Lonely Hearts is a 2006 American film directed and written by Todd Robinson. It is based on the true story of the notorious "Lonely Hearts Killers" of the 1940s, Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez. The story of Beck and Fernandez was also the subject of the 1970 film The Honeymoon Killers, directed by Leonard Kastle and the 1996 film Deep Crimson, directed by Arturo Ripstein.
Raymond Fernandez (Jared Leto) is a con man who meets single, rich women through personal ads. Upon meeting Martha Beck (Salma Hayek), he and Beck decide to join forces. The two begin travelling the country, eventually murdering at least 12 women who responded to their ads. Detective Robinson (John Travolta) and Detective Hildebrandt (James Gandolfini) are the homicide detectives who bring the couple to justice. Fernandez and Beck are eventually found and arrested and executed on the electric chair.
Director Todd Robinson is the grandson of Elmer C. Robinson, the character played by Travolta.
- John Travolta as Elmer C. Robinson
- James Gandolfini as Detective Charles Hildebrandt
- Jared Leto as Raymond Martinez Fernandez
- Salma Hayek as Martha Jule Beck
- Dagmara Dominczyk as Delphine Downing
- Bailee Madison as Rainelle Downing
- Laura Dern as Rene
- Scott Caan as Detective Reilly
Development and production
Filming began on March 21, 2005, with the majority of shooting taking place on location in and around historic venues in Jacksonville, Florida. Portions were filmed in the historic Riverside district west of Downtown, while additional shooting occurred in nearby Fernandina and Amelia Island. Several scenes were shot in the Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Washington. Shots of the famous fireplace and Peacock Lounge can be seen in the background.
Jacksonville competed with Orlando and Ocala, Florida, and the state of Louisiana for the film. The film crew consisted of 218 local technicians, actors, and actresses, and 833 extras who generated a $3.28 million influx to the region.
Release and reception
Lonely Hearts premiered in the U.S. at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 30, 2006. Following this the film had a screening at the Jacksonville Film Festival on May 18, 2006. The film was given a staggered release internationally throughout the final quarter of 2006 and into 2007. Lonely Hearts was scheduled to be given a limited release by Roadside Attractions in the U.S. on April 13, 2007. It was available to watch on Clickstar on-demand shortly after its domestic release.
The film earned $188,565 in the United States and Canada, and $2,330,589 in the rest of the world, for a combined gross of $2,519,154. Critical reaction was mixed, and the film has a 49% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Region One DVD was released by Sony on July 31, 2007, although it was available for rental in several countries since late 2006.
- Official website
- Lonely Hearts trailer
- Lonely Hearts at the Internet Movie Database
- Lonely Hearts at AllMovie
- CourtTV's Crime Library Case on The Lonely Hearts Killers
- Lonely Hearts at Box Office Mojo
- Lonely Hearts at Rotten Tomatoes