Murder by Death - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Murder by Death Reviews

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½ September 12, 2017
A great parody of mystery stories from the early 30's to the 70's. Sadly though while this is it's biggest strength it's also its biggest weakness. Anyone who doesn't know The Thin Man or who Poirot is will be left out of the joke. One joke had Sam Diamond (a parody of Sam Spade from the Maltese Falcon) make a Casablanca reference which stared Humphrey Bogart (the same actor who played Sam Spade). The average person watching this film who didn't grow up in the 80's and/or earlier will have a tough time finding enjoyment out of this one. That's not to say they can't, there's just a price of admission you need to experience before hand. My other complaint about this movie is that it feels short. By the time the mystery starts to get going the movie shoves you out the door and ends. If your a fan of classic mysteries then this is a fun parody for you. SPOILERS: There's also no real mystery in this movie. I understand that's the point but it really feels waisted, and again I get that's the intention. The final monologue by Truman Capote makes that very clear. But after pointing out that it's cheap to pull these cheap tactics and then turn around and pull the same cheap tactics feels disingenuous.
July 24, 2017
Very creative, funny, delightful evening viewing.A gem from 1976 film production.
May 6, 2017
A perfect mix of satire and head-scratching mystery with wit in every phrase. In a world so bent on being politically correct, this film is refreshing in every way.
April 13, 2017
Murder by Death is a clever satire with a very impressive cast, but it's not laugh-out-loud funny. While I found myself smirking at the references and the wordplay, this movie feels like the rough draft of Clue. Plus, I'm disappointed that they sacrificed a satisfying ending for a comedic one. Nevertheless, I'm still glad I saw it.
November 19, 2016
Il film la parodia dei romanzi gialli (alla Agatha Christie) con una serie di personaggi che ricalcano famosi ispettori. La commedia un po' sciocchina ma si lascia vedere anche tenuto conto dell'et che ha la pellicola.
September 9, 2016
I loved this movie as a kid and it holds up pretty well. Based on a screenplay by Neil Simon, it parodies the old detective stories and heroes from the early and mid-1900's. Some great lines, especially about articles and prepositions.
April 19, 2016
Almost entirely unfunny spoof. A remarkable achievement, considering the extraordinary cast and writer. The only real laughs come from Alec Guinness as the blind butler. Neil Simon over eggs everything, Peter Sellers and David Niven phone in their contributions, and the usually great Dave Grusin signals every unhilarious moment with his relentless score. The culprit? Director Robert Moore.
April 15, 2016
Watching and love. If you love a good mystery, you will love this Neil Simon spoof.
April 15, 2016
The craziest movie ever!
April 2, 2016
Far more groans at the bad jokes than chuckles at the good ones.
March 12, 2016
As a fan of all of the deceives spoofed, this is the perfect comedy.
½ January 24, 2016
Quite an uninspired script filled with cheap one-liners fit only for a small town dinner theater put on for charity. The high art of mystery novels roasted in a small fireplace with the damper closed - making this a smoking room.

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.
December 15, 2015
I apologize for any unfortunate mishaps.

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?"

Grade: C+
½ November 14, 2015
Incredible cast, Peter sellers is brilliant. Silly, silly movie but brilliant at the same time. Watched this as a child and still laugh out loud watching it now.
October 31, 2015
I saw this movie when it was first released. I was much younger then and found it quite funny. Now I'm much older, almost the entire cast is dead and it's just not that funny anymore. What I do know is that much of the dialogue is misogynistic and some of the characterizations are downright racist.
September 21, 2015
I saw this movie more than 3 times in the theater and still enjoy watching this, catching many of the more adult jokes I missed the first time around. Granted it's racist, but where can you get a cast this star-studded together with a script this clever these days?
½ May 24, 2015
It has its moments with a stellar first 30 minutes as you meet the characters, but it is downhill from there and ultimately disappointing.
May 22, 2015
I'm perfectly willing to admit that, viewed today in our modern politically correct climate, I finally recognize the level of racial insensitivity in Murder by Death. It clearly is somewhat self aware because it makes a joke out of the offensive things that Sam Diamond says, but still it is a bit hard to take Peter Sellers' extremely stereotyped performance as a Chinese man. Of course, there are also pretty ridiculous characterizations of the French, English, and even Americans. The whole thing is an equal opportunity offender, and so it strangely doesn't bother me. I'm able to get past that hiccup and laugh quite a lot at this silly parody. The story is that a crazy man invites the 5 greatest detectives in the world to his home. These are all parodies of literary and film characters like The Thin Man, Miss Marple, Sam Spade, and more. He then challenges them to solve a murder in a house that is absolutely insane. They have rooms appearing and disappearing, a blind butler, a doorbell that screams, and even a plastic cook. Yes, you read all that correctly, but that's the kind of madcap insanity you can expect from Murder by Death. There are some jokes that fall flat and then there are others that have me laughing out loud every time. My favorite moments almost all involve Peter Falk as Sam Diamond, or Alec Guinness as the aforementioned blind butler.

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.
½ April 13, 2015
Wildly inventive no but mildly amusing,maybe.
February 25, 2015
Neil Simon's satire of detective fiction is all over the place, but some solid performances do their best to make up for the unfunny ones. Its Peter Sellers who fails in a racist and bad impression of Charlie Chan. The jokes are sometimes witty, shooting out a rapidfire pace, but its definitely more enjoyable if you know who the detectives are that the characters are lampooning. The seriousness of the climax is thrown out completely, showing that the movie runs out of steam after the death traps. Murder by Death showcases a great cast doing their best, but the script is a bit superfluous by the end.
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