Murder by Death (1976) Movie

Report Movie    



(Hollywood) USA

Ratings / Votes
7.4/ 10 (15988 Votes)

MPAA Ratings

Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corporation [us]
Rastar Pictures - (as A Rastar Feature)

Production Designer

All Producers

All Directors


Release Date
(USA) - 23 June 1976
(West Germany) - 17 September 1976
(Japan) - 23 September 1976
(Italy) - 9 October 1976
(France) - 10 November 1976

Running Time

By the time the world's greatest detectives figure out whodunnit... you could die laughing! You are cordially invited to dinner... and a murder!

adopted-son, amateur-detective, asian-stereotype, assumed-identity, attempted-murder, based-on-novel, blindness, butler, chocolate-bar, cut-telephone-line, dark-and-stormy-night, deaf-mute, deception, detective, dining-room, dinner-party, disguise, dog, door-bell, fog, guest, inspector, investigation, invitation, irreverence,

Technical Support
CAM:Panaflex Camera and Lenses by Panavision
OFM:35 mm
PFM:35 mm
RAT:1.33 : 1 - (negative ratio)
RAT:1.85 : 1 - (intended ratio)

Related Pictures

Pictures of Murder by Death (1976) Movie not found

Full Cast

  1. Capote, Truman as [Lionel Twain] <2>
  2. Coco, James as [Milo Perrier] <3>
  3. Cromwell, James (I) as [Marcel] <12>
  4. Falk, Peter (I) as [Sam Diamond] <4>
  5. Guinness, Alec as [Bensonmum] <5>
  6. Myron (II) as (uncredited) [Myron the Dog]
  7. Narita, Richard as [Willie Wang] <13>
  8. Niven, David (I) as [Dick Charleston] <7>
  9. Sellers, Peter (I) as [Sidney Wang] <8>
  10. Brennan, Eileen (I) as [Tess Skeffington] <1>
  11. Lanchester, Elsa as [Jessica Marbles] <6>
  12. Smith, Maggie (I) as [Dora Charleston] <9>
  13. Walker, Nancy (I) as [Yetta - Maid] <10>
  14. Winwood, Estelle as [Nurse Withers] <11>
  15. Wray, Fay as (voice) (archive sound) (uncredited) [Screaming Door Bell]


  1. Comedy
  2. Crime
  3. Mystery
  4. Thriller

Full Plot

Despite not knowing him, the world's most famous detectives can't pass up the offer of a "dinner and murder" invitation from wealthy Lionel Twain. Each has no idea until their arrival at Two Two Twain who else will be in attendance. Those detectives are: amateur sleuths and New York socialites Dick and Dora Charleston, accompanied by their pet terrier, Myron; Belgian detective Monsieur Milo Perrier, accompanied by his chauffeur, Marcel; Shanghainese Inspector Sidney Wang, accompanied by his Japanese adopted son, Willie Wang; frumpish Brit Miss Jessica Marbles, accompanied by her invalid nurse, Miss Withers; and San Francisco gumshoe Sam Diamond, accompanied by his femme fatale sidekick, Tess Skeffington. The dinner part of the invitation runs into problems due to the non-communication between Twain's blind butler, Jamesir Bensonmum, and Twain's new deaf-mute and non-Anglophone cook, Yetta. On the murder side, the guests initially believe Twain will try to kill each of them. However, Twain eventually announces his rationale for the gathering: that one of the people at the dinner table will be murdered before midnight, and that Twain will consider himself the greatest detective if his guests, who are now trapped in the house until dawn, cannot figure out who committed the murder, that person also at the dinner table. If one does figure out who committed the crime, he/she will be the recipient of $1 million and the exclusive rights to the story. So the guests anxiously await the stroke of midnight, with those still alive after that time trying to figure out both motive and the opportunity to murder before the rise of dawn and before the murderer has the opportunity to strike again on one or all of them. Huggo Millionnaire Lionel Twain invites the five most brilliant private eyes to a dinner - and a murder. So, Sidney Wang from China, Dick Charleston from New York, Jessica Marbles from England, Milo Perrier from Belgium and Sam Diamond from San Francisco arrive at the remote castle. They are welcomed by Jamesir Bemsonmam, the blind butler. At nine, a dinner is supposed to be served. The five private eyes and their companionships are in the dining room, wondering what everything is about. Suddenly, Lionel Twain appears and lets the private eyes in on his plan: Exactly at midnight, a murder is going to take place. And he offers a million dollars to the one who can solve the murder. Then he disappears. Before long, a problem arises: The butler is found dead - and it's long before midnight! Will the five most brilliant minds of our time be able to see through the elaborate set-up staged by a criminal mastermind? Julian Reischl Lionel Twain (Truman Capote) has invited the five greatest detectives to a "dinner and murder." How can they resist? Included are a blind butler, a deaf-mute maid, screams, spinning rooms, secret passages, false identities, and more plot turns and twists than are decently allowed. John Vogel Plot not found

