• Chris Kirby

    ★★½ Watched by Chris Kirby 08 Feb, 2015

    De Palma's early feature film is experimental in a few ways. It's experimental for the time period it was made and the very unique techniques used to film the picture. The opening scenes of the film illustrate this the most with its use of stop motion and photographs, aspect ratio changes, and the simple fact that the narrative is a non linear collage of sequences that excite and perplex. There's also some incredible film variant techniques used halfway through the…


  • Justin Geldzahler

    ★★ Added by Justin Geldzahler

    A mess of a debut feature, but the puckish sensibility of De Palma remains apparent through the film. More than most debuts, MURDER A LA MOD feels like a blueprint for every De Palma feature that came after. The use of filmmaking and hidden cameras as plot devices (not to mention opening with a film-within-a-film scene to trick the audience). Women in peril. Voyeurism bordering on stalking. William Finley singing rock n' roll.

    Unfortunately, much of the film is a…



    ★★ Watched by MRT0AST 15 Oct, 2014

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Sloppy Seconds: Part 2 of a tour through the films of Brian De Palma

    In the 4 years after co-directing The Wedding Party, Brian De Palma took to working for hire. He made films for the Treasury Department, the NAACP, and perhaps most famously, for a CBS special about the Museum of Modern Art’s op-art exhibit, The Responsive Eye, hosted by Mike Wallace. Perhaps no one but De Palma knows the details of how he got back into feature filmmaking,…


  • TajLV

    ★★½ Watched by TajLV 31 Oct, 2014

    This was the first full-length film for which Brian De Palma served as both writer and director. It was lost for many years after its single theater debut in New York City in 1968, available mainly as a bootleg edition in Dutch-speaking countries thereafter. However, the Criterion Collection revived it in 2011 as a bonus feature for "Blow Out," which also includes the graveyard scene from this on Manny Karp's television in Chapter 8.

    Branded as "experimental," this film bears…


  • Jacob Gehman

    ★★★½ Added by Jacob Gehman

    Enjoyable. Somewhat awkward, but the film hints at de Palma's later genius, while wrapping it in a sleek noir-sleaze-artsy exterior. Fun characters help make the more awkward aspects tolerable.


  • Tyler Dixon

    ★★★ Watched by Tyler Dixon 29 Sep, 2014

    Starts off pretty meh, but gets interesting after the 30 minute mark. The Otto character is amazing and easily the best part of the movie. If I was going to rip anything off, it would be that.


  • JC

    ★★ Watched by JC 06 Aug, 2014 4

    My Criterion blu-ray of Blow Out sold on amazon (after seeing Antonioni's Blow-Up, I figured I'd never watch Blow Out again), and while looking through the disc the night before I shipped it out, I noticed an early De Palma film, in it's entirety, was part of the Special Features. Might as well see it while I have the chance!

    This was an experimental and early film from De Palma [his very first, to be exact]. There's very little versatility…


  • Scott Davis

    Watched by Scott Davis 05 Mar, 2014

    Criterion describes this as an experimental film. That's pretty apt, since Brian De Palma uses this film to experiment with nontraditional techniques both in storytelling and direction. Woe to the 42nd Street raincoater who went into the theatre expecting cheap thrills of the David Friedman variety and got this kooky and surprisingly non-explicit work instead. I wish I could say it's a complete success, but the film is often a disjointed mess. It screams of someone trying stuff out, without…


  • Christian Ortega

    ★★★½ Watched by Christian Ortega 14 Jan, 2014

    Being the first De Palma feature it's pretty well done. Although not as masterfully done as Nolan's Following, it reminded me of that film a lot. Maybe because of it's noir style. This is a pretty good film and if you can make it pass the first twenty minutes or so, which are dull as hell, you're certainly in for a thrill.


  • Horcruxnelius Doubleboss

    ★★★½ Watched by Horcruxnelius Doubleboss 03 Jan, 2014



  • Lee Howard

    ★★★ Watched by Lee Howard 29 Sep, 2013

    The Count's Verdict: I was quite taken aback at just how many of the themes and motifs which would go on to define De Palma's career are already fully present in his 'lost' first feature. Voyeuristic use of technology and POV shots, scantily-clad women and murder, non-linear narrative structure and multiple protagonists, experimental camera techniques and a playful, self-reflexive tone, it is all here. In fact, De Palma's debut film is actually so energetically cine-literate and experimental (even featuring a…


  • sweaternine

    ★★½ Watched by sweaternine 05 Jun, 2013

    BLACK DAHLIA came out 40 years after MURDER A LA MOD and has the same shot in it -- black-and-white audition, half-dressed actress playing an actress, directly addressing the viewfinder, with De Palma's own voice giving offscreen direction. It's those wormholes that keep you watching this debut feature, specifically how even then De Palma works to curdle exploitation. As a thriller, it doesn't hold up under the weight of self-referentiality (a charge I wouldn't levy against his later thrillers), although it gets away with Finley's silent comedy to a much greater degree than I expected. Only of interest to De Palma fans, but: of interest.