Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)
March 25, 2023 4:59 PM - Subscribe

Steve Martin and Carl Reiner's homage to, and parody of, film noir. Private eye Rigby Reardon investigates the mysterious death of a famous scientist and cheesemaker on the request of his gorgeous daughter (Rachel Ward), and finds himself deep in a conspiracy with the lowest of the low. Using clips from famous movies of the 1940s seamlessly blended with original black and white scenes, this rises above gimmicky to be an entertaining and unique film. Gowns by Edith Head.
posted by The corpse in the library (17 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This movie certainly made me feel a certain way about pajamas, and Rachel Ward, but probably not the same way.
posted by OHenryPacey at 7:12 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]

Oh man, a friend from high school and I could reliably bring each other to hysterics by shaking our hand and going "sh sh sh sh sh sh sh", evoking this scene. I started laughing while finding the clip for this comment.
posted by Gorgik at 10:47 PM on March 25 [4 favorites]

Such a favorite growing up. And I love the concept. It's a shame more directors haven't tried it.

To this day, the only German I know by heart is "Immer Essen".
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:18 AM on March 26

terrific film. really inventive comedy.

"they were outta whack."
posted by j_curiouser at 7:54 AM on March 26 [2 favorites]

> I started laughing while finding the clip for this comment.

I started laughing before I even clicked on it, knowing what it would be. Perfect comedy timing. But also perfect lighting, I just realized, the way you see his eyes when he looks up.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:05 AM on March 26

AlonzoMosleyFBI but not... Reinemachfrau?
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:07 AM on March 26 [2 favorites]

AlonzoMosleyFBI but not... Reinemachfrau?

What can I say? The phrase "Always Eating" is a lot more relevant to my life than "Cleaning Woman".
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 9:09 AM on March 26 [1 favorite]

posted by whuppy at 11:04 AM on March 26 [5 favorites]

I remember enjoying this very much when I saw it. Forty years ago. Time, it passes.

> "seamlessly blended"

I'd have maybe gone with "blended pretty well". The seams occasionally show.
posted by kyrademon at 12:17 PM on March 26

Fair. "Artistically blended"?
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:44 PM on March 26

It is a film that really makes you reexamine the value of sending your daughters to camp.
posted by Ignorantsavage at 3:57 PM on March 26

Holy blast from the past. I remember that I liked it - but not much else. Adding to rewatch list (which I will never complete).
posted by Glinn at 12:58 PM on March 27

I saw this as a high school junior when it came out and I've loved it ever since. I can recite most of the movie from memory.

"You need a cup of my java." (One of the funniest things I've ever seen.)

"What's he paying you boys? I'll double it and we'll beat the shit out of him."

"This is never gonna heal."

"That gives me two hours to wash and press your pajamas." (Maybe off on the time.)

"At least we got...Terre" (Back story.)

"I'm a butler, not a catcher."
posted by kirkaracha at 5:10 PM on March 27

This movie certainly made me feel a certain way about pajamas, and Rachel Ward, but probably not the same way.

Between this movie and Sharky's Machine, I've had a crush on Rachel Ward since high school. Pajamas, not so much.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:13 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]

I've only seen this a couple times, both in the past 15-20 years, and I freaking LOVE it. The entire Humphrey Bogart as a schlub bit just kills me. Say what you will about collage and pastiche, but I don't care.
posted by rhizome at 9:48 PM on March 27

You need a cup of my famous java!

A++++ gag.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 5:09 PM on March 28

Content note for those who want to try this movie based on this thread: If you're sensitive to sexual assault or transphobic humor, check the notes for this movie on
posted by umber vowel at 9:47 AM on April 6

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