The Honeymoon Killers [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1969]

A chilling portrayal of desperation and murder, director Leonard Kastle's The Honeymoon Killers arrives on DVD courtesy of The Criterion Collection. Presented in 1.85:1, the image is generally sharp, with solid blacks and a clear, crisp image. The audio, rendered in English Dolby Digital Mono, rings through as tinny and hollow at times, making it difficult to understand dialogue. This is not likely a problem with the mastering, but the result of the original audio recording process. Menus are cleverly designed in the manner of old newspaper ads, and are easy to navigate. As usual with any Criterion release, the extra features offer an insightful look into the film with a variety of options for the inquisitive viewer. A new interview with writer/director Kastle provides much insight into the origins of the story and the film production, and an illustrated essay by Scott Christianson offers a disturbing look into the actual crime spree that inspired the film. Detailed cast and crew biographies by film historian Bruce Eder are also offered, as is a revealing essay by critic Gary Giddins.
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Special Features

  • New high-definition digital transfer, enhanced for widescreen televisions
  • New video interview with writer/director Leonard Kastle
  • Illustrated essay by Scott Christianson ("Condemned: Inside the Sing Sing Death House") about the true crime story of "Lonely Hearts" killers, Ray Fernandez and Martha Beck
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Cast and crew biographies by film historian Bruce Eder
  • New essay by critic Gary Giddins
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition
  • Closed Captioned


The Honeymoon Killers
Martha Beck (Shirley Stoler) is a lonely nurse who takes care of her invalid mother in Mobile, Alabama. Starved for affection, she places an ad in a lonely hearts column and soon receives a letter from Ray Fernandez (Tony LoBianco). He meets her and runs off with her dowry to New York City. Martha puts her mother in a nursing home and follows the handsome con artist. She agrees to pose as his sister as the two fleece lonely, unsuspecting women out of their money. Martha's jealousies of Ray's victims leads to murder. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, an elderly matron is killed and her child is drowned in a washing machine. Martha considers confessing to the police when she finally realizes Ray will never be true to her or any other woman. The story was taken from actual events, and the real-life couple were eventually executed in Sing Sing prison in 1951. The black-and-white photography adds an aura of authenticity to the documentary-style production. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Shirley Stoler
    Shirley Stoler - Martha Beck
  • Tony Lo Bianco
    Tony Lo Bianco - Raymond Fernandez
  • Image coming soon
    Dortha Duckworth - Mrs. Beck
  • Doris Roberts
    Doris Roberts - Bunny
  • Image coming soon
    Marilyn Chris - Myrtle Young
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