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      Little Murders

      PG Released Feb 9, 1971 1 hr. 50 min. Comedy Drama List
      71% 14 Reviews Tomatometer 80% 1,000+ Ratings Audience Score Patsy (Marcia Rodd) and Alfred (Elliott Gould) meet when she rescues him from a beating on the crime-ridden streets of New York City. Patsy is immediately taken aback by Alfred's apathetic approach to life, which is in stark contrast to her ardent optimism. She pursues and ultimately marries him in the hopes of changing him. However, after a devastating and random act of violence, Alfred and his in-laws descend further into the insanity and violence surrounding them. Read More Read Less

      Audience Reviews

      View All (71) audience reviews
      Tic Toc M The Jules Feifer masterpiece of 1971 was "Carnal Knowledge", directed by Mike Nichols, with Jack Nicholson, Art Garfunkel, Candice Bergen, Ann Margaret, Rita Moreno and Carol Kane. Not this movie. '71 was a transitional year for American movies - possibly the weakest of the 70s due to the generation gap and Hollywood not knowing what to do with itself. Elliot Gould is not my favorite actor, full disclosure, but I certainly have liked him in other movies (California Split, MASH, etc). This character was typical of ' 71. Some good over the top performances but, like "Dollars" later that year (and lots of others), it stylistically doesn't know what it wants to be. I never loved "A New Leaf" as much as other people, but I rank that higher than "Little Murders". But those two are in the ballpark. "Where's Poppa" from the year before. I find these three movies very dated, very '70/'71. "Carnal Knowledge" however is a transcendent masterpiece of cinema, acting and writing, one of the very best of the 70s/ever. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 09/23/23 Full Review Audience Member Another eerie, nihilistic, pitch-black comedy with Gould. It's a heightened story, especially by the end, but it just helps paint the pessimistic point it's trying to get across. I think this is an unfairly forgotten minor classic. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 09/07/21 Full Review Audience Member The acting was universally excellent, especially Donald Sutherland as a hippie preacher. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/12/23 Full Review jon c Life and love can be funny even if people are dropping like flies. A young Elliot Gould with Marcia Rodd and Donald Sutherland. Alan Arkin's film debut and directorial debut as well based on the play of the same name. Patsy and Alfred meet then fall in love after she saves him from being beat up. She's more optimistic towards things while he's the more apathetic person. He feels no pain if his mind is elsewhere not seeing the point in any of it. Patsy is determined to mold him to get him to actually feel something genuine. After a violent act though Alfreds in laws fall into the madness and chaos of what surrounds them. Arkin is the paranoid detective who believes there's no law. Sutherland is the minister. This movie is a social comment on love, fatherhood, involvement, brotherhood, and the world we live in. Can these two be together despite their polar opposites? What's marriage without god? Can one person change somebody while still being in love? If you don't fight you don't feel, if you don't feel you don't love. Does anybody have the right to destroy a man for doing his job? Is it better to be at peace with the system not changing until it completely collapses? It's dangerous to challenge what's already flawed. There are reasons for doing things the old way. Elliot Gould's performance soars although there is a lot of philosophical discussions sprinkled throughout. The other failing here is that Alan Arkin himself doesn't show up until after an hour and a half. By then it feels very late. Didn't find a lot of moments to laugh so I wouldn't really call this a black comedy. The approach they took here I wasn't a fan of. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Ambitious dark comedy. Managed to express the bleakness of individual existence and the eccentricity of survival along with the flawed nature of relationships while making you laugh. Well worth your time to see and experience this little under-appreciated gem! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/28/23 Full Review Audience Member The best comedy movie ever made! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/26/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Critics Reviews

      View All (14) Critics Reviews
      Keith Uhlich (All (Parentheses)) In Little Murders, art — itself included — provides no sufficient response to chaos and barbarity. [Guest post by Michael Joshua Rowin] Feb 27, 2023 Full Review Derek Malcolm Guardian Often exceedingly funny. Jun 2, 2020 Full Review Margaret Hinxman Daily Telegraph (UK) Ruthlessly funny. Jun 2, 2020 Full Review Eddie Harrison film-authority.com ...something of a neglected classic... Rated: 4/5 Aug 21, 2021 Full Review Tony Mastroianni Cleveland Press The movie tells no story. It is almost an unconnected series of sketches, some funny, others dull, all uneven. Apr 5, 2019 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 2/5 Jul 3, 2005 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Patsy (Marcia Rodd) and Alfred (Elliott Gould) meet when she rescues him from a beating on the crime-ridden streets of New York City. Patsy is immediately taken aback by Alfred's apathetic approach to life, which is in stark contrast to her ardent optimism. She pursues and ultimately marries him in the hopes of changing him. However, after a devastating and random act of violence, Alfred and his in-laws descend further into the insanity and violence surrounding them.
      Director
      Alan Arkin
      Screenwriter
      Jules Feiffer
      Distributor
      20th Century Fox
      Rating
      PG
      Genre
      Comedy, Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Feb 9, 1971, Original