Murder by Death Reviews
The only reasons for watching this travesty is to see Dame Smith in the waning years of her MILF phase, Sellers reunited with Guiness, Cromwell in his shorts, Capote in front of the camera, & Walker puffing with pride.
A group of five private investigators arrive at a mansion they were all forced to attend. A dinner party ensues where a man keeps them on their toes and makes them participate in a game that if they lose, they lose their life. Which detective(s) will survive the challenge?
"Answer is simple but the question is very hard."
Robert Moore, director of The Sunshine Boys, There's Always Room, Chapter Two, Annie Flynn, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Don't Call Us, delivers Murder by Death. The storyline for this picture is a suspense parody that was fun and contained some well done characters. The acting is entertaining and the cast includes Peter Falk, Peter Sellers, James Coco, Eileen Brennan, Truman Capote, and Alec Guinness.
"Idiot! Not finish mushroom story."
This was on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) during the Halloween holiday season so I had to add it to the DVR list. I recently watched it and thought it was okay and worth a viewing. This was fun in a "Clue" way but is far from a classic.
"How do I look so young?"
Yes, that is the kind of quality cast you get in Murder by Death. There's also David Niven, Maggie Smith, Truman Capote, and many more. If nothing else I have to commend this film on that cast, because they just have one great actor after another, and most of them with brilliant comedic timing. To be fair, the story is a bit too off the wall, I must admit. It's not a traditional murder mystery, or even one like Clue because you can't really solve the murder along with the detectives. The fact is that none of it really makes any sense and they basically just throw possible solutions at the wall and see what sticks at the end. However, that's part of the joke. Clearly Neil Simon, when writing this film, had a particular axe to grind with traditional murder mystery stories, because he hits on a lot of their common tropes. He makes a point of having characters use ridiculous leaps of logic in order to progress the story, because that often occurs in books/movies and only makes sense to the characters not to those of us watching. In the end he even points out how these stories will sometimes introduce a character we've never seen or heard of before in the final chapter, just to tie up their loose ends. I think, by and large, Murder by Death still works as a send-up of the genre. I'm not particularly familiar with the characters that are being parodied, so I'm sure there are even more jokes I'm not picking up on. Needless to say, I would recommend that you give this movie a shot, just make a point of not being too sensitive because those racially offensive characters and slurs can be a tad hard to swallow.