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Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)

PG | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 21 May 1982 (USA)
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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

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Rigby Reardon
... Juliet Forrest
... The Exterminator (archive footage)
... Field Marshall VonKluck
... Leona Hastings-Forrest (archive footage)
... Sam Hastings (in 'Lost Weekend') (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  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,289,601, 23 May 1982, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$18,197,170
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Goofs

The movie is set in 1946 but the small revolver that Rigby grabs out of Vincent Price's waistband in the bed fight scene towards the end of the movie is a nickel plated Smith and Wesson model 36 which did not go into production until 1950. See more »

Quotes

[In Rigby's office]
Juliet Forrest: If you need me, just call. You know how to dial, don't you? You just put your finger in the hole and make tiny little circles.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Spoofs Double Indemnity (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

Dead Men's Bolero
Music by Miklós Rózsa
Lyrics by Steve Goodman
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User Reviews

 
Quilted Noir Parody
14 November 2009 | by See all my reviews

I feel like I'm committing sacrilege to admit I enjoy this film especially since I'm a huge Film Noir aficionado. Purists might be shocked to see classics cannibalized for a comedy of all things but I feel there is also a reverence angle that can be introduced to the argument. It also can intensify exposure to a larger mass audience and thus promoting growth. The issue for me however is that Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid is one very funny film.

With the best faux authenticity (another sterling effort by Michael Chapman) blending of its day Steve Martin in on spot comic dead pan mixes with the greats of American cinema in a cleverly devised parody on film noir . As private eye Rigby Reardon he crosses paths with an hysterical Barbara Stanwyck and a homicidal Alan Ladd among a dozen other stars of bygone era. The plot has a Big Sleep similarity and is just as confusing which allows Martin and director Alan Reiner to create a steady jigsaw puzzle of laughs with a fresh original approach. It slows at times with the present day cast but when the stars are out the film becomes capable of inducing parody and awe at the same time.


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