Thursday, September 27, 2007

Murder by Death (1976, Robert Moore)

i bumped into this film after watching Clue. After I read the synopsis and read that it was written by Neil Simon, It wasn't long before I put it at the top of my queue and waited for it to arrive. The film did not disappoint and it is a must watch for anyone who has seen a film from the Thin Man series, seen an Agatha Christie adaptation, or knows who Sam Spade or Charlie Chan are.

What Neil Simon does in this one is a simple but fun premise. He takes all of these detectives, who have been made famous through all of their films, and throws them into a dinner party, that is hosted by Truman Capote (yes...the Truman Capote) where they must solve a murder case through the course of the night to see who is the best detective of them all.

Of course, the comedy is over the top and silly, but it is always hilarious. Everyone goes all out with their characters from Peter Sellers as Charlie Chan to Peter Falk as Sam Spade. Seeing all of these actors play off from eachother in this premise is a lot of fun and has at least one hilarious moment every 10 minutes.

The only problem is that while the film is always silly, it becomes a little bit too much for its own good towards the end. The twist, although funny, is too over the top to the point where it makes you feel that you have been cheated out of a great conclusion that would leave you laughing given the great build up to it.

Still, if you take away the final 10 minutes you are left with 80 minutes of great comedy. I loved it so much that I saw it twice before I returned it and I cant wait to buy it.

- A-

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