6.9/10
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Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)

PG | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 21 May 1982 (USA)
Trailer
0:30 | Trailer
Film noir parody with a detective uncovering a sinister plot. Characters from real noirs appear as scenes from various films are intercut.

Director:

Carl Reiner
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Martin ... Rigby Reardon
Rachel Ward ... Juliet Forrest
Alan Ladd ... The Exterminator (archive footage)
Carl Reiner ... Field Marshall VonKluck
Barbara Stanwyck ... Leona Hastings-Forrest (archive footage)
Ray Milland ... Sam Hastings (in 'Lost Weekend') (archive footage)
Ava Gardner ... Kitty Collins (archive footage)
Burt Lancaster ... Swede Anderson (archive footage)
Humphrey Bogart ... Phillip Marlowe (archive footage)
Cary Grant ... 'Handsome' (in 'Suspicion') (archive footage)
Ingrid Bergman ... F.X. Huberman (archive footage)
Veronica Lake ... Monica Stillpond (archive footage)
Bette Davis ... Doris Davermont (archive footage)
Lana Turner ... Jimmi-Sue Altfeld (archive footage)
Edward Arnold ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 May 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dead Men Wear No Plaid See more »

Filming Locations:

Pasadena, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,289,601, 23 May 1982

Gross USA:

$18,196,170

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,196,170
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Rigby Reardon (the character played by Steve Martin) finds the "Top Secret" Nazi packet labeled "Final Instructions", the date on the packet is 14 August 1946. Steve Martin's actual birth date is 14 August 1945. See more »

Goofs

When Rigby is talking on Juliet's phone to her sister Leona, the handset and coiled cord to the phone are from the 1960's-80's, and not the straight cloth-covered phone cords in use in the 1940's when the story is taking place. See more »

Quotes

Rigby Reardon: All dames are alike: they reach down your throat so they can grab your heart, pull it out and they throw it on the floor, and they step on 'em with their high heels, they spit on it, shove it in the oven and they cook the shit out of it. Then they slice it into little pieces, slam it on a hunk of toast, and they serve it to you. And they expect you to say, "Thanks, honey, it's delicious."
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 »


Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
A serious laugh at the moody films of the 40's.
29 May 2000 | by michaelRokeefeSee all my reviews

I had to watch this a second time to appreciate it. The story is not the most impressive; but the concept is. Steve Martin plays a detective in a parody of classic film noir. The movie features actual scenes cut from several films and blended with precision. These skillful splices feature some of the great names from old time Hollywood. Names like Cagney, Douglas, Davis, Crawford and Bergman.

Martin really shows his talent and ability to make a scene imitate reality. His comedic wit is sharp as a switchblade. His co-star is Rachel Ward, who can vamp or play coy with the best of them. Along with directing, Carl Reiner has a cameo part.

Swift directing, with superb lighting and shading made this black and white crime comedy shine.


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