Murder By Death

Murder By Death Dinner with Truman Capote.png

“Just as I thought — another jest that could’ve cost us our lives, saved only by the fact that I am enormously well-bred."

Neil Simon saw Alec Guinness reading the script for “Star Wars” on the set of “Murder By Death,” and very soon after that, Guinness would be known as Obi Wan Kenobi to the world. But there is so much more to Guinness before that series of films, and in this particular series, so much humor. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we close out our Sir Alec Guinness series with Robert Moore’s 1976 film “Murder By Death.” We talk about Neil Simon’s comedy writing here, how it worked for us now, and, for Pete, how it’s changed since he first saw it when he was young — the story definitely has aged. We chat about Guinness’s performance as Jamesir Bensonmum, the blind butler, and how much we love what he brings to the table here. We discuss the other actors — the detectives played by Peter Falk, Peter Sellers, James Coco, David Niven, Elsa Lanchester; their seconds including Maggie Smith, Eileen Brennan and a very young James Cromwell; and in a surprising turn, Truman Capote as the mysterious host. We touch on Dave Grusin and what he brings to the table as the composer. And we can’t help but compare the movie to “Clue,” the one that we both hold in our hearts as a guilty pleasure. It’s a light and inconsequential film to talk about, despite its story problems. It’s worth a watch. Then tune in once you have!

Film Sundries

Trailers of the Week

Andy's Trailer — Kung Fury "This looks ridiculous but also looks really fun. The Swedish group behind this film used Kickstarter to raise money, earning more than three times what they were looking for. They’re finally going to release it this year. It’s not something I’d see in the theatre but it’s definitely something I’d watch at home. Plus, Kung Fuhrer and time travel through video games. I’m totally in."

Pete's Trailer: The Last Five Years — "I loved Into The Woods. I love even more that we get the delightful Anna Kendrick in two musicals in theaters at the same time. This is a delightful score that hopefully brings the Whedon when it comes to staging contemporary musical numbers on film."