Total Business

CP: Copyright MCMLXXVI by Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. (on print) GR: USD 32,511,047 (USA) (1976) RT: USD 19,106,000 (USA) SD: 16 October 1975 - December 1975

Movie Certificate

PG (USA)(Approved No. 24496)
M/12 (Portugal)
PG (Australia)
Tous (Belgium)
K-12 (Finland)
L (Iceland)
PG (Ireland)
AL (Netherlands)
15 (Norway)
12 (West Germany)
PG (Singapore)

Music Composers

  1. Grusin, Dave


  1. Walsh, David M. (director of photography)

Dress Designers

  1. Roth, Ann (I) (costumes designed by)


American Broadcasting Company (ABC) [us] - (1979) (USA) (TV)
Columbia Pictures Television Distribution [us] - (19??) (USA) (TV) (a Sony Pictures Entertainment company)
Columbia Pictures [us] - (1976) (USA) (theatrical) (presents) (A Ray Stark Production)
Columbia TriStar [br] - (Brazil) (DVD)
RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video [us] - (1985) (USA) (VHS)
RCA/Columbia Pictures International Video [gb] - (1989) (UK) (VHS)
Umbrella Entertainment [au] - (2012) (Australia) (DVD)

Film Editors

  1. Burnett, John F. (film editor)


  1. Addams, Charles (title drawings)
  2. Bueno, Frank (assistant to producer)
  3. Fitzgerald, Wayne (I) (title designer)
  4. Leibowitz, Shari (assistant to production manager)
  5. Malin, Mary (assistant: Ann Roth)
  6. Martinez, Vince (I) (auditor)
  7. Rondo, George (dialogue coach)
  8. Shapiro, Carol (unit publicist)
  9. Tucker, Julia (I) (script continuity)


