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Martha Beck (Hayek) and Raymond Fernandez (Leto) were America's notorious "Lonely Hearts Killers." Their lethal scam was simple; they would swindle and then viciously murder lovelorn war widows who would answer their personal ads in which Ray would describe himself as a sexy Latin Lover. Ironically, Ray's initial introduction to Martha was as a prospective mark. But when they met, it was love at first sight, perhaps as a result of their penchant for kinky sex and their mutual love for duplicity and easy money. With Martha posing as Ray's sister, they bilked elderly spinsters and widows of their savings and then viciously murdered them in a bloodbath of sexual frenzy. When they were arrested, Martha and Ray confessed to 12 killings, although it is believed the actual number is closer to 20. At their sensational trial, Martha and Ray cooed, held hands and seemed as though they could not get enough of each other. Their plea of not guilty by reason of insanity was rejected, and on August 22, 1949, the homicidal lovers were sentenced to death. After numerous appeals, they were electrocuted on March 8, 1951, side-by-side in Sing Sing prison.
© 2006 Equity Pictures Medienfonds GmbH & Co. KG III. All Rights Reserved.
Common Sense Media
Common Sense Says
Noir-ish murder tale is far too dark for kids.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that most kids probably won't be interested in this period crime drama about a real-life couple who embarked on a murder spree in the 1940s. Just as well, since the movie doesn't skimp at detailing either their sex life or their terrible crimes, both verbally and visually. Some of what happens onscreen may be difficult to stomach (shootings, bludgeonings, suicide, etc.). Suspense leads to shock, and quiet introspection can immediately switch to outright gore. The killers themselves have very little to redeem them as characters, though the lead detective does undergo a transformation that may be inspiring. There's period-accurate smoking, drinking, and swearing.
A Lot or A Little?
The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
More on Common Sense Media
- Genre:Drama, Thriller
- Release Date:July 31, 2007
- Audio Format:Stereo
- Screen Pass Eligible:Yes
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