Trivia / Murder by Death

  • All-Star Cast: Peter Falk, Eileen Brennan, Alec Guinness, David Niven, Peter Sellers, Dame Maggie Smith, a young James Cromwell, and a rare acting appearance by Truman Capote.
  • Casting Gag: Peter Falk had started playing Columbo five years before.
    • Even though his character doesn't spoof Columbo, before he changes into his white tuxedo jacket, Falk wears the same trench coat he wore when playing Columbo.
  • Deleted Scene: Several additional scenes were included in the film's network-TV airing. None are available on the DVD release, but all can be found on YouTube.
    • Dick and Dora Charleston encounter Tess Skeffington traveling on foot en route to Lionel Twain's. See here.
    • Miss Marbles converses with a taxi driver (also played by Peter Sellers) on arriving at Twain's. See here.
    • Willie Wang gloats about finding his own "clue", which turns out to be worthless. See here.
    • Finally, expies of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson arrive late, after the whole thing is over. See here.
  • Fake Nationality:
    • British actor Peter Sellers as a Chinese detective. Likely a parody of how Charlie Chan had never been played by a Chinese actor in live action). It is later revealed he was actually either Lionel Twain's illegitimate son or adopted and raised by Twain. In either case, no explanation is given for his speech.
    • American actor James Coco plays Milo Perrier, who (depending on which line of dialogue you believe) is either a Frenchman or a Belgian.
    "Never underestimate a Frenchman's nostrils, Miss Twain."
    "I'm not a Frenchy! I'm a Belgy!"
    • Not to mention fellow American James Cromwell as Perrier's chauffeur Marcel.
  • Follow the Leader: A 1979 television movie titled Murder Can Hurt You! took this film's concept and aimed it at '70s police shows with characters such as Nojack, Lt. Polumbo, Sgt. Salty Pepper, and Studsky & Hatch.
  • Old Shame: Peter Sellers hated the script and thought the movie would be an absolute bomb. It was a smash hit.
  • Playing Against Type: Sir Alec Guiness as a strange butler may surprise people, as well as Peter Falk playing a Humphrey Bogart-style hard-boiled detective instead of his usual Columbo.note 
  • What Could Have Been: Orson Welles was originally considered to play Sidney Wang but had a scheduling conflict.
  • You Look Familiar: Sellers and Niven squared off in the original Pink Panther film.

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