[Playing a game of deduction] Sidney Wang: And you Mr. Charleston, did not approve of Mrs. Charleston dying her hair blond? Dick Charleston: What do you mean? Sidney Wang: Mrs. Charleston's hair red. You have blond hairs on shoulder. This means she has dyed red hair blond, then back again to red, or else you have been... So sorry, Wang is wrong. Sam Diamond: I don't get it. First they steal the body and leave the clothes, then they take the clothes and bring the body back. Who would do a thing like that? Dick Charleston: Possibly some deranged dry cleaner. Milo Perrier: [after the lights have gone out in Twain's dining room] Be quiet everyone! I smell something! It's - Good God! - FRANKS AND BEANS! Jamesir Bensonmum: I'm afraid that's all we have, sir. Sam Diamond: Locked, from the inside. That can only mean one thing. And I don't know what it is. Sidney Wang: It is late, and my eyes are getting tired. Sam Diamond: I thought they always looked like that. Jessica Marbles: Knock it off, Sam! Sam Diamond: I apologize. This case is getting to me. I'm sorry, Slanty. Sidney Wang: Um... thank you. Dora Charleston: Mr. Diamond, there's a bullet hole in your jacket. Sam Diamond: You should see the other guy. Milo Perrier: I'm not a Frenchie, I'm a BELGIE! Milo Perrier: What do you make of all of this, Wang? Sidney Wang: Is confusing. Lionel Twain: [from moose head] IT! IT is confusing! Say your goddamn pronouns! Willie Wang: Who do you think is the murderer? Sidney Wang: Must sleep on it. Will know in morning when wake up. Willie Wang: But what if you don't wake up? Sidney Wang: Then YOU did it. Jamesir Bensonmum: She murdered herself in her sleep, sir. Dick Charleston: You mean suicide? Jamesir Bensonmum: Oh no, it was murder, all right. Mrs. Twain HATED herself. Miss Withers: Murderpoo? Jessica Marbles: Yes, dear, we're going to have a lovely murderpoo. Lionel Twain: That drives me crazy! Sam Diamond: Sounds like a short ride to me. [Hearing a knock at the door] Dora Charleston: Oh, that's probably the cook. Come in! Dick Charleston: Darling, the poor woman is stone deaf. Dora Charleston: I'm sorry, I forgot. COME IN! Dora Charleston: Is he dead? Sam Diamond: With a thing like that in his back, in the long run, he's better off. Lionel Twain: You've tricked and fooled your readers for years. You've tortured us all with surprise endings that made no sense. You've introduced characters in the last five pages that were never in the book before. You've withheld clues and information that made it impossible for us to guess who did it. But now, the tables are turned. Millions of angry mystery readers are now getting their revenge. When the world learns I've outsmarted you, they'll be selling your $1.95 books for twelve cents. Dora Charleston: What a godforsaken spot to get lost! Dick Charleston: I'm sure I saw a much better spot a few miles back. Tess Skeffington: His mother was a Roman Catholic, his father was an Orthodox Jew. They were separated two hours after the marriage. Sam Diamond: No pinkies? You mean Twain has only got eight fingers? Tess Skeffington: No, no, he's got ten. He just doesn't have any pinkies. Dick Charleston: Up there, Dora, look - a blind butler. Dora Charleston: Don't let him park the car, Dickie. Sam Diamond: The last time that I trusted a dame was in Paris in 1940. She said she was going out to get a bottle of wine. Two hours later, the Germans marched into France. Lionel Twain: I'm the greatest, I'm number one! Sam Diamond: To me, you look like number two, know what I mean? Dora Charleston: What DOES he mean, Miss Skeffington? Tess Skeffington: I'll tell you later. It's disgusting. Jessica Marbles: I smell gas! Miss Withers: I can't help it, I'm old. Jessica Marbles: No, not that kind of gas. The kind that kills! Miss Withers: Well, sometimes my gas... Sidney Wang: Conversation like television set on honeymoon: unnecessary. Sidney Wang: Room filled with empty people. Milo Perrier: He's gone! Jessica Marbles: Who's gone? Milo Perrier: The butler. Here's the key. Sidney Wang: If butler gone, where you find key? Milo Perrier: In his pocket. Jessica Marbles: What pocket? Milo Perrier: The butler's pocket. Sidney Wang: Butler gone but pocket still there? Sidney Wang: No pulse, no heartbeat. If condition does not change, this man is dead. Jessica Marbles: I'm not one to use hyperbole, ladies and gentlemen but I'll tell you this, for the first time in my life I had the caca scared out of me! Dora Charleston: Dickie, I like her I really like her! Sam Diamond: Why don't you push her wheelchair down the driveway? We got business here! Sam Diamond: Where were ya Wang, we was worried! Sidney Wang: Oh, there, voice come from cow on wall... Lionel Twain: Moose, moose you imbecile! [a bomb is about to