Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982)

(On TV, January 2000) I can testify that this film works pretty well as a comedy without catching any of its references to the noir genre it’s so obviously parodying. This fabulous cinematic experiment intercuts actual scenes from classic 1930-1950 films into its own B/W footage, and so includes Steve Martin and the gorgeous Rachel Ward interacting with the great Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Vincent Price, Cary Grant, Greta Garbo… and a few others. It presumably blows the mind of the fans of these type of films, but as a total neophyte to this period, I though the film was pretty darn successful without knowing the referents. You’ve got to love the recurring tie gag.

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