Martin Blank is a professional assassin. He is sent on a mission to a small Detroit suburb, Grosse Pointe, and, by coincidence, his ten-year high school reunion party is taking place there at the same time.
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 <email@example.com>, Ed. by Peter Victor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Second consecutive back-to-back movie which referenced the Golden Age of Hollywood for actor Steve Martin whose previous picture, Pennies from Heaven (1981), was an MGM musical in the style of that studio's Old Hollywood musicals. See more »
Rolodex card file wasn't marketed until 1958, yet appears on a desk in scene set in Forties. See more »
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 »
Dead Men.. maintains a delicate equilibrum between a re-enactment and an original script. On one hand, Carl Reiner offers a comedy which compilates several film noir classics (the strongest influence seems to come from the Maltese Falcon)and makes fun of their profound grim atmosphere, but without ever loosing its self-esteem. On the other hand, it combines at least a dozen scenes from those movies with stand-ins in order to establish a believable (physical) interaction between actors who differ 40 years in age.
Steve Martin would play the same kind of unwilling comedian in Plains, Trains & Automoblies. His voice-over definitely was an inspiration to Leslie Nielsen in the Naked Gun series. Along with Dragnet (1987), both owe, of course, a lot to the police serials from the 50's.
This movie is mostly suited for classic film buffs such as me
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