explode] Sam Diamond: I've got an idea! I don't know if it will work but I've got to try. Turn around! Tess Skeffington: I've turned, Sam. Sam Diamond: Whatever you do, don't turn around until I say so. Tess Skeffington: [turns around] But Sam... Sam Diamond: I SAID TURN AROUND! Tess Skeffington: Yes, Sam. Sam Diamond: Good! Cause... I think... I'm gonna cry. Sidney Wang: Very interesting theory, but, you overlook one very important point. Dick Charleston: And that is? Sidney Wang: Is stupid. Is most stupid theory I ever heard. Dick Charleston: [hanging up telephone] Sounded as though somebody snipped the wire. Dora Charleston: Really? What did it sound like? Dick Charleston: Snip. Marcel: Something isn't right in all of this, eh. I can feel it in my buns. Inspector Milo Perrier: Your what? Marcel: My buns. Inspector Milo Perrier: Buns? Your buns? You bought buns and you didn't tell me? Where are they? Where are the buns? Marcel: Oh! No, monsieur. The BONES in my body. Inspector Milo Perrier: You should not speak with an accent when you know I am so hungry. Tess Skeffington: He had one daughter, thirty-two, her name's Irene, but she calls herself Rita. Sam Diamond: Just like a dame. Sam Diamond: That was then, this is now, and nobody knows what tomorrow will be. That's the way things are, whether we like it or not. Tess Skeffington: Oh, Sam, I worry about you sometimes. I really do. Willie Wang: I don't hear nothin'. What do you hear? Sidney Wang: Double negative, and dog. Tess Skeffington: There's nothing on him 'til '46, when he was picked up in El Paso, Texas, for trying to smuggle a truckload of rich white Americans across the border into Mexico to pick melons. Sam Diamond: I think we picked ourselves a queer bird, angel. Sidney Wang: Did you see that? Willie Wang: No. Sidney Wang: Neither did I. Jamesir Bensonmum: Oh, Yes. As you can see, I can see. Sidney Wang: So I see. Tess Skeffington: My feet are killing me. Why didn't you tell me we needed oil before I went back for gas? Jamesir Bensonmum: Tell me, as the only survivor, how did you deduce it was me? Sidney Wang: Went back to theory seldom used today: Butler did it. Jamesir Bensonmum: Good evening. We have been expecting you. Sidney Wang: Yes, but in what condition? Sidney Wang: Someone gone great trouble to make welcome guests not so welcome. Ring bell, please. Willie Wang: Are you nuts, Pop? Someone's tryin' to KILL us! Sidney Wang: Yes! Should make exciting weekend. Ring, please. Willie Wang: [sullen] I sure wish it was Monday morning. Sam Diamond: Wouldn't you know, out of gas. Tess Skeffington: I saw a station about five miles back, Sam. Sam Diamond: [hands her a gas can] I want you to know I'm gonna be waitin' for ya, baby. Sidney Wang: Big house like man married to fat woman: hard to get around. Willie Wang: Here's the bridge, Pop. Doesn't look safe to me. Sidney Wang: One way to find out. Drive across. [gets out of car] Willie Wang: Aren't you gonna come with me? Sidney Wang: Weight of two men may be too much for bridge. Willie Wang: Then why do I get to drive the car? Sidney Wang: 'Cause I smart enough to get out first. Jamesir Bensonmum: May I get your bags, sir? Sidney Wang: Oh, no, no. Son will get bags. That is why I adopted him. Willie Wang: [driving across rickety bridge] I don't think I'm gonna make it, Pop. It's gonna collapse. Sidney Wang: Don't worry. Father find other way to house. Sidney Wang: Mr. Twain has macabre sense of humor, yes? Sidney Wang: What that? [points to large cage in wall] Jamesir Bensonmum: Oh, it's nothing, sir. Just the cat. [loud barking and growling issues from cage] Sidney Wang: That cat? You feed cat dog food? Jamesir Bensonmum: I'm afraid he's a very angry cat, sir. Mr. Twain had him "fixed," and he didn't want to be. Willie Wang: Holy Shanghai! Dick Charleston: [inspecting their room] This dust is baking flour. And those cobwebs. Candied sugar. All placed here recently for the sole purpose of frightening us. And that mouse. Obviously a mechanical toy. [picks up mouse and laughs] Silly. Dora Charleston: What is? Dick Charleston: I am. It's real. Inspector Milo Perrier: Since we cannot call for a doctor, I will need a cold compress for my chaffeur, and a cup of hot chocolate for me, n'est ce pa? Jamesir Bensonmum: I don't think we have any Nespa, sir. Just Hershey's. Sam Diamond: The lady here in the rented dress is my secretary and mistress, Miss Tess Skeffington. Tess Skeffington: I don't feel good about this, Sam. Maybe tonight's the night your luck runs out. Sam Diamond: Maybe so. There's a number on the wall for all of us, angel, and if tonight's the night they pick mine, so be it. After you, sweetheart. Sam Diamond: Now, if one of you gentlemen would be so kind as to give my lady friend here a