Five famous detectives (based on literary classics) are invited to dinner (with a side course of murder) by the famous Lionel Twain.
Even before arriving at dinner the party find themselves running into trouble as attempts are made upon their lives, at dinner Twain arrives and challenges the detectives to solve a baffling murder that has yet to even occur.
Now, I was really excited about watching this, with a cast featuring Peter Faulk, Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, David Niven, Maggie Smith and Eileen Brennan, I expected high things and was left thoroughly disappointed.
The first half off the film is pure build-up, with each of the principle characters arriving in essentially the same manner, the scenes dragged on and felt as if they could have been condensed down to create more hijinks once everyone is together.
Then once everyone is together everything just seems to get rushed through to the conclusion, there didn’t seem to be any meat on the bones of the production.
Reaching the conclusion was the biggest let down, with no shown logic behind any accusation but each one being 100% accurate.. right up to the next accusation (which should have been a clue to the finale), the ending would have been much more satisfying if the film has laid better groundwork for each of the upcoming “revelations”
When compared to 1985’s Clue (based on the boardgame Clue/Cluedo, also starring Eileen Brennan with Tim Curry), Murder by Death just dissapoints on so many fronts, but one thing holds true across both films, the Butler is the best character by far.
Alec Guinness is by far the best thing in this film, with most screen time he really has the opportunity to shine the blind butler just has the best opportunity to keep us entertained.
If you’re looking for a Murder Mystery/Comedy, I would advise you to skip this in favour of Clue, but if you already saw that and want more then go for Murder by Death, though the film could be better I definitely found the entertaining .