What do you think of Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)?


I just saw it and I like Steve Martin a lot, but this one feels like a mess of different plot ideas, that doesn't really come quite together. The scenes from older movies spliced in, just add to the messiness of the plot, and feel very random.

But maybe this is the comedy and it's suppose to feel random and messy, and that's part of the joke?

I think your analysis there is quite correct, it's all just done for comedy. Personally I think it's great, a really funny film. It's the way they've cut in the scenes from the old movies that's the main thing to enjoy about it. Mostly very well done in my opinion. The randomness makes a lot of it unexpected, and therefore often funny. The rest of it is a reasonable satire of a typical 40's film noir/detective story.

I think it's claim to fame is it's unique. I don't know of any other film that has done this - not for an entire movie anyway.

Your analysis is valid, but even though the film lacks cohesion, it's still kind of brilliant considering it is a patchwork of other material.

I agree with your idea that creating a plot and telling a gripping story while paying attention to continuity was probably not the priority, but secondary to the gag of splicing in old films and making up jokes around that device.

It's kind of neat seeing so many big names (from a bygone era) altogether in one film when such a feat would have only been a fantasy for an actual movie of the time.

It's not as funny as a lot of other Steve Martin's films and a lot of the humor relies on the gag of mixing new footage & dialogue with existing footage, but it still has it's moments... even some that don't rely completely on it's distinctive gag (such as the "Pajamas!")

For years I've been referring this movie to @Citizen Rules, only because he is a Noir buff and this is the only Noir spoof I know of that utilized real clips and stars from real Noir movies to create such a comic fiasco.

Oh okay. Well I guess for me, it was funny for about the first 3 times they spliced in older movies, but then after that it started to get old, and I started thinking, well what else you got? Or maybe it wasn't enough for me, at least not on a first viewing.

Itís supposed to be janky. Thatís kinda the fun, and the challenge of it. Watching them contort to fit the inconsistencies is part of the comedy. Itíd be a miracle if they could actually work around it all gracefully.

Anyway, great movie. Cool idea and VERY funny.