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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> April 1998 >> Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
4 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
April 1998
IMDB Name:
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)
Carl Reiner
comedy, mystery
MPAA Rating:

There is nothing quite like a really clever satire on a familiar genre. Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid spliced together pieces of the movies that defined the genre with new footage of a great comic actor. How can you not laugh at the result? I'm sorry to say that my knowledge of the stars of the Forties and Fifties is not up to the task of recognizing most of the actors who appear from other films, but the credits provide the names of the actors and the films in which they appear.

The comic actor mentioned above is Steve Martin. Martin is unctuous as Rigby Reardon, a private eye torn straight from the bad detective novel stereotype. He moves through scenes with a confident grace that only reinforces the expectations of the audience. His dialogue is occasionally silly, but not always, so that it doesn't wear thin quickly. Rachel Ward is beautiful as the daughter of the mysteriously murdered scientist. She uses her British accent instead of exaggerating the inflections, and the result is very classy, if not entirely appropriate to the original genre. Carl Reiner is excellent both as a director and as a Nazi field marshal. The famous actors and actresses of yore are integrated well, and their acting is beyond reproach. Of course, since the footage is from classic movies, it would be tough for it to be anything less than great.

Copyright 1998-2001 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.