USA Up All Night (also known as Up All Night and Up All Night with Rhonda Shear) is an American…
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
Laugh...or I’ll blow your lips off!
Juliet Forrest is convinced that the reported death of her father in a mountain car crash was no accident. Her father was a prominent cheese scientist working on a secret recipe. To prove it was murder, she enlists the services of private eye Rigby Reardon. He finds a slip of paper containing a list of people who are "The Friends and Enemies of Carlotta."
There are these moments in comedies where you just can't explain why you have to laugh hysterically every time you watch them.
Steve Martin making coffee in this film is one of those moments for me. It kills me every single time.
Apart from that, this film is hilarious, with Martin's dead pan comedy blending in perfectly with all those fantastic moments from classic Hollywood.
This film is a gem and one of Martin's best.
If this film stuck to mocking film noir throughout with a vicious sneer, it might have worked, not because film noir deserves such contempt, but because so much of the so-called humor in this film derives from playing up the sexist aspects of the genre, which are its greatest failing. The femme fatale jokes might seem on point if there weren't so much evident respect for the genre in this film. (The humor in choking the shit out of women falls short for me, though.) Instead, they seem to just heighten the uncomfortable nature of the trope by making light of it, over and over and over again.
The most impressive and lauded aspect of this film seems to be…
Through the power of film editing, Steve Martin stars opposite some of the greatest actresses and actors of all time in this comedy. This movie was made in 1982 while the screen legends shown in the movie all made their movies in the 1940s. The movie does an outstanding job of merging the time periods. When Martin is interacting with people like James Cagney, Cary Grant, Kirk Douglas, Bette Davis and many others this is a fascinating movie to watch.
The movie stumbles when Martin is interacting with his cast mates from the 1980s. When I first watched this movie when I was younger...I had a hard time identifying all the movie stars. This time around I not only knew…
It feels like when I was a kid Noir pastiche voice overs and bad Bogey impressions were everywhere. Be it sketch shows, adverts, cartoons or semi serious detective shows every writer seemed to want to break out his inner Chandler once a series and riff off movies that I had never actually seen.
I remember watching this on VHS with my parents and not quite getting it while still finding it funny. I saw 'Play it again Sam' late one night on TV with my dad in the same period.
I don't know if all that led me somehow to actually loving Noir, I'm not sure someone growing up even a decade later would have had the same grounding in…
Cleverly constructed around fragments of noir pictures of the '40s & '50s, this is one giant cavalcade of cinephile inside jokes. The non-diagetic gags (Rachel Ward's bullet-sucking abilities, "your py-yamas!" and Martin's aversion to cleaning women) have a high hit-to-miss ratio, and the cameos are consistent delights. The trade-off leads to a slack structure that drags as the picture continues; at least now I know about The Bribe, which looks like a hell of a lot of fun.
It's intriguing that this came as a follow-up to Pennies from Heaven. In that picture, showcasing the inner-lives of down-and-out characters through the language of the period before slamming back to reality evokes all sorts of pathos; Martin & Peters inhabiting a Rogers & Astaire musical is downright magical. Characters are at the center of Pennies while gags form the crux of Dead Men. I enjoyed a lot of this but can't help making the comparison.
Immediately upon seeing this movie years ago, I fell in love with it.
Director and co-star Carl Reiner (father of spinal taps Rob), Steve Martin and a simmering Rachel Ward hit pay dirt in a sweet as a nut comedy that blends laughs and parodies classic noir without tainting it or taking the proverbial, one of my favorite genres that I am quite terrible at reviewing.
Germinated around a table while Martin and Reiner were having a meal, Martin mentioned that he had written a screenplay where he used a scene from an old movie as part of the plot. From this, he and screenwriter George Gipe trawled through countless old noir movies looking for lines that were, in their…
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid is probably my least favourite movie from Martin/Reiner (although I've yet to watch All of Me)
I was starting to tire of the film (genune tiredness, not boredom) during the 2nd half. I checked how long there was to go - I expected fifteen minutes - and was dismayed to find the movie had only been on for 50 minutes. Sheesh.
That's not to say the movie isn't good. It is. It's clever, well written and performed and most importantly of all it's really, really funny.
The problem is in it's pacing. Reiner is such a slave to the concept that it actually harms the film. Sure it's clever everytime an older movie is spliced…
The joke isn't ENTIRELY on noir, but many of the best are represented here, and the cuts throughout fit well. I feel like this will only really connect if you're really into film noir, but as someone who adores the style of filmmaking, I really appreciate this movie.
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid is a clever movie, but not necessarily funny. The movie is high concept and pulls it off well enough, but the concept dominates the film rather than laughs.
That said, I enjoyed watching Steve Martin, who does a wonderful job playing against the clips from classic film noir giants.
Great idea only partially succesfully carried out
Loved it, mostly for the film noir references and montages. It gets a bit dull towards the ending but overall worth watching if you're a fan of film noir so you can recognise the films they used!
"I wanted to kiss her with all the lips on my face..."
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid is actually a really well done detective noir for a (mostly) overlooked comedy.
Steve Martin is great as the main character and it was a lot of fun to see and recognise so many classic actors and actresses, seamlessly spliced into the scenes through archive footage.
so THAT'S where the inspiration for seinfeldvision came from.
Film noir parody with a solid anchored main performer. Steve Martin's early career manic energy keeps these clips from serious film noirs firmly entrenched in the usual silliness Martin & Carl Reiner managed to do so well throughout their careers. It helps that the newer centerpiece segments manage to feel authentic to the older clips thanks to the gorgeous black and white cinematography as well as authentic costume designs.
Missing films I can't locate on Letterboxd:
Blonde Ambition (1981)
I Like to Watch / Caballero (1982)
Mona the Virgin…