Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

Dead_men_dont_wear_plaid_ver1Year: 1982

Writer: Carl Reiner, George Gipe & Steve Martin

Director: Carl Reiner

Budget: ?

Gross: $16.959,911

if when you hear the name, steve martin, you think Bringing Down The House, Cheaper By The Dozen 1 and 2 and The Pink Panther remake then i feel sorry for you.  steve martin is one of the great comedic performers of the last few decades.  the only problem is that most of his best work was produced a few decades ago.  which brings us to Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.

while i have seen many of his older movies, this one, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, was one i had just never got around to.  however, recently it was playing on one of my many movie channels so i decided to check it out, and i am glad that i did.

what a fun movie this is.  the film is a homage/parody of the old classic film noir movies from the 50s with martin playing, rigby reardon, the detective and rachel ward playing the love interest, juliet forest, who comes to reardon because she is convinced that her fathers death was no accident.

the film has all the trappings of classic film noir, including: the black and white filming, the voice over, the mystery and the actual actors from many of those classic films.  thats right, the movie uses footage from a bunch of old movies within it as if the scenes and characters are part of this film. you got humphrey bogart, cary grant, barbara stanwyck, bette davis, ingrid bergman and more.  i know it sounds a little gimmicky, but i have to tell you i thought it was great.  if they had only done it for like one or two scenes, then it would have been a little gimmick.  but we are talking 10 or more here, and they are worked well into the plot.

being a fan of film noir, i guess i might have enjoyed it more then those who are not as familiar or interested in the genre.  it became a little game trying to place the actor and the movie from which the clip was taken (at the end of the movie they list them all so you can go 'oh yeah, of course' over and over again).

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid is a fun film that, along with other films martin made in the 80's, show us why he is so well regarded - in case you have only seen his most recent work and just didn't get what the deal was.