With the help of a talking freeway billboard, a wacky weatherman tries to win the heart of an English newspaper reporter, who is struggling to make sense of the strange world of early 1990s Los Angeles.
Richard E. Grant
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Ed. by Peter Victor <email@example.com>
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 »
I've never been a huge fan of Steve Martin's, so I often find myself watching his movies for his leading ladies; and while Peters, Danes and Turner are undoubtedly eye-candy, none of them quite match up to Rachel Ward at her finest and here she is possibly even lovelier than she was in 'The Thornbirds'. She's also a surprisingly good foil for Martin; able to deliver some wonderfully outrageous lines absolutely deadpan, and without breaking character.
Inter-cutting new film with old wasn't new even when this piece came out, and I suspect the idea may have come from Martin's 'Pennies from Heaven' of the previous year (itself a copy of a BBC series from 1978); but the premise of using film noir was a stroke of genius and it's very slickly done. Unfortunately, a plot which starts out very well degenerates somewhat towards the end, perhaps hamstrung by the one-note comic style; but for the first hour it's an absolute joy to watch, and very funny indeed.
However, it has to be admitted that I watch it for Rachel - my dream woman of the early eighties and, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful ever to grace the silver screen. Bryan Brown, you're a lucky fella.
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