Rigby Reardon

Created by George Gipe, Steve Martin and Carl Reiner

Juliet Forrest: What are you doing?
Rigby Reardon: Adjusting your breasts. You fainted and they shifted all out of whack.

RIGBY REARDON is the doofus P.I. (played by Steve Martin) who gets by with a little help from his friends, in Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, Carl Reiner's off-the-wall tip of the fedora, and squirt of the seltzer bottle, to the genre. But in this case, the friends are Bogart, Peter Lorre, Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, Burt Lancaster, Alan Ladd and the cast of about a zillion old detective and crime flicks from the forties and fifties. Old clips are seamlessly worked into the mix, a cinematic gimmick that really works, as opposed to the soggy mess that Robert Montgomery made of Chandler's The Lady in the Lake.

Our man Rigby is hired by the beautiful Juliet Forrest to prove that her father's death in a car crash was no accident. Seems dear ol' dad was a world-famous cheese scientist working on a secret cheese recipe.

Clips were used from The Glass Key, The Big Sleep, This Gun for Hire, The Postman Always Rings Twice, and a whole slew of other classic crime flicks. For the complete list, see Films Which Were Used in The Filming of Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid. Film buffs might also be interested to know that the film is dedicated to costume designer Edith Head (this was her last film) and all those who worked in the classic films of the forties and fifties.

And it's funny as hell, a real treat for PI fans. Hell, it's got cheese AND Nazis in it. What more could you want?


  • Mr. Alfeldt: Don't go near my daughter again. Don't try to see her. Don't write her and don't phone her.
    Rigby Reardon: Can I use her underwear to make soup?

  • "What's he paying you boys? I'll double it and we'll beat the shit out of HIM."

-- Rigby Reardon, to thugs.

  • "Women. They tear your heart out of your chest, slice it in little pieces, cook it, serve it to you on a hot plate and you're supposed to say, 'Thanks, honey, it's delicious.' But sorry Juliet, it tastes rotten."

-- Rigby

  • "If you need me, just call. You know how to dial, don't you? You just put your finger in the hole and make tiny little circles."

-- Juliet

  • "I hadn't seen a body put together like that since I solved the case of 'The Murdered Girl with the Big Tits.'"

-- Rigby

  • "Carlotta was the kind of town where they spell trouble T-R-U-B-I-L, and if you try to correct them, they kill you."

-- Rigby


  • DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID... Buy this video... Buy this DVD
    (aka "Dead Men Wear No Plaid")
    (1982, Universal Pictures)
    89 minutes
    Black and white
    Written by George Gipe, Steve Martin, Carl Reiner
    Directed by Carl Reiner
    Cinematography by Michael Chapman
    Production Design: John DeCuir
    Film Editing: Bud Molin
    Costume Design: Edith Head
    Produced by William E. McEuen
    Starring Steve Martin as RIGBY REARDON
    Also starring Rachel Ward, Carl Reiner, Reni Santoni, George Gaynes, Frank McCarthy, Adrian Ricard, Charlie Picerni, Gene Labell, George Sawaya, Britt Nilsson, Jean Beaudine, John Easton Stuart, Ronald Spivey, Bob Hevelone, Dieter Curt, Peter Kearns, Kent Deigaard, Eugene Brezany, Brad Baird


Films used in the making of the film.

The Film Geeks' Top Ten P.I. Films. James and Gustavo have spoken.

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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