In the late 40s, the swindler Raymond Martinez Fernandez seduces lonely women to steal their possessions. When he meets the deranged Martha Beck, they fall in love for each other. With the jealous Martha posing as if she were his sister, the crook Ray seduces and kills other women. Two New York Detectives - Elmer C. Robinson and Charles Hildebrandt - chase the sociopaths, but without having the evidence of a body. In the end of 40s, the couple is finally arrested and sentenced to death, being electrocuted in March, 1951 in Sing Sing.
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This story is a crossover of "Bonnie and Clyde" (two scamming, stealing lovers) and "In Cold Blood", pathological symbiotic emotional dependence. Martha and Ray and two scam artists, both emotionally damaged, who seek out wealthy middle aged widows and steal their money. They pretend to be brother and sister where brother is looking for soul mate in personal ads section and their written correspondence with these women looking for love in their life is a way to inch into their quiet lives, rob them of their money and leave them for dead. The fact that these two are scam artists is not enough. They relish emotionally torturing their unsuspecting lovers. Martha's obsession with Ray is a death sentence to these lonely women. Mysteriously, they all end up dead. Some are even staged to look like suicide, while others are gruesomely eliminated by any means available at the moment. It takes a detective with personal tragedy of having wife committed suicide who makes hunting for these two killers and sort of personal redemption. John Travolta portrays a cop with uncanny sense of intuition who eventually catches these two serial killers and brings them to justice and their own death in electric chair in the federal prison. This movie is apparently based on the real events in after WWII era.
I will give credit to Lonely Hearts where credit is due. This motionpicture does a fine job of recapturing the spirit of film noir. As aside effect it, feels a bit derivative but it has exceptional style.The plot line is not so strong. Writer director Todd Robinson gives us the story of his grandfatherElmer J. Robinson; the detective who went after Ray Fernadez and MarthaBeck; a somewhat mixed match couple who went across New York stateposing as brother and sister, killing unmarried women and taking theirmoney (after Ray seduced them of course).Lonely Hearts is convinced that it can give us two stories for theprice of one, so it splits into two narratives, one for the good guysand one for the bad guys. This is the single biggest problem with themovie. The bad guy portion takes up too much screen time. It isuninteresting and overdone, with Jared Leto and Salma Hayek givingterrible performances. What I would've liked to see more of is JohnTravolta become a character in the movie. He doesn't amount to verymuch, just a body to go inside a nice coat and a hat. He doesn't reallycome alive until the last couple of scenes, and by then it is too late.Lonely Hearts may in the end prove enjoyable if film-noir is your cupof tea. While the images here are strong, the material is in need ofsome polishing and maybe some brains.
The real-life story of Ray Fernandez and Martha Beck is quitecompelling. They teamed up in the early 1950s to swindle lonely oldladies out of their fortunes. That storyline is presented directly andclearly in the 1969 movie "The Honeymoon Killers".Unfortunately, the same storyline gets lost in "Lonely Hearts", a drab,dreary, really dreadful movie less interested in the Fernandez/Beckplot than in the promotion of Hollywood celebrity Travolta, who playsan obsessed cop on the scent of the depraved duo. After the first fewminutes the viewer easily gets the drift of this film.Every time Travolta, or his cop buddies, came into view, Ifast-forwarded the DVD. What I wanted to see was Fernandez and Beck,not some irrelevant cop, and surely not a cop played by Travolta, anactor who needs to retire. With every movie he makes, he looks worseand worse. His cop buddy here, played by James Gandolfini, is hardlyany more appealing, with all that unnecessary bad language. And theinclusion of the totally untalented Scott Caan makes a mockery of thecasting. But it gets worse.The real Martha Beck was heavy, even fat. Here, they cast thin,voluptuous Salma Hayek to play Beck. Clearly, the filmmakers were notinterested in historical authenticity. They probably reasoned,incorrectly, that viewers are ignorant of the facts in the case.Further, the pouty, one-note performance of Hayek is laughablyembarrassing. She is another actor who needs to retire."The Honeymoon Killers" is a film that definitely has its weaknesses.But at least it focuses on what is important, the story of Fernandezand Beck. It is an honest movie. Anyone interested in the facts needsto watch that movie, not this one. "Lonely Hearts" is not far removedfrom outright mendacity, and is clearly aimed at promoting currentHollywood star celebrities at the expense of historical accuracy.
I thought the acting was excellent and the story moved a long at a steady pace. I was definitely not bored. It was not nearly as violent as I was expecting.
