarcastic. Unpredictable. Hilarious.
    Rhady N Super Reviewer

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