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      Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

      PG 1982 1h 29m Comedy List
      77% Tomatometer 26 Reviews 72% Audience Score 10,000+ Ratings When a famous cheese maker dies in a freak car crash, his daughter (Rachel Ward) is convinced that it was no accident. She thinks he was murdered for his top-secret cheese recipes. To prove her theory, she hires detective Roy Reardon (Steve Martin). His quest to find out what happened to the missing man brings him face-to-face with movie legends, actors such as Humphrey Bogart, Alan Ladd and Burt Lancaster, via footage from classic film noir and crime films. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Jan 02 Buy Now

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      Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

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      Critics Consensus

      Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid is more eleaborate pastiche than uproarious comedy, but the farce works thanks to the sly lampooning of Hollywood noir and Steve Martin's performance as a goofy gumshoe.

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      Critics Reviews

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      Bob Thomas Associated Press The novelty value wears thin, and attention wanders as the plot turns grow more obscure. But there are enough outrageous gags to please the faithful. Nov 12, 2018 Full Review Peter Stack San Francisco Examiner Although the gimmick wears thin, the production holds up remarkably well because Martin delivers the funny goods with wry ease. Rated: 3/4 Nov 11, 2021 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy What should have been a godsend for anyone who worships film noir (raising my hand here) proves instead to be a crushing disappointment. Rated: 2/4 Sep 24, 2021 Full Review Diego Galán El Pais (Spain) The absence of novelty is compensated by its original development. [Full Review in Spanish] Aug 27, 2019 Full Review Fernando F. Croce CinePassion A parlor trick, but the kind -- an inquiring jester making his way through the ghosts of cinema's past -- that gets Godard at the Moviola to layer Histoire(s) together Sep 6, 2009 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 2/5 Jun 15, 2005 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      steve d Charming enough and amusing enough to keep my attention. It's not super hilarious but I laughed out loud a few times and chuckled quite a bit. I had no idea if this would be any good but I'm glad i watched it. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 09/04/23 Full Review Steve D Inconsistently funny and often becomes what it tries to make fun of. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 08/21/23 Full Review Dave S Like a lot of Carl Reiner's movies, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid is a mixed bag that includes some comedy gold (the coffee-making scene is great) and some more than uncomfortable attempts at humor (the molesting of the unconscious woman in the first scene, which has understandably aged poorly). Steve Martin is great as Rigby Reardon, a detective hired by the beautiful Juliet Forrest (Rachel Ward) to figure out who murdered her father. Don't worry about the convoluted story, which simply serves as tool to introduce some wonderfully intercut footage of stars from 1940's film noir into the story, including the likes of James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, and Burt Lancaster, among many others. As a comedy, it's only average. As a homage to film noir, it's fascinating. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/13/23 Full Review Jarrod R Goofy, goofy fun. Was a solid introduction, albeit tangentially, to the noir genre. Excellent cast and a fun nod to Terre Haute, Indiana. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/04/23 Full Review william k Both parody and homage to classic film noir cinema this movie doesn't have much of a sensible plot and lots of the jokes are quite silly, but it's lots of fun to see all those wonderful clips from old classic movies (and the stars of the time). Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Where could Steve Martin and Carl Reiner go after The Jerk and The Man with Two Brains? How about to the world of film noir? At lunch with Reiner and screenwriter George Gip, Martin discussed using a clip from an old film as part of a story he was writing. From that came the idea to use old clips throughout a movie to remix, recut and reframe an entirely new narrative that would place Martin into the world of film noir, using some of those that helped make those classic films, like costume designer Edith Head*, who made more than twenty suits and production designer John DeCuir, who designed 85 sets for the film. Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid casts Martin as Rigby Reardon, who comes to the aid of cheese heiress Juliet Forrest (Sela Ward) after the mysterious death of her father. Throughout the narrative, they come into contact with all manner of famous actors and characters, including Alan Ladd as The Exterminator who attacks Martin (taken from This Gun for Hire), Barbara Stanwyck from Sorry, Wrong Number, Ray Milland from The Lost Weekend, Ava Gardner footage taken from both The Killers and The Bribe, Burt Lancaster from The Killers, Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe using scenes from The Big Sleep, In a Lonely Place and Dark Passage, Cary Grant from Suspicion, Ingrid Bergman from Notorious, Veronica Lake** from The Glass Key, Bette David from Deception, Lana Turner footage from Johnny Eager and The Postman Always Rings Twice, Edward Arnold from Johnny Eager, Kirk Douglas from Walk Alone, Fred MacMurray from Double Indemnity, James Cagney from White Heat, Joan Crawford from Humoresque and Charles Laughton and Vincent Price from The Bribe. Whew! These eighteen movies*** — plus footage shot at Culver City's Laird International Studios, the same place where Suspicion, Rebecca and Spellbound were all made — creates a narrative all its own, much how beats and samples come together to make a new song within the world of hip hop. There's so much detail in this movie, which is because of the talents of the filmmakers, including director of photography Michael Chapman , who worked with Technicolor to seamlessly match the old film clips with his new footage. I find it really intriguing that Martin came out of another period piece, Pennies from Heaven, into this movie, while Sela Ward played the woman at the center of the modern noir Sharky's Machine before this. * *The film was dedicated to Head, who died soon after it was completed, with the credits saying, "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." **Cheryl Rainbwaux Smith also was the double for Lake in this scene, which I heartily endorse. *** Nineteen if you count the car crash in the beginning, which came from Keeper of the Flame. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis When a famous cheese maker dies in a freak car crash, his daughter (Rachel Ward) is convinced that it was no accident. She thinks he was murdered for his top-secret cheese recipes. To prove her theory, she hires detective Roy Reardon (Steve Martin). His quest to find out what happened to the missing man brings him face-to-face with movie legends, actors such as Humphrey Bogart, Alan Ladd and Burt Lancaster, via footage from classic film noir and crime films.
      Director
      Carl Reiner
      Production Co
      Universal Pictures, Aspen Film Society
      Rating
      PG
      Genre
      Comedy
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Sep 11, 2015
      Runtime
      1h 29m
      Sound Mix
      Stereo
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