Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid

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Story: PI Reardon is hired by a beautiful woman to investigate her father’s death and finds himself in a web of betrayal, violence, and old movies.  That’s noir, Jack.

Detective: Rigby Reardon

Release Date: May 21, 1982

Writer: Carl Reiner, George Gipe, and Steve Martin

Source: Every noir mystery ever filmed.

Mystery Analysis:
Detective as protagonist?

Lani: Sure.

Murderer as antagonist?
Jenny: Yes, at least he’s the guy sending out henchmen.
Lani: I… suppose? Still not clear on what role he actually played. Usually that’s my fault for not paying close enough attention, but this time, I’m willing to blame the movie.

Conflict created by murder?
Jenny: The story is so badly handled I have no idea why a lot of that stuff was happening.  The plot was just an excuse to be cute with old movies, so there wan’t much coherent conflict.
Lani: The conflict was created by staying true to a gimmick, rather than the story.

Fair play with all the clues given?
Jenny: Well, we knew everything Rigby knew, but Rigby is an idiot.
Lani: Were there clues? If I have to ask that question, I think maybe… not?

Solved using deduction, not luck?
Jenny: Solved using old movie clips.  But yes, he gets to the final scene by deducton.
Lani: He followed clue to clue in a straight line, and he had to put the puzzle pieces together in order to do that so I’d give a provisional yes.

Story Analysis & Ratings:

Jenny says: 2Pops
Mystery: 1, Craft: 1, Suspense: 1, Romance: 1, Comedy: 1  I’d give zeros if I could, and for the romance I’d go into nedgative numbers for the date-rape intro.  Bleah.

Lani says: 0 Pops
Mystery: 0, Craft: 0, Suspense: 0, Romance: 0, Comedy: 0

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15 responses to “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”

  1. I don’t think they even cared to have a plot in this movie, really. It’s all about the gag. I don’t remember what the plot was, I think it ended with Nazi cheese. And once Juliet disappears from the movie, it’s even duller because there’s no other live actors. They make the gag look good by the filming, but is there any reason to watch it? To stay interested in watching it? Nooooo, there really isn’t. Especially since he has to summarize a whole lot, I kept forgetting what character were who, and I didn’t care.

    Also, note to the male writers of this movie: if you wake up to find a guy you don’t know feeling up your chest, screaming and/or slapping (it’s the 40’s) are highly likely to ensue. COME ON.

    There’s really only two good moments in the movie: Rachel Ward’s lines about (a) how to operate a phone, and (b) the penis rearrangement. And those aren’t even that good.

  2. I didn’t watch this week because I saw half of this a few years ago and remembered it being bad. Apparently I remembered correctly. I have seen the movie version of Fletch. I remember it being good. I think they stuck pretty close to the book, which mostly makes up for casting Chevy Chase. I was hoping that would be on the list, but I guess it isn’t streaming anywhere? Too bad about Foul Play, I love it. I howl every single time I see that Bible salesman roll down the hill in the trash can.

  3. Hah, yeah, I never figured out that these were streaming-ONLY reviews. Probably because I hardly ever use my streaming, except for a few things I can’t get on DVD. Streaming has no extras to view.

  4. Yeah, it’s kind of a bummer that we got to this one after High Anxiety. I would love to watch Fletch or Foul Play; I wonder if this rule about only streamable content is working against us? Would streamable-when-possible be a better policy? Although we’d have to rummage up the DVDs, and it’s very common on PopD night for us to realize we don’t have the DVD and then just watch it on Netflix or Amazon.

    I don’t know – what do you guys think?

  5. I usually check the library for DVDs if it’s a movie I don’t have access to, so I don’t really care if it’s streaming somewhere or not. If I want to watch it on my computer, I just Google until I find a link that works. So if you guys want to watch something that isn’t streaming, I vote yes. Although I know Fletch is streaming on Amazon.

  6. Sorry, RLJ – forgot to click a button in the feed. It’s done now and should be showing up in your iTunes feed very soon. Thanks for the heads up!

  7. Streaming is great, I agree, but since we’re not doing the chat I don’t think it’s as crucial. I think with a lot of these I’m working off memory. It’s not perfect but since I’ve seen them so many times and I saw them before my memory went wonky it’s working pretty well for me so far. On the other hand I’m a person that has a huge number of DVDs sitting in my basement because when it’s a movie that I absolutely adore I grab it and hold onto it and watch it all the time. In fact, I’m pretty sure Clue is down there! I’ll be interested to see how it fairs this week. I liked it as a flick but I wasn’t watching it for structure, etc., just for entertainment. Now I’m wondering if my favorite parody/humorous mystery of all time – Murder By Death – would stand up to a PopD grilling? I’m not so sure anymore.

  8. I just watched Murder By Death tonight, and it’s not going to make the cut, either, although it has some excellent moments in it. It’s just a comedy pretending to be a mystery, nobody actually cares whodunnit.

    This is a tough genre. And for some reason Foul Play is impossible to find anywhere reasonably. I loved that movie.

  9. It’s pretty easy to find a DVD of Foul Play; maybe if everyone had a couple of weeks to get it?

  10. We haven’t found it. Amazon has it to buy for fifty bucks, Netflix doesn’t have it at all.

  11. I hate to use the wikipedia list as a starting point but my memory isn’t what it used to be. Sadly, we’ve watched a lot of them already in other categories or we’ve found out that they already suck. Who Framed Roger Rabbit is on the list. It is a gimmick movie but it is good. Does it have a good story structure? I don’t honestly remember.

  12. I love Who Framed Roger Rabbit 🙂 I think that was on the list for comic mysteries at first but it wasn’t streaming.