Saturday, June 25, 2011

365 Movies Day #88 "Murder by Death"

In memory of Peter Falk, I checked this one out and haven't laughed like that in awhile. They just don't do comedy like this anymore. A constant stream of wit and absolute absurdity dealt by some of the best actors ever to grace the screen.

The film is about an eccentric madman in the form of legendary novelist Truman Capote who seeks out the world's five greatest detectives for a deadly game of intrigue. Peter Falk's, Sam Diamond, was hysterical. Typically fantastic Peter Sellers as detective Wang was joined by Pink Panther co-star David Niven as Dick Charleston with his wife Dora, played by Maggie Smith (of the Harry Potter films and the original "Clash of the Titans"). Watching James Coco at work as Belgian detective Milo Perrier, you could almost see the source of all Nathan Lane's comedy. Finally, Elsa Lanchester, who played the bride of Frankenstein in the 1935 classic) plays British super sleuth Jessica Marbles.

Supporting the cast of detectives are Alec Guinness (yes...Obi-Wan) as blind/crazy butler, Jamesir Bensonmum. James Cromwell (almost unrecognizable in his younger days) as Perrier's Belgian chauffer Marcel long before his days on "LA Confidential", "Babe", and being Jack Bauer's dad.

A script of comedic genius from Neil Simon (as if one would expect anything else). This film was amazingly funny. Sad to see that most of the cast has passed on, but I'm sure Falk has joined Guinness, Sellers, Coco, Niven and Lanchester on that great stage in the sky.


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