June 23 in US cinemas: Murder By Death and The Cheap Detective

“By the time the world’s greatest detectives figure out whodunnit…you could die laughing!”

Murder_By_Death-1976Murder by Death is a 1976 American satirical mystery comedy film with a cast featuring Eileen Brennan, Truman Capote, James Coco, Peter Falk, Alec Guinness, Elsa Lanchester, David Niven, Peter Sellers, Maggie Smith, Nancy Walker, and Estelle Winwood, written by Neil Simon and directed by Robert Moore.

The plot is a broad parody or spoof of the traditional country-house whodunit, familiar to mystery fiction fans of classics such as Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. The cast is an ensemble of British and American actors playing send-ups of well-known fictional sleuths, including Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Charlie Chan, Nick and Nora Charles, and Sam Spade. It also features a rare acting performance by author Truman Capote.

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The film was presented at the Venice International Film Festival in 1976. [Wikipedia]

Watch the trailer on the Sony Pictures At Home UK YouTube Channel.

“The bogus Bogie who hasn’t got a clue!”

The_Cheap_Detective-1978The Cheap Detective is a 1978 American satirical comedy film written by Neil Simon and directed by Robert Moore as a follow-up to their successful Murder by Death .

It stars Peter Falk as Lou Peckinpaugh, a detective in the Humphrey Bogart mould. The film is an affectionate parody of Bogart movies such as Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon.

The ensemble cast includes Madeline Kahn, Louise Fletcher, Ann-Margret, Eileen Brennan, Stockard Channing, Marsha Mason, Sid Caesar, John Houseman, Dom DeLuise, Abe Vigoda, James Coco, Phil Silvers, Fernando Lamas, Nicol Williamson, Scatman Crothers, Vic Tayback and Paul Williams.

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Lou Peckinpaugh (Falk), a bumbling San Francisco private detective, tries to prove himself innocent of his partner’s murder while helping a bizarre array of characters recover a lost treasure. The film spoofs Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, Chinatown, and To Have and Have Not. The scene in the restaurant with Peckinpaugh and Pepe Damascus mocks the opening scene of The Big Sleep. [Wikipedia]

Watch the trailer on the Sony Pictures At Home YouTube Channel.

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