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Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)

PG | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 21 May 1982 (USA)
0:31 | Trailer

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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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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)


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


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


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 May 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead Men Wear No Plaid  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$16,959,911 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Of the almost twenty old movies that were used as footage and edited into this picture, all were from the 1940s except for one, from the 1950s, that film being In a Lonely Place (1950), which had debuted pretty close to the 1940s in May 1950. See more »


After Rigby kills Field Marshall VonKluck, his body falls across the table. In the following scene, his body can be seen in the background and he is still breathing. See more »


Rigby Reardon: I'm working on an important case. It's dangerous, and you'll probably be killed. But if you love me, you'll do it.
Jimmie Sue: Yes, I do love you.
Rigby Reardon: And I love you. And I mean that more than anything I've ever said in my life.
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 »


Edited from Double Indemnity (1944) See more »


Dead Men's Bolero
Music by Miklós Rózsa
Lyrics by Steve Goodman
See more »

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User Reviews

Carl Reiner's Masterpiece
11 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Simply brilliant. This gem of a movie slipped under the radar screen of the movie goer's consciousness when it was first released, but it will live on forever in the DVD collections of those who truly cherish good film-making. (And good parody. And good detective films. Film tributes, comedy, well, you get the picture I think.) As much an homage to the classic suspense/detective films as was Blade Runner, Chinatown, and Mullholland Falls. I have found myself, over the years, stealing lines from this movie at cocktail parties, and generally all I get is blank stares. But every now and then I will meet a kindred spirit, and their eyes will light up, and they'll join right it!

"You don't smoke, do you?" "No, I have tuberculosis." "Oh, thank heaven for that." Ha ha ha ha ha HAA!!

Two thumbs way up!!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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