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Little Murders

4.7 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Jun 01, 2004)
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$156.52 $57.00
(Apr 10, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Based on jules feiffer's play about a man who marries the girl who saved him from muggers.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Vincent Gardenia, Elliott Gould, Lou Jacobi, Jon Korkes, Martin Kove
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2004
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00020HB1E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,142 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Little Murders" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Top o' the heap, far as the black comedy thing goes. First film directed by Alan Arkin; he also plays a neurotic paranoid detective who does more than stumble over his words; he sputters them out due to mental freneticism that is completely unavoidable, some form of psychosomatic willies going on there, for sure. He's investigating the 345 homicides in the preceding six months (these days, that may not be so far from the truth, in New York City), and one of them has affected the family of our hero (see below).

Donald Sutherland is absolutely hilarious as a free form minister whose hedonism knows no bounds. He takes pains to let the entire wedding party know of his tremendous pleasure at making them squirm in their seats, using the word masturbation (remember, this is a 1971 film!) a few times in his diatribe as he marries off our hero and heroine, Elliot Gould and his leading lady, Marcia Rudd.

Gould plays a photographer whose passive nature results in his getting beat up a lot by neighborhood youths who have nothing better to do, and Rudd, the girlfriend he meets when she saves him from yet another drubbing. Of course, being passive and all, he does nothing at all to save her when she herself gets set upon by the same ruffians. She cottons to him anyway and takes him to meet her parents, played by the always great Vincent Gardenia (here, he plays an uncannily foreshadowed version of the husband in Moonstruck) and Elizabeth Wilson.

Gardenia is definitely one of the stars here, with his "So young fella, what's your pleasure?" to Gould, over and over again. He's a comic gem.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Little Murders (1971)...I really had no idea what I was getting into with this film, as I had neglected to read any reviews. Often I may buy a film, without any prior knowledge, if it looks interesting enough and if the price is right, which was both the case here (involvement by Arkin, Sutherland, and Gould peaked my interest). It's not unusual that I might find disappointment in such a haphazard, grabasstic method of picking a movie, but this one looked promising, and it turned out to be much more than I ever would have thought. Based on a play by syndicated cartoonist and social commentator Jules Feiffer (I Want to Go Home), the film was directed by Alan Arkin, who also appears in the film, stars Elliott Gould (M.A.S.H.) and Marcia Rodd (Handle with Care) in her feature film debut. Also appearing is Vincent Gardenia, who many may remember as the effervescent and kooky Frank Lorenzo from TV's All in the Family, Elizabeth Wilson (Nine to Five), Lou Jacobi (Amazon Women on the Moon), Jon Korkes (The Day of the Dolphin), John Randolph (Serpico), Doris Roberts, who can most likely now be seen as the interminable pushy Marie Barone on the popular TV show "Everybody Loves Raymond", and Donald Sutherland (Kelly's Heroes).

The film begins with an unlikely relationship developed between Alfred Chamberlain (Gould) and Patsy Newquist (Rodd) in what can probably be characterized as a very normal circumstance (in New York, at least) of getting harassed on the streets for no real reason other reason than someone thinking you're asking for it by giving them what they perceive as a disrespectful look. Anyway, Patsy, who's an optimistic sort, sees Alfred, who's a self-described apathetist, as sort of a project or cause, someone who needs to be shown that there are reasons to embrace life.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After WWII, about 1948 the British started churning out really good satires(Passport to Pimlico, Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Man in the White Suit and so on and so on)till about the early to mid sixties(Dr.Strangelove and Bedazzled). Then in America started an age of satirical movies that stretch from around 1965(The Loved One)to 1974(Dark Star). Some of the best comedies, especially satirical, black comedies, were made during this time. The Landlord, The President's Analyst, Cold Turkey, A New Leaf, A Boy and his Dog, Bananas and The Groove Tube are to name but a few. It's not that they weren't making them before 1965 but really good ones like Sullivan's Travels and The Senator Was Indiscreet were few and far between.

Little Murders, like the President's Analyst, is a landmark film from this era. It has so much to say about our mores and institutions. This one's so black, the sarced cow's been jerked.

This has been one of my favorites since it came out in 1971 and I've been judiciously lending out my VHS copy for years. So, when I punch the title into All Products and the DVD came up, I was jacked. I read a few reviews and if you haven't seen the movie I'd heed the warnings of those who have complained that chapter menu gives too much away and not to look before viewing the movie itself. You don't want to know anything about the plot before you watch it. Each new premise, and there are many, is a joy or depending on your sense of humor, a shock to discover for the first time. So also watch which reviews you read. Be careful what details are revealed to you.

(I saw some reviews recently where the reviewer put as a header to some of his paragraphs where he had written sensitive details the word SPOILER in parenthesis. What a Great and Thoughtful Idea ! ! !
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Topic From this Discussion
Why the heck is this $78?!
I'm sorry I don't know. But I would really love to know! I've not seen it. Mr. Arkin is talking about it on TCM's special from the film festival. I can't recall having seen it played on TCM. I would love to see it, but $58 is just too much!! (The lowest price as of this date)
Amazon, perhaps you... Read More
Mar 26, 2015 by kalibeans |  See all 5 posts
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