Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Overlooked Movies: Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

Here we go with Steve Martin again.  Lots of the homage/pastiche films don't work for me (Clue, Murder by Death, The Cheap Detective), but this one is okay.  Maybe that's because I like Steve Martin, and he's very good in this one as private-eye Rigby Reardon, who's hired by a beautiful woman (Rachel Ward) to solve the murder of her father, a famous cheese-maker.  In addition to her beauty, Ward is really talented at at removing bullets from wounds.

The thing that I like best about the movie isn't the plot or the goofiness (though a lot of the goofiness is pretty funny to me).  What I like is the way the movie (filmed in black and white) intercuts scenes from a lot of famous old movies so that Martin appears to be acting opposite Alan Ladd, Humphrey Bogart, Veronica Lake, Cary Grant, and a lot of others.  An affectionate parody and the writers (Carl Reiner, who directed, George Gipe, and Martin) obviously know and care about the movies they're having fun with here.  I think I'll be watching this one again Real Soon Now.


Anonymous said...

I haven't seen it since the first time when it came out but I agree with you. It was fun and the black & white was essential and made it work. Also, Rachel Ward is gorgeous.


pattinase (abbott) said...

This was a masterful movie. I watched it recently and thought it had grown more impressive over the years.