Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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A gumshoe hunts a Nazi for a svelte client and meets rough characters clipped from 1940s films.
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Top Customer Reviews
If I remember things correctly I think Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid spawned a series of very funny lager commercials which incorporated the merging of old films with contemporary artists. I love all of the scenes notably the ones with Humphrey Bogart and the drag scene from Double Indemnity with Fred Macmurray. Im so glad I watched this again as I had forgotten how funny and for its time technically good it was. The DVD was a bit short of extras only having a scene selection and a trailer. The trailer is however very funny and like the film as a whole, well worth a watch if you fancy a good old stupid laugh. A total bargain at less than five pounds.
Martin plays the private detective Rigby Reardon, who takes on a mysterious case from a beautiful client...
The film is redolent of classic detective noir, and includes a lot of "borrowed" material, cleverly inter-cut to (for example) engineer conversations between Martin and his side-kick Bogart. Trying to spot as many of the films used as you can is part of the fun.
The music score is a complete joy, and perfectly captures the atmosphere of this genre: it wouldn't have been out of place in a real 40s movie.
Definitely recommended for any fans of classic black and white movies, who aren't so po-faced as to object to a loving send up of their faviourite genre.
Martin plays the wonderfully named Rigby Reardon, a typical, gritty private eye who narrates the story with sarcastic observation and gets involved in the usual femme fatal plot and a conspiracy surround the death of a cheesemaker. Yes, it's nonsense, and towards the end it becomes a bit hard to follow and the silliness gets out of control. But it's all played straight and for most of the film you could believe you were actually watching a classic film noir.
Steve Martin should have done more of these movies. Rigby Reardon was a great character and could have lasted for a few sequel.The humor is frequently hilarious and he certainly retains a lot of the integrity he has lost in recent years since he went the way of Eddie Murphy and sold himself out to family audiences. Either way, I say you should give this movie a go if you're a fan of his older work.
The Region 1 DVD is sadly in non-anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen with Dolby 2.0 surround (the UK DVD is in fullscreen). It still looks quite good for a black and white film and the sound has that limited sound-space effect to it to make it fit in with the older footage. A Dolby 5.1 remix would have been totally unnecessary. Though I think the b&w photography would look brilliant in 1080p. But I have a feeling you'll be waiting forever on a Blu Ray.
The brilliance of this film is the way it interlinks clips from old movies, so also starring in the film are James Cagney, Vincent Price, Kirk Douglas, Humphrey Bogart, Alan Ladd, Barbara Stanwyck and many others. Although some of the old clips work better than others, even the ones that don't work usually have some sort of funny punchline to compensate.
Director Carl Reiner (who also has acting role) does a fine job getting the best out of Steve Martin who at the time this was made (1982) was at a peak in terms of his comedic film roles. Without Martin this movie wouldn't have worked, of that I am sure.
At its current price (cheap) this is an absolute steal.
Oh yeah, "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" has the most impressive all-star cast of all time... and it almost doesn't matter that most of them were dead by the time it was made. They still steal the show in this hilariously twisty noir parody, which cleverly pastes in footage from classic movies to enhance the wacky detection of Steve Martin.
Private eye Rigby Reardon (Steve Martin) is approached by Juliet Forrest (Rachel Ward), the sexy daughter of a brilliant scientist/cheesemaker. She believes her father's recent death was not an accident, and she wants him to investigate -- and soon he discovers two lists that Forrest left behind, naming the friends and enemies of the mysterious "Carlotta."
So Rigby bumbles through a bizarre tangle of odd clues (jewelry soup, a dollar bill, a key, a cruise ship), sinister characters, and bizarre situations (he impersonates a woman TWICE) in his search for the truth. Can he uncover the truth about the "Friends of Carlotta" and find true love for Juliet, or will this be Rigby's final case?
"Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" is an amazing movie. The main story itself is pretty funny but not exceptional, but they somehow managed to cobble together all these classic movie clips into that story. Oh, there are a few clips that don't really work -- Joan Crawford's appearance -- but most of them are perfectly woven seamlessly into Martin's story.
Example: when Rigby finds himself on a train with Cary Grant, he decides to knock out Grant with a harmonica... and the look of disbelieving annoyance on Grant's face is ABSOLUTELY PERFECT.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Buy it it's brilliant especially if you like old movies as well, cleverly done.Published 29 days ago by sez1967
I believe that this was the first of its' type splicing a story with classic b/w film clips. Gryff Rhys-Jones then did the same with some beer commercials, but Steve was the first. Read morePublished 1 month ago by neville stock
This film is so funny. It's in B&W and has clips from old films built into the story. I've watched this about 6 times over the years and it's still very appealing. Read morePublished 6 months ago by MacGifferbag
Super dvd, great condition, just as described. Highly recommend seller. A+Published 6 months ago by AlysynS
Brilliantly executed, not noir but noir. Clever cutting and Steve Martin sets the right tone.Published 6 months ago by Annabel Crichton
A lot of ‘highly rated’ comedies let you down, however, I found this one genuinely funny and it tickled me pink! Read morePublished 9 months ago by Thespionic
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