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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The number of credited old movies that were used for footage in this film was eighteen but it's nineteen if one counts the unbilled Keeper of the Flame (1943). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Rigby Reardon: The paper said you were hit in the head by a flying wrench in the machine shop. Friends of Carlotta are after you because you know too much.
Captain Jarrett: I see what you mean.
Rigby Reardon: So the flying wrench was no accident.
Captain Jarrett: For a minute I thought it was.
Rigby Reardon: Something like that may happen again, so...
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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
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User Reviews

 
Steve Martin's Affectionate Parody of 1940's Thrillers
11 December 1998 | by See all my reviews

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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