Lonely Hearts (2006)

Love can be murder.

Original Title : Lonely Hearts
Director : Todd Robinson
Writer : Todd Robinson
Genre : Crime
Country : Germany
Language : English
Producer : Boaz Davidson, Danny Dimbort, Anson Downes, Randall Emmett, Linda Favila, George Furla, Manfred D. Heid, Kathryn Himoff, Gerd Koechlin, Jon Kuyper, Josef Lautenschlager, Avi Lerner, Juan A. Mas, Traci Robinson, Edward Rosenstein, Sidney Sherman, Trevor Short, Laura D
Music : Mychael Danna
Photography : Peter Levy
Distributor : 3L Filmverleih, 3L Filmverleih, Bridge Entertainment Group, Clickstar, Distribution Company, E Stars Films, Magna Pacific, Millennium Films, RCV Film Distribution, Roadside Attractions, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Scanbox Entertainment Finland Oy, Sony Pictures Home E
MPAA Rating : Rated R for strong violence and sexual content, nudity and language.
IMDB ID : 0441774
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poster for "Lonely Hearts" by Todd Robinson (2006)
Lonely Hearts (2006) - Todd Robinson


John Travolta Elmer Robinson
James Gandolfini Charles Hilderbrandt
Jared Leto Ray Fernandez
Salma Hayek Martha Beck
Scott Caan Reilly
Laura Dern Rene Fodie
Michael Gaston D.A. Hunt
Bruce MacVittie Eastman
Dan Byrd Eddie Robinson
Andrew Wheeler Detective Tooley
Alice Krige Janet Long
Dagmara Dominczyk Delphine Downing
John Doman Chief MacSwain
Bailee Madison Rainelle Downing
Ellen Travolta Ida
Jason Gray-Stanford Officer Chetnick
Sam Travolta Foreman
James Martin Roberts Young Black Man
Kristian Truelsen Bank Manager
Christa Campbell Sara Long
Marc Macaulay Warden Broady (as Marc MacAulay)
Todd Terry Thief
Steve Maye Michigan Cop
Shannon Murphy Patty Forsythe
Michael Rispoli Coroner
Nick Loren Detective January
Jonathan Rau Uniformed Cop
Karl Anthony Hotel Clerk
Valerie Grant Mrs. Clayman
Matt Huffman Mrs. Clayman's Son
Arian Waring Ash Marian Duff (as Arian Ash)
Gerald Owens Postmaster
Petrus Antonius Landlord
Jeff Farley Minister
Lauren Leech Teenage Girl
Allison McKay Mrs. Paterson
Jack Swanson Fruit Stand Attendant
Bill Kelley Rene's Father
Heather Dawn MacSwain's Secretary
Margaret Travolta Mineola Female Dispatcher
Rachel Reynolds Female Airplane Passenger
Rachel Specter Janice
Jimmy Leeward Pilot
Caroline Ross Prison Matron
Traci Robinson Prison Matron
Tom Chapman Framer
Allen Walls Featured Dancer
Charles M. Creel Kent County Detective (uncredited)


In the late 1940's, Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez 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. In the late 40's, 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 40's, the couple is finally arrested and sentenced to death, being electrocuted in March, 1951 in Sing Sing.


When a film features a cast with names like John Travolta, Laura Dern, Salma Hayek, & James Gandolfini you would expect it to be excellent wouldn't you? Unfortunately, this is not the case with Todd Robinson's, 'Lonely Hearts'. While it is decent, it's a shame to see so much potential wasted.'Lonely Hearts' depicts the story of Martha Beck, played by Salma Hayek, and Raymond Fernandez, played by Jared Leto. The duo are more commonly known as the Lonely Hearts Killers. They travel across the country scheming widows and spinsters out of their money. Once the two have their grasp on the unsuspecting women's fortune, they murder them and proceed onto the next target. As the duo start to become a bit sloppy on their route, detectives Robinson and Hildebrandt, played by Travolta and Gandolfini, begin to get closer to capturing them. As time passes it appears their killing spree just may be over.The cast named here is really good, at least on paper. I don't know what happened, but something went wrong here. There is absolutely no chemistry between Travolta and Dern. It's almost like they hate each other. Nicole Kidman would have been much more fitting choice to play the role of Rene. Her candidness could have added just the right element needed to make the on screen relationship work. The best acting exhibited here though is by the beautiful Salma Hayek. She is flawless as she exudes complete acrimoniousness and madness in her role as Martha Beck. It'll be no surprise to me if this time next year we hear her name among the buzz for an Oscar nod for best supporting actress.In addition to the mismatch of Travolta and Dern, director and writer Robinson further screws up what could have been with a partly repulsive script. Most of Ganfolfini's narratives are stagnant and repetitive. Of course, not much can be expected from Robinson taking into consideration his poor track record. Neither of his first two films, both documentaries, were successful.Never fear, all is not lost. Where Robinson fails in his screenplay, he makes up for it with his lovely directing. I would even go as far to say it's right on par with Alfonso Cuaron's amazing achievement, 'Children of Men'. So even despite it having a few weak points, I still recommend seeing 'Lonely Hearts' upon it's release to theaters this March.
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