Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982)

Carl Reiner directs Steve Martin, Rachel Ward and himself in this film noir spoof where a straight faced private dick interacts with footage of classic movie stars in hard boiled situations.

The central conceit of this rarely works. Only the scene where Martin is intercut with Bette Davis pays off. The other 18 or so attempts to make the joke perform feels more there to string a nonsensical plot together rather than because they found the punchlines. The comedy plays much better when it just Martin and Ward being goofs in monochrome cosplay. And the movie, despite not being very funny, is a loving celebration of a bygone age of moviemaking. The sweet tribute to Edith Head at the end adds at least a point to the final score. And we must track down the heavily salvaged movie The Bribe. Whatever it is, it looks awesome from what we glimpsed here.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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