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Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Mystery  |  21 May 1982 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 15,795 users  
Reviews: 102 user | 28 critic

Film noir parody with a detective uncovering a sinister plot. Characters from real noirs appear as scenes from various films are intercut.

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Title: Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
The Exterminator (archive footage)
...
Field Marshall VonKluck
...
Leona Hastings-Forrest (archive footage)
...
...
Kitty Collins (archive footage)
...
Swede Anderson (archive footage)
...
Phillip Marlowe (archive footage)
...
'Handsome' (in 'Suspicion') (archive footage)
...
F.X. Huberman (archive footage)
...
Monica Stillpond (archive footage)
...
Doris Davermont (archive footage)
...
Jimmi-Sue Altfeld (archive footage)
...
Altfeld (archive footage)
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Storyline

Juliet Forrest is convinced that the reported death of her father in a mountain car crash was no accident. Her father was a prominent cheese scientist working on a secret recipe. To prove it was murder, she enlists the services of private eye Rigby Reardon. He finds a slip of paper containing a list of people who are "The Friends and Enemies of Carlotta." Searching for answers, Rigby encounters assorted low-lifes: dangerous men and women who were the hallmarks of the classic detective movies of the 40's and 50's. Filming in black and white allows scenes from old movies to be cut into this film. It is through this process that Rigby's assistant is none other than Philip Marlowe himself. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>, Ed. by Peter Victor <thevictor99@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Laugh... or I'll blow your lips off!


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 May 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead Men Wear No Plaid  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$4,289,601 (USA) (21 May 1982)

Gross:

$16,959,911 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The car accident at the beginning of the movie (the killing of the scientist) is taken from Keeper of the Flame (1942). That movie, however, is not listed in the credits as the source of the footage. See more »

Goofs

In the scene with the pigeons after Juliet leaves, Rigby says "after a half bottle of bourbon..." and Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey is pictured. Jack Daniel's is not bourbon - it never has been and never will be. See more »

Quotes

Field Marshall Von Kluck: [to his Nazi minions] Cowards! Fools! I'll do it myself!
[He runs over to throw the lever that will launch the cheese mold bombs on America]
Rigby Reardon: Sorry, pal, you're through!
[He fires his gun and shoots Von Kluck in the arm]
Field Marshall Von Kluck: Not quite!
[He throws one of the five levers and runs to the map of the United States which is spread out on the table. Reardon throws an object at the lever and reverses it, as Von Kluck collapses over the map, part of which is beginning to dissolve]
Field Marshall Von Kluck: At least ve got Terre Haute, ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the Cast there comes the dedication: Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid was Edith Head's final film. To her, and to all the brilliant technical and creative people who worked on the films of the 1940's and 1950's, this motion picture is affectionately dedicated. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Dead Men's Bolero
Music by Miklós Rózsa (as Miklos Rozsa)
Lyrics by Steve Goodman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fun For Film Noir Buffs; Otherwise Convoluting
12 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was a modern-day version of a 1940s narrative gangster film, also known as film noir, but with a different twist. Steve Martin, Rachel Ward and a few others actors are seen talking to many classic stars of the past as director Carl Reiner used clips of those films to fake conversations with the up-to-date real actors of this film . They made it appear that Alan Ladd, Barbara Stanwyck, Humphrey Bogart et al were actually talking to Martin.

Obviously, the more acquainted you are with those film noirs, the more fun this movie will be as you try to recognize what movie those clips came from. (The answers are shown in the ending credits.) That's the fun part of this movie.

The not-so-fun part is simply trying to figure how what is happening in the first place. The plot is not always easy to discern, and it's doubly difficult because of the constant "interruptions" with the classic film scene inserted in the story. You get so captivated watching those old stars that you lose track of the storyline.

That's a big reason I don't think this film ever caught on that much - the story is too convoluted, just too hard to follow.

Ward was great to watch and Martin was annoying after awhile. If Ward doesn't look like the embodiment of a 1940s film goddess, I don't know who does. That, and the razor sharp black-and-white picture with the real actors, is nice to see. But, Martin, who dominates the film, overdoes the stupid comments. I would like to have seen this film played a little straighter, like a real noir. It's a clever film but sometimes too clever for its own good.


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