Steve Martin was white-hot following the box-office smash The Jerk. So hot that the next film he created with director Carl Reiner would find Martin taking top billing from some of Hollywood's all time greats, including Humphrey Bogart, Joan Crawford, Cary Grant, Bette Davis, James Cagney and Barbara Stanwyck. Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid spoofed the film noir movies of the 1940s by actually incorporating footage from quintessential crime films like Double Indemnity, The Big Sleep and The Postman Always Rings Twice into the movie itself. Without the benefit of today's computer technology, Reiner relied on trick photography, rear-projection and over the shoulder shots to collage Martin in to scenes from eighteen different films. The results are often astoundingly convincing -- and always unapologetically goofy. Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid screens tonight at 8 p.m. at Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue, Maplewood; www.webster.edu/filmseries). Admission is $5.
Wed., Aug. 7, 2013