glass of cheap white wine, I'm going down the hall to find the can. I talk so much sometimes, I forget to go. Sam Diamond: I get fifty dollars a day plus expenses when I can get 'em, gentleman. And I owe Miss Skeffington here three years and two month's back pay. Isn't that right, angel? Tess Skeffington: I don't care about the money, Sam. Sam Diamond: Neither do I. Sidney Wang: Never consider murder to be business, Mr. Diamond. Sidney Wang: Quiet, please. Observe strange sounds. [the room is filled with hideous death-groans] Dora Charleston: Good God! The face! It's coming from the face! [Sure enough, that agonized moaning issues from the African death-mask on the wall] Dick Charleston: The victim of that tribal ritual, actually going through his final moments of death! What could it mean? Jamesir Bensonmum: It means dinner is ready, sir. We have no gong. Jamesir Bensonmum: Ten people for dinner and I'm serving them hot nothing. You can't get good help today. [stumbling around during a blackout] Dora Charleston: Dickie, don't. You know how I get when you touch me there. Dick Charleston: Me, darling? I've got my hands in my pockets. Sam Diamond: I'm afraid they're my pockets. Dick Charleston: Oh, sorry about that. Dora Charleston: Dickie, behave yourself. Lionel Twain: I trust you've all been made comfortable? Dick Charleston: Comfortable, Mr. Twain? You call poisoned wine and near decapitation comfortable? Lionel Twain: No. I call it inspiration. Sidney Wang: Have admired you ever since I was tiny little detective. Sidney Wang: What meaning of this, Mr. Twain? Lionel Twain: I will tell you, Mr. Wang, if YOU can tell ME why a man who possesses one of the most brilliant minds of this century can't say his *prepositions* or *articles!* "What IS THE," Mr. Wang! "What IS THE meaning of this?" Sidney Wang: That what I said! "What meaning of this?" Lionel Twain: How do I look so young? Quite simple. A complete vegetable diet, twelve hours sleep a night, and *lots* and *lots* of makeup. Sam Diamond: You say you know who's going to get it? Lionel Twain: Intimately. Inspector Milo Perrier: And you know how the crime is to be committed? Lionel Twain: Definitely. Sidney Wang: And exactly what time murder to take place? Lionel Twain: *The* murder. Precisely. Dora Charleston: Well, I know it's none of my business, but doesn't that mean that you're the murderer, Mr. Twain? Sam Diamond: You pit your wits with me, little man, and you won't have your wits to pit with, know what I mean? Dick Charleston: [after noticing that he is incorrectly seated next to his own wife, Charleston asks to switch places with Wang. An instant after they both stand up, two rapiers fall from the ceiling to bury themselves in the gentlemen's chairs]... Just as I thought: another test that could have cost us our lives, saved only by the fact that I am ENORMOUSLY well-bred. Sam Diamond: ...Lucky it wasn't me, or I'd be chopped liver by now. Sidney Wang: [reading the new maid's note] "I think butler is dead. My name is Yetta. I don't work Thursdays." Sam Diamond: If you ask me, anybody that offers a million bucks to solve a crime that ain't been committed yet has lost a lot more upstairs than his hair. Sidney Wang: Calm yourself. Man who argue with cow on wall is like train without wheels: very soon get nowhere. Milo Perrier: Oh be quiet! I'm sick of your fortune cookies! Sidney Wang: Oh, man who is sick of fortune cookies... [argument ensues] Shhh, shhh... cow talk again! [everyone holds hands to prevent themselves from being killed] Sam Diamond: Stop that. Stop that, I said. Dick Charleston: What is it, Diamond? Sam Diamond: The nurse is giving my palm the finger, the dirty old broad. Lionel Twain: No wives! I refuse to discuss this with wives! Inspector Milo Perrier: I don't like it. I don't like it one bit. Sidney Wang: I like it, but do not understand it. Inspector Milo Perrier: What do you make of all this, Wang? Sidney Wang: [long pause] Is confusing. Sidney Wang: Sh, sh, sh! Cow talk again. Lionel Twain: Aha, stumped already. Need some clues, Monsieur Perrier? Inspector Milo Perrier: Clues? I need no clues from you! I find my own clues, you demented lollipop! Dick Charleston: [about Sam] Bizarre little twit. Inspector Milo Perrier: Everything here has been rented for tonight. The butler, the cook, the food, the dining room chairs, everything! Jessica Marbles: You mean... Inspector Milo Perrier: Yes. This entire murder has been... catered. Sam Diamond: Look all over him. Dick Charleston: All over his body? Sam Diamond: Well, somebody's gotta do it. I'm busy standing guard. Dick Charleston: Why don't I stand guard? You look all over the body. Sam Diamond: All right, we'll take turns. You look over the first dead, naked body that we find and