Friday, June 7, 2019

Dead Men Don't Wear Kilts

One of the most underrated films of the 1980's is this Steve Martin vehicle from 1982, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, a film noir parody where Martin co-stars with Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Cagney and a host of other film legends through trick editing with classic movies. Making it work required careful lighting and camera work, along with several stand-ins to make it look like Martin is standing in the same shot with the legends. It's so seamless in pre-CGI Hollywood, you have to watch carefully to figure out how everything is stitched together.

A look at the films
that have left a mark on my life.
It's also the last film of legendary costume designer Edith Head, a fitting tribute (if you will excuse the pun) to motion-picture glamor, so much of it inspired and produced by her.

When this film came out while I was in elementary school, other kids who talked about it weren't marveling at the galaxy of stars or its novel concept. They were talking about Steve Martin saying, "They knocked your [bleep] out of whack!"

And we were laughing about this scene, which I saw when Martin promoted the film on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson:

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