Murder by Death
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As penned by Neil Simon, this satire of movie mysteries is set in motion when several prominent detectives are invited to the mansion of the reclusive Lionel Twain (Truman Capote). In Ten Little Indians fashion, the gathered sleuths are locked into the forbidding mansion, and subject to various death-dealing devices. While struggling for their lives, the vainglorious gumshoes continue to try to one-up one another. Each character is broadly based on a famous literary detective: Sidney Wang (Peter Sellers) is an aphorism-spouting Charlie Chan clone: Dick and Dora Charleston (David Niven and… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Murder by Death is a very good silly-funny Neil Simon satirical comedy, with a super all-star cast cavorting as recognizable pulp fiction detectives gathered at the home of Truman Capote, wealthy hedonist fed up with contrived gumshoe plots."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"As light and insubstantial as one could wish."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Generally successful send-up of classic mysteries with a lame finale."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Far from great."
‑ Jeremy Heilman,
"Stunningly unfunny."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"This spoof of the great fictional-film detectives offers consistently funny scenes."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"A sometime funny satire on the old murder-mystery detective series of the 1930s and '40s. Some jokes hit, while others just bomb."
‑ Bob Bloom, Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
"...pokes fun at every old fictional detective you can think of and every cliché you've ever wanted to red pencil out of a script."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"Director Moore and writer Neil Simon seem to have no real affection for either the characters they plunder mercilessly for laughs, or the locked room puzzle they turn on its head. Introductions over, the film slides downhill."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"So it all doesn't amount to much, and -- some knuckle-dragging 'he's gay'/'no I'm not' humor aside -- it's more Scooby Doo than Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Still, it's an amusing tea-cozy of a spoof with an enjoyable cast."
‑ Mark Bourne,
"Hit & miss mystery spoof hits more often than it misses."
‑ Scott Weinberg,
More reviews for Murder by Death on Rotten Tomatoes

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