I'll look over the second. Inspector Milo Perrier: Touch nothing! Jessica Marbles: Will you stop saying "touch nothing?" We're all experienced criminologists. I find it insulting, debasing, and redundant to keep telling us to "touch nothing!" Inspector Milo Perrier: Oh, be quiet, woman! Jessica Marbles: Up yours, fella! Sidney Wang: Most amusing. Bickering detectives like making lamb stew: everything goes to pot! Sidney Wang: Answer simple, but question very hard. Sam Diamond: My hat's off to the man with the shiv in his back. Except for the fact that he's dead, he was no dope. Willie Wang: Why do I do all the dirty work, Pop? Sidney Wang: 'Cause your mother not here to do it. Dora Charleston: Where's my Dickie? [everyone stares at her] Dora Charleston: Sorry. Where's my husband? Inspector Milo Perrier: A mannequin. Sam Diamond: No, a dummy. Dick Charleston: Another diversion. He gives us meaningless clues to confuse us, dangles red herrings before our eyes, bedazzles us with bizarre banalities, while all the time precious seconds are ticking away towards a truly terrible murder still to come. Sam Diamond: You're good, Charleston. You're not my kind of cop, but you're smart and you smell good. You're not a pansy, I know that, but what the hell are ya? Dick Charleston: Classy, I suppose. Tess Skeffington: I'm scared, Sam. Hold me. Sam Diamond: Hold yourself. I'm busy. Inspector Milo Perrier: Doors and windows will automatically open at dawn, and one of us here will be one million dollars richer, and one of us will be going to the gas chamber to be hung. Sam Diamond: Shut up, all of ya's. Nobody move! Dick Charleston: What is it? Sam Diamond: I have to go to the can again. I don't wanna miss nothin.' Tess Skeffington: Twain picked up Sam in a gay bar. Sam Diamond: I was working on a case! Working. Tess Skeffington: Every night for six months? Sidney Wang: Someone just put deadly snake in room. Wake me when it come near bed. Dora Charleston: I want you to know, Dickie, that if you're the murderer, I'll still love you. I don't think it would be right for us to make love, but I'd still love you. Dick Charleston: Now let's see what we have here. We have one missing, dead, naked butler, one host with a butcher's knife in his back, and one poisonous scorpion crawling up our sheets. Dora Charleston: Is that what that is? Dick Charleston: Yes. They can kill instantly. I suggest we don't move. Dora Charleston: For how long? Dick Charleston: Quite possibly for the rest of our lives. Marcel: I will tell everyone that you wear a toupee. Inspector Milo Perrier: They already know! Marcel: Then why do you wear it? Inspector Milo Perrier: I didn't know that you knew. Tess Skeffington: He was very good to me. He would take me to the circus and give me candy. We stopped going when I was about twenty-six. I'm sorry, Sam. Sam Diamond: Twenty-six? What the hell kind of a circus was it? Willie Wang: Good night, Dad. Sidney Wang: Should have adopted pussycat. Inspector Milo Perrier: Forgive me, but I was talking about patricide, not uncle-cide. Sam Diamond: I was in disguise in disguise in disguise. You work hard for fifty bucks a day in this racket. Sam Diamond: I'll be around if you need me. All you gotta do is whistle, and you know how to whistle, don't ya, baby? Tess Skeffington: Certainly. What do you mean? I don't understand you... Sam Diamond: All right, never mind. Forget it. You ruined it. Sam Diamond: I never did nothin' to a man that I wouldn't do to a woman. Dora Charleston: I don't understand. Why would anybody want to steal a dead, naked body? Dick Charleston: Well, dear, there are people who, um... [whispers rest into her ear] Dora Charleston: Oh, that's tacky! That's REALLY tacky! Willie Wang: [as they are about to leave Twain Manor]... I don't get something, Pop: WAS there a murder, or WASN'T there? Sidney Wang: Yes: Killed good weekend. Drive, please. Tess Skeffington: Sam, you're spitting on the nurse. Dick Charleston: How lovely dear! We're in Wang's wing! Milo Perrier: One moment, where is the soup? Jamesir Bensonmum: In your dish, sir! Milo Perrier: There is nothing in my dish but my dish. Tess Skeffington: He was arrested in 1932 in Chicago for selling pornographic Bibles. The D.A. couldn't make the charge stick when the church refused to turn over the Bibles. Dick Charleston: Now see here, Diamond. That's a pretty tacky thing to say, isn't it? Sam Diamond: Well, it's a pretty tacky world, Mr. Charleston. Milo Perrier: No, no, it's all right. My wine is not poisoned. It was just a bad year. Dick Charleston: [introducing them] My wife Dora. Inspector Perrier. Milo Perrier: Trs charmant. [kisses her hand, then coughs] Dora Charleston: I'm sorry. Our room is so dusty. Milo Perrier: My fault. I should have blown