Little Murders (1971) Review
The pulse of this movie is subversive and menacing, and even though there are many, many great laughs, I think the classification of it as a comedy is wrong. It never feels like a comedy. In terms of tone, it is something like the pilot for Twin Peaks and a Mamet play and an Odets play, but with some strange off off off off Broadway claustrophobia and seventies nihilistic horror. It displays a collapsed and paranoid urban environment in which people are combative with words and isolated by them.
I feel it should be essential viewing for any writer, as it contains four of the best-- if not the actual four best-- monologues I've ever heard in a movie. Arkin and Sutherland have amazing monologues that are only marginally upstaged by those given by Gould and Jacobi.
I laughed many, many times (as did many people in the sold out screening I attended), but when it ended, the haunting and thoughtful core of the movie lingered more than did the comedy.
A rich and allegorical piece that deserves serious study and accolades.
(I saw a 35mm print of the movie at Film Forum, N.Y.)