Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (Universal 1982, Steve Martin, Rachel Ward)

Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (Universal 1982, Steve Martin, Rachel Ward)

Steve Martin stars as gumshoe Rigby Reardon, down on his luck and ready to take on any job. When the beautiful Juliet Forrest (Rachel Ward) walks into his office and hires him to investigate the sudden death of her father, his first stop is the dead man’s office, where he is shot by Alan Ladd… From here on in, the film escalates into a surreal thriller, as Reardon meets up with Barbara Stanwyck, hires Humphrey Bogart as a leg-man and is made an offer he can’t refuse by Charles Laughton.What Reiner and Martin, together with cinematographer Michael Chapman and editor Bud Molin, have created is one of cinema’s best spoofs. Taking clips from classics including White Heat , Lost Weekend , Suspicion , Double Indemnity and The Big Sleep , they have seamlessly matched them against Martin, Ward and Reiner’s performances to produces a homage to film noir that is both very funny (thanks to Martin) and a feast for the genre’s fans, who will have a field day naming the stars and the films.

crew details

  • Writers: Carl Reiner, George Gipe, Steve Martin
    Music: Mikos Rozsa
    Cinematography: Michael Chapman
    Production Design: John DeCuit
    Producers: David V. Picker, William E. McEuen
    Director: Carl Reiner

production info

  • Year of Release: 1982
  • Country: USA | Universal – Aspen Film Society
  • Language: English
  • Runtime: 88 minutes

Steve Martin

Rigby Reardon

Rachel Ward

Juliet Forrest

Alan Ladd

The Exterminator

Carl Reiner

Field Marshall VonKluck

Barbara Stanwyck

Leona Hastings-Forrest

Ray Milland

Sam Hastings

Ava Gardner

Kitty Collins

Burt Lancaster

Swede Anderson

Humphrey Bogart

Phillip Marlowe

Cary Grant


Ingrid Bergman

F.X. Huberman

Veronica Lake

Monica Stillpond

Bette Davis

Doris Davermont

Lana Turner

Jimmi-Sue Altfeld