Murder Can Hurt You

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Murder Can Hurt You
Written byRon Friedman
Directed byRoger Duchowny
Starring(See article)
Theme music composerArtie Kane
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Douglas S. Cramer
Aaron Spelling
Producer(s)Shelley Hull
Robert L. Jacks
E. Duke Vincent
CinematographyArchie R. Dalzell
Editor(s)John F. Schreyer
Running time100 min.
Production company(s)Aaron Spelling Productions
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Original networkABC
Original releaseMay 21, 1980

Murder Can Hurt You (stylized onscreen as Murder Can Hurt You!) is a 1980 American made-for-television comedy film that parodies detective and police TV shows of the 1960s and 1970s, much as Murder by Death spoofed literary detectives.[1] The film was directed by Roger Duchowny.[2]


A mysterious "Man in White" is out to kill famous detectives in bizarre ways, and the heroes are obvious parodies of Kojak, Baretta, Starsky and Hutch, Ironside, Police Woman, Columbo, Mrs. Columbo, and McCloud.[1]

The movie starts with the Man In White killing Lambretta, after which Lt. Nojack calls a meeting of all the best detectives in the city. During this meeting the man in white threatens to kill them all, locks them in their meeting room, and sets a bomb to kill them all while he makes his escape.

The Aaron Spelling Productions logo at the end pays homage to Mark VII Limited, using a hammer and stamp.


Actor Character Sends up:
Don Adams
(voice only)
Narrator --
Marty Allen Det. Starkos Det. Stavros
Victor Buono Ironbottom former Chief of Detectives
Robert Ironside
John Byner Hatch Kenneth "Hutch" Hutchinson
Tony Danza Pony Lambretta Tony Baretta
Jamie Farr Studsky David Starsky
Mitchell Kreindel The Man in White --
Gavin MacLeod Nojack Lt. Theo Kojak
Buck Owens MacSkye Marshal Samuel McCloud
Connie Stevens Salty Sanderson Sgt. Suzanne "Pepper" Anderson
Liz Torres Mrs. Palumbo Mrs. Columbo
Jimmie Walker Parks the Pusher Mark Sanger
Burt Young Lt. Palumbo Lt. Columbo


  1. ^ a b "Murder Can Hurt You". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "Murder Can Hurt You". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved May 21, 2016.

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