Video Review

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

EW's GRADE
A-

Details With: Steve Martin

The detective spoof to end all detective spoofs. Steve Martin, as L.A. gumshoe Rigby Reardon, gets involved with one of the most confusing cases in screen history — not to mention a who's who of '40s stars (Bogart, James Cagney, Ingrid Bergman, Charles Laughton) wandering in from their old movies through the miracle of sophisticated film editing. Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, like Woody Allen's Zelig, is essentially a stunt, but it's a terrific stunt. The vintage footage is seamlessly integrated into the action, and the end result is both very funny and very true to the conventions of the detective movie. Great detail: Miklos Rozsa's film noir score. Great running gag: Rachel Ward sucking bullets out of Martin's gunshot wounds. A-

Originally posted Sep 14, 1990 Published in issue #31 Sep 14, 1990 Order article reprints
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