Getting Away With Murder

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -1 1/2

Jack Lambert (Dan Akroyd) teaches ethics at a college in Massachusetts. Jack tries to live his life based on ethical and moral principles of right and wrong. So when he discovers that his next door neighbor, Max Mueller (Jack Lemmon), is a convicted Nazi war criminal, the ethics professor is understandably outraged. Jack becomes obsessed with Max, takes matters into his own hands and poisons him. Max dies, but Jack is not satisfied since the police rule his death a suicide, not a murder. Jack writes an anonymous letter claiming responsibility and the police get suspicious of him. At the same time, some old war documents are discovered which supposedly prove that Max was not a war criminal, but a lowly cook in the German army. Jack's ethical reasons for killing Max start to crumble so he tries to make things up by marrying Max's dour daughter, Inga (Lily Tomlin). GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER is an apt title for this poorly written, boring film with no purpose.

Jack uses ethical considerations when he kills Max, believing that the ends justify the means and that the notorious Nazi war criminal deserves to die by Jack's own hands. Clearly, this is not Christian ethics where the state is God's instrument of justice and where vengeance for wrongdoing is not up to the individual but up to God. Besides being hopelessly confused ethically, the film is also offensive. There are three gratuitous scenes of implied intercourse. Fortunately, no nudity is shown in them. Offensive language with many profanities creeps into the script. Billed as a comedy, this movie is in very bad taste and cheapens the horrors of the holocaust by trying to make it into a joke. Unfortunately, it falls into that Hollywood pit of being both morally offensive and poorly made.

Preview Reviewer: Greg Wilson
Savoy Pictures, 152 W. 57th St., 38th Flr., NY, NY 10019

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (8) times - Mild 5, Moderate 3

Obscene Language: Few (3) times F-word 1, others 2

Profanity: Many (13) times: Regular 6 (G, J), Exclamatory 7

Violence: Once - Mild (off -screen fight)

Sex: Implied three times, twice graphically with no nudity

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (references to sex)

Drugs: None

Other: Implies killing ok if you believe, but don't know, person is 'evil;' holocaust horrors cheapened

Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Adults

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