OK, it's been a while I saw a movie with a similarly stunning start.After the suicide scene I just said "wow" and waited for a moviekeeping up this high level of suspense. Unfortunately, I wasdisappointed by the later parts. The true story of the two killers isso dark with its blend of sexual perversions, voodoo magic andcold-blooded murder, it has potential for a really memorable epic(Natural Born Killers and Angelheart come to mind). What we got insteadis beautifully shot and aptly directed melodrama with cheesy dialogs.The actors are highly praised by others, but let's be honest here,there's only clichÃ© characters in this movie. Travolta does have astrong presence but lacks depth because his character, which wassupposed to be the lead element, is badly underwritten. Salma isgorgeous and has a moments that gave me goose-skin but, together withLeto, she fails to provide the dramatic skills needed in the mostclimactic scene (when arguing with Leto to kill Delphine). I was almostbored by their lines and just waited for him to make up his mind atlast so that she shuts up. And being a true story, I don't think thelate Mr Robinson would like this film. In reality, both of them weredisgusting both by character and appearance (especially the real Marthawho was rather ugly and so fat she could barely squeeze herself intothe electric chair). However, the movie almost makes them into romanticheroes, or at least respectable people, with all this stuff about truelove and Martha's very human obsession with having a child. BTW, shedid have a child before she met Martin, who she abandoned for the man'ssake - so much about historical accuracy. OK its fictionalized butquestion is, is it ethical to turn two perverted killers intodemi-heroes for the sake of romance and dedicate the movie to theprosecutor who brought them to justice? Anyway, with all this said andwith all its flaws, photography and directing make Lonely Hearts one ofthe best movies Hollywood has produced recently. It's a movie you won'teasily forget.
This film disappeared from the theatres so quickly most people never heard of it. It deserves your attention. If only to watch Selma give you a glimpse of madness. Kinky done well.
This movie had great potential, but was lost by bad acting by John Travolta. He was wooden, stiff and his fake hair piece was so lame. The editing was bad, too. All the other actors did o.k.
This review is from: Lonely Hearts (DVD) I was slightly disappointed with John Travolta's performance I was expecting more from him but he never came across. There where too many dead spots in this movie. Salma Hayek did very well as a psychopath but the film as a whole was sometimes very slow at spots and it performers where only decent for the most part.
I'm partial to this film because it was filmed in the city I live in, Jacksonville. I got to briefly meet John Travolta during the shooting. I was fortunate enough to watch this film when it premiered at the Jacksonville Film Festival and I wish it would have been in theaters longer. It's a great film! I researched some of the facts behind the true story of this film and the director did his grandfather justice. Very interesting story! Hayek's performance was chilling!
Lonely Hearts is lifted above the average crime thriller through the excellent performances by the cast. The movie alternates between the detectives who are on the trail of the Lonely Hearts killers, played credibly by John Travolta & James Gandolfini, and the bloody spree of the killers' Martha Beck [Salma Hayek], and Fernandez [Jared Leto].The detectives are well-played with a sub-plot involving John Travolta's character grappling with the case as well as his own personal problems [having to do with his strained relationship with his son, as well as his affair with a colleague played by Laura Dern]. However, the real action and drama comes from the performances by Salma Hayek, and Jared Leto as the cold-blooded killers. Hayek's performance is especially riveting, and her Martha Beck comes across as unflinchingly evil whilst besotted with her lover.The portrayal of the killers in this movie though well-acted, is not an altogether accurate portrayal of the real-life criminals [the real Beck was obese, not a sultry temptress as embodied by Hayek]. On the whole however, this is an eminently watchable crime thriller with credible performances all-around. A worthwhile addition to the genre.
This is a watchable film; however, in my opinion, the 1970 version seems to have more horsepower, and the main characters resembled the real-life killers more closely. Furthermore, I think in the new version too much time is dedicated to the detectives rather than to the killers.
if you like noir then you'll love Lonely Hearts. Travolta is muchbetter in serious roles, nice to see Gandolfini getting some loveoutside of Sopranos - and Salma Hayek is as usual gorgeous. The plot is a retelling of the real life 1930s murder spree of MarthaBeck and Raymond Fernandez (America's notorious "Lonely HeartsKillers") and its connection to the tragic story of Detective Elmer C.Robinson who helped capture the killers but lost his wife in theprocess. The director is evidently the grandson of the detective whobrought the two to justice. Movie trivia if there ever was one.I downloaded the entire movie (didn't cost me a thing) even though it'sa bit of a hassle at Aol Video lonelyhearts.aolvideo.com. - j.s.s.
Lonely HeartsGandolfini and Travolta were great together. Not overbearing or superhuman. WE see a couple of guys with character flaws hunting for a couple of killers. I'd like to see Gandolfini and Travolta paired again in future flicks. Hayek and Leto were excellent in their roles. This movie was a surprise for me. I picked it up because Gandolfini was in it.