first. Milo Perrier: Open my door. Marcel: You have chocolate on your face. Milo Perrier: What? Marcel: Ze candy bar. It is all over your face. Milo Perrier: Imbecile! That's my moustache! Marcel: Lick it and see. Milo Perrier: [licks his lips] Wipe it off. My hands are sticky. Marcel: [licks handkerchief and begins wiping Perrier's face] Hold still please... Sloppy! Dora Charleston: Thank you. You are? Jamesir Bensonmum: Bensonmum. Dora Charleston: Thank you, Benson. Jamesir Bensonmum: No, no, no, no, no... Bensonmum. My name is Bensonmum. Dick Charleston: Bensonmum? Jamesir Bensonmum: Yes, sir. Jamesir Bensonum. Dick Charleston: Jamesir? Jamesir Bensonmum: Yes, sir. Dick Charleston: Jamesir Bensonmum? Jamesir Bensonmum: Yes, sir. Dick Charleston: How odd. Jamesir Bensonmum: My father's name, sir. Dick Charleston: What was your father's name? Jamesir Bensonmum: Howard. Howard Bensonmum. Dick Charleston: Your father was Howard Bensonmum? Dora Charleston: Leave it be, Dickie. I've had enough. Milo Perrier: What is it? What's happened? Sidney Wang: Something wrong in kitchen. Milo Perrier: With our dinner! Sidney Wang: No, patience, patience. Sam Diamond: Is someone in there? [pointing to kitchen] Dick Charleston: Someone in the kitchen with dinna? Sidney Wang: Quickly. Go back in kitchen, get dining room key from pocket of dead butler. Milo Perrier: You don't have to say "dead butler." It's bad enough I have to put my hand in his pocket. Sam Diamond: Maybe I'm just a patsy being set up take the fall, but I'm not falling for any o'yous, you understand? Tess Skeffington: Not even me, Sam? Sam Diamond: Why don't you fall in love with the Jap kid and get off my back? Sidney Wang: Very interesting theory, Mr. Charleston, but you overlook one very important point. Dick Charleston: And that is? Sidney Wang: Is STUPID! Is most stupid theory I ever heard. [laughs] Lionel Twain: In need of a hint Miss Marbles? You all mistake what you assume. THEY NEVER LEFT THE DINING ROOM! Count the numbers one to ten, turn the knob and try again! Dick Charleston: [Cutting-room floor-scene of the Charlestons driving through heavy fog to Twain Manor]... You know something, darling? I smell crime in the air. Dora Charleston: I'm not surprised. You just ran over a small animal. Dick Charleston: Did I? Oh, sorry about that... LOOK OUT! [he slams on the brakes to avoid hitting Tess]... Hello out there! Are you hurt? Tess Skeffington: [exhausted from walking]... Oh, I'm fine - I just hiked five miles back this way from the gas station. Thank Heavens you saw me when you did. Dick Charleston: Oh yes, I wouldn't want blood on my hands twice in one night. Well, keep to the side of the road. [he drives off, leaving Tess standing there!] Doctor Watson: [cutting-room floor-scene on the foggy road, near the movie's end; as the Wangs are departing from Twain Manor, they pass a vintage car heading up TO the Manor. The other car is driven by Holmes and Watson]... I say, old boy! Could you possibly give us directions to - Hello, it's Mr. Sidney Wang! Sherlock Holmes: [smoking his famous pipe] Greetings, Mr. Wang. Sidney Wang: Ah, greetings to you as well! You have something to ask, I believe. Directions to where? Doctor Watson: Ah, yes! We've been "cordially invited to dinner and a murder," by a Mr. Lionel Twain. Willie Wang: *Lionel Twain?* Listen, you guys don't wanna...! Sidney Wang: [cutting him off] Never mind him, please. Here - you go up this road, past bridge to "22 Twain." No can miss it. Doctor Watson: Ever so much obliged. Good day, then! [he and Holmes drive off] Willie Wang: I don't get it, Pop! Why didn't you just tell them it was all a ripoff? Sidney Wang: Ah, let idiots find out for themselves! Drive, please. Willie Wang: I don't get it, Pop. Who would hire a blind butler? Sidney Wang: Very clever. How much he know he get paid? Sidney Wang: [reading note from mute cook] I think butler is dead! My name is Yetta, I don't work Thursdays. Dora Charleston: Ask her if she sleeps in, Dickie! Dora Charleston: [after Wang demonstrates his wine was poisoned] Great Scott Mr. Wang, you've saved our lives. Milo Perrier: Not quite, Mrs. Charleston. Bon Apetit [drinks wine - company gasps and exclaims] . Since Monsieur Wang was the only one who could detect such a poison, he was the only one who was tested. Point 5: Mr. Twain is both beguiling and fiendish. [crys out] Mon Amis! Dora Charleston: Oh get a doctor quick! Milo Perrier: No, no, it's alright, my wine is not poisoned. It was just a bad year. Tess Skeffington: Sam, why do you keep all those naked muscle men magazines in your office? Sam Diamond: Suspects. Always looking for suspects. Dick Charleston: Excuse me, I was wondering if you've seen a white... Wang! Willie Wang: A white wang?

