Essentially a filmed play (the world's most famous fictional sleuths summoned for a weekend by Capote's eccentric electronics wizard and invited to solve a murder due to happen at midnight), Murder by Death is entertaining enough, even though the joke wears a little thin. As plot loses importance and parody reigns supreme, Falk and Maggie Smith get the best lines. However, unlike Murder on the Orient Express - so stylised as to be virtually a parody - here director Moore and writer Neil Simon seem to have no real affection for either the characters they plunder mercilessly for laughs, or the locked room puzzle they turn on its head. Introductions over, the film slides downhill.
Cast and crew