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-90s 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>
The movie marked the return to comedy for actor Steve Martin who had just appeared in his first ever straight dramatic non-comedy role in his previous picture Pennies from Heaven (1981). 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 »
[on the phone]
My name's Reardon. Sorry to hear your father's passed on.
No, he hasn't. He won't be back till Sunday.
Sunday? You don't understand, Mrs. Hastings. I'm investigating your father's death.
Well, that's absurd! My father called me from Chicago tonight. He never mentioned a word!
Maybe it slipped his mind. Look, uh, your father is dead, Mrs. Hastings. Your sister Juliet feels his death wasn't an accident.
What are you talking about? Why are you calling me like this...
[...] See more »
There is a spelling mistake with the Composer. In the credits at the beginning he is spelled: Miklos Rosza. In the credits after the end he is spelled correct: Miklos Rozsa. See more »
Steve Martin's Affectionate Parody of 1940's Thrillers
Rigby Reardon, private eye, runs the gauntlet of hoods, femmes fatales and crazed Nazis as he investigates the death of beautiful Juliet Forrest's father. Who are the mysterious "Friends of Carlotta"? And why does Rigby keep dressing in women's clothes? And where did Juliet learn to do that trick with her lips? This celebration of the black and white movies of the 1940's and 50's is a very clever and very amusing film. Extracts from celluloid classics are skilfully spliced into the action (check out the architectural detail on the doorframe in the Alan Ladd sequence). The film is a vehicle for Martin's comic talent and he carries it off beautifully. Rachel Ward as Juliet is terrific: she can hold her own with the screen goddesses who so liberally populate the film (Bergman, Davis, Turner and Crawford all make inserted appearances). A project like this could easily have come a cropper, but thanks to the brisk direction of Carl Reiner (who has a great cameo) and Steve Martin's ability to dominate the screen, the movie is a resounding success. It's also very funny.
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