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Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid [VHS]

4.5 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews


Product details

  • Actors: Steve Martin, Rachel Ward, Alan Ladd, Carl Reiner, Barbara Stanwyck
  • Directors: Carl Reiner
  • Writers: Steve Martin, Carl Reiner, George Gipe
  • Producers: David V. Picker, Richard McWhorter, William E. McEuen
  • Format: VHS
  • Language: English
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Paramount
  • VHS Release Date: 1 July 1999
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004R67H
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 425,991 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Noir spoof utilising cleverly edited clips from the films of Hollywood's golden era. Rigby Reardon (Steve Martin) is a down on his luck private eye hired by Juliet Forrest (Rachel Ward) to investigate the suspicious death of her father, a noted scientist and cheesemaker. Reardon is soon interacting with suspicious characters portrayed by such stars of yore as James Cagney, Alan Ladd, Charles Laughton, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner and Veronica Lake. The film is dedicated to costume designer Edith Head, whose last production this was.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Classy homage to the film noir with amusingly woven clips from the classics intertwined with the new, in a funny and inventive way
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Cleverly filmed, zany humour and a pretty good story to tie it together. Plus I love Steve Martin, he always makes me smile :-)
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Purchased this for my mum as she loves Steve Martin and so she could finally get rid of the vhs. Arrived on time and was a reasonable price.
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Excellent
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Silly, hilarious, classic Steve Martin. Had a bad day? Go on, cheer yourself up!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A clever film which was amusing for a short while but then lost my interest. A good idea though and typical Steve Martin
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is Rob Reiner's comical tribute to the great Hollywood Film Noir classics. Steve Martin plays Rigby Reardon, a hard-bitten L.A. private eye. All the jokes depend on placing Rearden's character into scenes from black and white movies of the forties and fifties, making him appear with Bogart as Sam Spade, in drag as Jimmy Cagney's mother and much else besides. The story is absurdly stitched together and is hardly seamless, but works best if you try to name the film clip as you go along. It can also be enjoyed for its own sake, especially with the running gags. But I can't give the game away. This is a film for film buffs and for anyone just looking for a good laugh. It was a very clever concept, and works pretty well.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
DMDWP is a black and white film noir comedy that uses footage from real film noir from the 40s and 50s and intercuts them with the plot to make it appear that Steve Martin is really talking to/acting with the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, James Cagney etc. The effect is not quite seamless but for a movie made in 1982 it's quite impressive.

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.
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