Little Murders (1971) - Rotten Tomatoes

Little Murders1971

Little Murders (1971)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Little Murders Photos

Movie Info

Hilarity alternates with appalling disasters and violence in this disturbing comedy scripted by cartoonist Jules Feiffer, based on his stage play of the same name. This film represents well-known actor Alan Arkin's first time out as a movie director. The story concerns news photographer Alfred Chamberlain (Elliott Gould) who is unable to feel anything. He is ambivalent about whether this is a great advantage or something to blame his mother for. This begins to change when Patsy Newquist (Marcia Rodd) comes into his life. Alfred tries to get her to follow his philosophy of indifference and apathy while she and her family of oddballs, including her father (Vincent Gardenia), advocate joining the world's insanity. Highlights include vignettes of Donald Sutherland as a slick minister and of Lou Jacobi as a judge. Arkin shows up in front of the camera briefly as a police detective.


Elliott Gould
as Alfred Chamberlain
Marcia Rodd
as Patsy Newquist
Vincent Gardenia
as Mr. Newquist
Elizabeth Wilson
as Mrs. Newquist
John Randolph
as Mr. Chamberlain
Doris Roberts
as Mrs. Chamberlain
Alan Arkin
as Detective
View All

Critic Reviews for Little Murders

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (5)

Often exceedingly funny.

June 2, 2020 | Full Review…

Ruthlessly funny.

June 2, 2020 | Full Review…

This film, with brilliant screenplay by Feiffer and matching direction by Alan Arkin and a cast that almost outshines them both, is the quintessential comment on our human and/or family relationships, our way of coping with the horrors around us.

October 1, 2019 | Full Review…

Given our current culture of random violence, Little Murders feels eerily topical.

August 16, 2017 | Full Review…

Alan Arkin's Little Murders is a very New York kind of movie, paranoid, masochistic and nervous. It left me with a cold knot in my stomach, a vague fear that something was gaining on me.

October 23, 2004 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

...something of a neglected classic...

August 21, 2021 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Little Murders

This is a brilliant black comedy based on a great off Broadway play. The story is fantastic and comments on city life and the postmodern world in an outrageous way. I love this movie, and I recommend it.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer


When my friends recommended this movie to me, I expected something a little different than what I got. Not that I was disappointed at all, this movie is probably one of the more original films I have seen in a long time. I loved the monologues and enjoyed the performances (Elliot Gould is amazing and it's a damn shame that some only know him as Monica's dad from Friends). The climax is a little out there, but I didn't mind it because I thought it fit with the rest of the film. The only problem I had was the performance of Alan Arkin who I thought was just annoying. Overall, very enjoyable and nice to see something out of the ordinary.

Tim Sigur
Tim Sigur

Super Reviewer


probably a better play; movie sort of hammers in front of you but scenes are great on their own; Donald Sutherland's monologue is incredible

Adam Mahler
Adam Mahler

Super Reviewer

Little Murders Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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