Which is not the fault of the cast. James Gandolfini and S. Caan dohave really great moments together (although you would like to see moreof them ... especially Gandolfini). Jared Leto and Salma Hayek aregreat too. The only one I wasn't entirely convinced with was J.Travolta! A stronger lead would have helped enormously, because you don't get tospend so much time with the characters. Subplots do spice up the story,but they're mostly not entirely convincing too. That leaves you withthe main plot, which does feel like a crime noir, but it's not as goodas it could be. I can't explain that, without going into details andspoiling some of the stuff, so I will leave it at that!
Really good work from John Travolta but the real star of this show isSalma Hayek who as the murderess Martha Beck,she plays the character ascunningly evil & with as little remorse as a shark feeding on it'shelpless prey. She is so in love with Jared Leto's character of RaymondFernandez that just the thought of him even remotely feeling anythingfor his victim who he is conning throws her into a murderous rage.Jared Leto has the role of his career, playing the murderous con-manRay.Looking very unsexy for a first time in any of his films( thoughwhile playing a junkie in Requiem for a Dream,he wasn't hideous but wayto skinny) he as a toupee wearing thin mustached geek swoons theseunsuspecting widows out of their panties & money & then Martha & Rayoff them. For a pretty guy actor he plays down his looks as he is verygeeky as Ray but he has charm & of course Mr Leto has awesomely blueeyes & the film has very suspenseful moments & just out rightdisturbing moments for a crime drama.Why this wasn't releasedtheatrically, I don't know. It's definitely good enough.**** out of*****
I was eager to see this thriller because of all the A-List talent inthe cast. But what a crushing disappointment. The script was dullbecause we are TOLD everything but SHOWN relatively little... and thenGandolfini's voice-over a) kept jerking me into 21st century New Jersey(it's just too identifiable a voice) and b) stole a lot of Travolta'sthunder because it became Gandolfini's story, even when it was supposedto be Travolta's. And then, tragically, I got distracted by the actors'hair-- and how wretchedly phony every toupee and wiglet looked (onGandolfini, on Travolta, on Leto and others) and how emotionalreactions were underscored-- not with great lines or indelible images--but by pulling a forelock out of place, which made said fake hair evenmore fake-looking. In the end, not even Salma Hayek's ferocioussexuality could salvage this turkey. It's just not good enough. Don'twaste your time.
Possible Spoilers. This is the 3rd version of the Lonely Hearts serialkillers saga. Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck were two sickos whomurdered many women during the 1940's and were finally caught andexecuted in 1949. Although not without interest the other two accountsof this creepy grim tale, The Honeymoon Killers and the Mexican filmDeep Crimson are much better. This time around the story is seen mostlyfrom the point of view of the detectives who were investigating thecrimes and they are played by John Travolta and James Gandolfini bothof who wear terrible toupees that really take away from theirperformances. In a film that has rather nice production values, I don'tunderstand why more attention was not paid to their hair pieces. Thekillers are played by this time by Jared Leto and to my mind a verymiscast Salma Hayek. The real Martha Beck was an unattractiveoverweight horror and I don't really understand why they cast abeautiful woman like Hayek in the role. Maybe it was a bit ofperversion on the part of the screenwriter-director. Anyway this choiceof casting takes away from the grimness of the story. Leto was a betterchoice as Raymond Fernandez, but if you want to see two really greatperformances check out Regina Orozco in Deep Crimson and ShirleyStoller in The Honeymoon Killers.
This review is from: Lonely Hearts (2006) (Amazon Instant Video) Why are there so many decent names in this movie? Don't let the casting fool you. Two stars because I watched it all the way through.The movie just drags along. It's a crime drama that takes place 50's. The premise isn't all that bad, but the story/plot and execution thereof sure are.Don't waste your time or your money and if you really want to watch it, certainly, what ever you do don't buy it.
I'm losing faith in this forum and some of the people that vote here...How can you possibly rate this film as a 1 or 2 or 3? Each to their ownI suppose and for whatever reasoning or motives... For myself, I foundthis movie to be excellent. It held my interest from start to finish -and the finish was satisfying. Gandolfini and Travolta were excellentas you would and should expect. Salma Hayek gave what I think should bean award winning performance. Jared Leto was also superb... I can't sayI've noticed him in anything of note before this. It was also nice tosee Laura Dern again - I've been hot for her since watching RamblingRose : ) All I can say is watch this movie and decide for yourself. Idefinitely recommend it.
It was a gripping tale of people who want to find love at any cost even if they die for it.