Rent Little Murders (1971)

3.5 of 5 from 66 ratings
1h 48min
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Adapted from the controversial stage play by Jules Feiffer (Carnal Knowledge), this savage, nihilistic black comedy was the startling directorial debut of actor Alan Arkin. When a severely depressed fashion photographer (Elliott Gould) meets an optimistic young woman (Marcia Rodd), she is determined to save him amidst the series of random muggings, sniper shootings, garbage strikes and total blackouts that are ravaging the city of New York.
, , , , , , , , , ,
Jack Brodsky, Elliott Gould
Jules Feiffer
Classics, Comedy
Release Date:
Not released
Run Time:
110 minutes
Release Date:
Run Time:
108 minutes
English LPCM Mono
English Hard of Hearing
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
BLU-RAY Regions:
  • Audio commentary with Elliott Gould and Jules Feiffer (2004)
  • Audio commentary with film journalist Samm Deighan (2018)
  • Introductions by Alan Arkin and Jules Feiffer (2018)
  • A Certain Amount of Black (2018, 18 mins): new interview with acclaimed actor-producer Elliott Gould Beginner's Luck (2018, 19 mins): new interview with celebrated actor-director Alan Arkin Acts of Random Violence (2018, 32 mins): new interview with award-winning writer and satirist Jules Feiffer
  • Speaking of Films: 'Little Murders' (1971, 30 mins): original promotional recording of Jules Feiffer in discussion with academics and critics Susan Rice, Robert Geller, Leonard Maltin and Sean Driscoll
  • Radio interviews (1971, 32 mins): promotional recordings of Elliott Gould, Donald Sutherland and Alan Arkin
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Trailer commentary with Larry Karaszewski (2013, 4 mins): a short critical appreciation
  • Original TV spots
  • Original radio spots
  • Image gallery: publicity stills and promotional material
  • World Premiere on Blu-ray

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Reviews (1) of Little Murders

A masterclass on the absurdity of humanity - Little Murders review by SN

Spoiler Alert


There are many films set in a dystopian future and although Little Murders is not supposed to be science fiction what the film has to say about society is pretty compelling. This is my understanding:

• Alfred Chamberlain was happy went he felt nothing. The minute he decided to open up society (literally) shot him down and he was forced to become numb.

• Being celebrated in the media for taking photos of shit is pretty self-explanatory.

• Donald Sutherland's Rev Dupas understands that the institution of marriage is a facade and is an institution done out of habit than necessity, but also knows he is powerless to do anything about it, so resigns himself to saying "everything is fine" in the process of getting beaten up.

• The unawareness of Alfred's upbringing and his emotional state by his parents while being wholly aware of philosophy and books (which brings them greater happiness) is a criticism of the bourgois failure to connect and to try to explain away problems with thinking.

• The fact that the Alfred, Carol and Kenny became delightfully happy when they gave in to the craziness instead of trying to make sense of it says a lot about finding identity and being part of a tribe even though they know it is amoral.

• The heavy breather who turned out to be a quite a nice guy is just a great example of the duplicity in all of us.

• The train ride when everyone ignores victims or pretend its not happening is a testament to looking the other way because its not worth getting involved. The genuis bit when Alfred himself ignored another victim on the stairs and did not help him spoke volumes.

All of this from a first viewing. The first half was a bit of a slog as the world building needed time. It needed 20 minutes chopped off - maybe the scene with Judge Stern could be axed.

It is actually quite a clever film and has a lot to say.

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