When Doris Roberts looks back on her long and illustrious career I wonder what she thinks about this little film. It's a strange, low budget production, done in black and white and has garnered a cult following since it was released in 1969. It's based on the true story of the Lonly Hearts Killers, Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck, who's deadly alliance left as many as 20 victims in its wake. Doris plays Bunny, Martha's best friend and the one who writes, in her name, to the lonely hearts club where she eventually meets Raymond. As the two get more and more involved Martha learns of his true occupation as a con man and joins him, as his sister, in conning women out of their money. Her jealousy leads them to add the crime of murder to their repertoire. The film has an odd, pensive quality to it, and presents the story of the couple in a style that walks a fine line between tragedy and exploitation, with a bit of black comedy thrown in for good measure. It has the distinction of having a few scenes directed by a young Martin Scorsese, and of being named as Francois Truffaut's favorite American film.
A remastered DVD of the film was released in 2003 by the prestigious Criterion Collection, giving it a some luster as one of America's notable independent films. It can also be found on YouTube (uploaded by Baiafy) and is occasionally shown on networks like IFC, which is where I believe I first saw it. It's primarily known to film buffs, and has had little penetration into the mainstream consciousness.
Obscurity factor: 2 (available on DVD and YouTube, occasionally shown on TV, highly regarded by film buffs)