Other Titles

  1. Eine Leiche zum Dessert (1976) (ENG)
    (West Germany)

  2. Invito a cena con delitto (1976) (ENG)
    (Italy) (imdb display title)

  3. Verzeihung sind sie der Mörder? (1977) (ENG)
    (East Germany) (imdb display title)

  4. Leiche zum Dessert, Eine (1976) (GER)
    (West Germany)

  5. Invito a cena con delitto (1976) (ITA)

Shooting/Filming Locations

  1. Oakley Court, Windsor Road, Oakley Green, Windsor, Berkshire, England, UK
  2. Warner Brothers Burbank Studios - 4000 Warner Boulevard, Burbank, California, USA - (studio)


- 'Orson Welles' (qv) was originally considered for the role of Inspector Wang but was unable to accept because he was appearing in a play in Italy.

- 'Neil Simon (I)' (qv) remained on the set to take care of re-writes, as he did with this picture's sequel, _The Cheap Detective (1978)_ (qv). Simon took such a shine to 'Alec Guinness' (qv) during the picture's production that he told him if he did not like anything in the film, he'd immediately rewrite it for him, but Guinness assured him it was great fun for him.

- 'Myrna Loy' (qv) was originally offered the part of Dora Charleston (a role that was a spoof of the character that she had played in the Thin Man movies) but she declined, later stating that "it would have been ridiculous to have Myrna Loy doing Myrna Loy". She also stated that she didn't want her "ass pinched by 'David Niven (I)' (qv)".

- During the first scene when 'Alec Guinness' (qv) licks the stamps for the invitations, the stamps used were the 8 cent 'Dwight D. Eisenhower' (qv) "No Dot", three-color stamps released in May 1971 and not the more popular 6 cent stamp released nearly a year earlier. First-class postage stamps were up to 13 cents by the time the