Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982)

Trailer:  Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982)

Starring: Steve Martin, Carl Reiner, Rachel Ward – Director: Carl Reiner

Running Time:  1 hr 28 mins – Genre:  Comedy, Crime, Mystery


The First time I watched this movie I fell in love with it.  I thought it was absolutely wonderful how the director blended classic old movies with the new movie being filmed. The setting starts out at an old style private eye office, where of course a “D.I,D” (damsel in distress) comes in a faints into our hero’s arms. She of course has murder case that must be solved. Through many adventures and near misses the two solve the case and obviously fall in love. While the plot itself is not original, it was still super fun to watch.

Steve Martin, one of the few “live” actors in the film did a terrific job of acting with the classic movie bits, making them fit very smoothly in to the movie.

 It was hard to tell where the a clip started and ended. Also his acting with his fellow actors was humorous as only Steve can do. Just remember never to say “cleaning woman” in his presence.

I liked the soundtrack. It fit with the whole private eye theme that was going on. And the sound effects from the parts that were being filmed seemed to use the style from the classic films. Where they are slightly delayed from what is going on in the film. I don’t know if that made since but the best way i can describe it is when someone is walking up wooden stairs, two pieces of wood are hit together.

I have to say what I liked most about the movie was trying to name the actors from the other films used. I was impressed with how many I knew.

So for those of you who like the classics and enjoy a good comedy I would recommend this movie. Just keep in mind that you might have to watch it twice to catch some of the subtle jokes and risque comments.



This movie had an interesting way of telling the story, let’s mesh several Film Noir movies and write a movie around it only using like 4 main characters and rest all extras, to me it was genius. I loved how they blended the stories to make one using Steve Martin to act alone to converse with the actors in the other films.  However Steve Martin, and Carl Reiners Comedy is one of an acquired taste.

as Over 90% of the movie revolved around Steve Martin on his own or accompanied by a supporting character his acting was good, I mean for his taste in comedy Steve Martin has the ability to over act in certain scenes (all actors do) but sometimes the right scene calls for that, like when he’s making the Java.

Carl Reiner plays a butler who is secretly a nazi spy, which was an interesting twist at the end but other then his German accent there really was no huge

 variable that made him stand out for his little parts.

Rachel Ward played Julia Fox, And although she played the Dame from the Film Noir style very well, and man can she suck a bullet out of an arm.

For special effects I think being able to have that much of cost savings and use black and white like they did and splice in the films from the other movies (which I believed were owned by company that made the film)  Wardrobe was done well, Even with the Dark hair JD and I agree in certain moments Steve Martin looked like a Younger Harrison ford…keep in mind we said moments.With the plot and whole story, I have to agree with JD on this, that it did very much feel like it was written around the other little tidbits, but to me that is ingenious. To me it was the most creative spoof of all the spoofs I’ve seen in my life.  But again the writing felt like it was written around the other films which can make the film seem like it’s not following a steady path, and for some people confuse or lose interest in the film.

Overall for this movie I enjoyed it but I like spoofs, and Film Noir style movies.  Although it did seem in parts to run on over all a good movie, Now would I recommend this movie to people not your average people I think you have to have an acquired taste for Steve Martin and a good understanding of Film Noir to truly enjoy the movie. But it is at least a check it out in my book


Big JD – 

Steve Martin is a comedic genius.  This movie fails to really capitalize on his worth.  If you are a huge fan of his then this may be a good watch for you.  But, if you like Steve Martin from his rom com’s or his earlier stuff than I would say this fails to hit the mark.  Now, I did find myself chuckling to myself and many occasions.  It is a funny movie.  Dry.  But funny.

In the same vein as Police Squad or the Naked Gun series the dry humor can be detected if you are paying attention, and I’m sure is funnier the second time you watch it.  If there was a decent plot I would probably consider watching it twice but, the plot is really everywhere.  This movie has a certain niche that it has found where it splices old movies into their ongoing movie.  I don’t know if they just didn’t have the budget to pay other actors or if they had this idea and really swung for the fences.  The only problem with this niche is that it leaves the audience feeling pulled in many different directions.  Because a lot of the dialogue is based off of what is being said in the movie clips.  Honestly it felt like I was listening to a 4 year old trying to tell me a story with all of the non relating tangents included.

The actual 4 actors that were in this movie acted fairly well for this dry comedy.  I thought Steve Martin actually reminded me of a younger Harrison Ford at times.  Yeah, that’s funny but somewhat true.  The editing was done very well, even though I feel it was a bad idea.  The soundtrack

seemed stale, old and crusty.  Like some old bread that was going bad that you toast so, you can serve it to people. Just as in this movie anytime you get shot you can just have “Juliett” suck out the bullet.  A device used once too many times.  It was funny the first time.

If you have time to waste and you haven’t seen this Steve Martin in this forgettable gem then waste some time why don’t ya and give this one a view.

(hint: Its on Netflix)



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