Picks and Pans Review: Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

updated 05/31/1982 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/31/1982 AT 01:00 AM EDT

As if Pennies From Heaven wasn't a big enough disaster, Steve Martin is back with another cut-and-paste movie. This time he and director Carl Reiner have spliced scenes from such classics as Double Indemnity and Sorry, Wrong Number onto footage of Martin as a Philip Marlowe-type private eye. The result is a suspense film that will have audiences on the edge of their seats wondering, "When does it end?" The intercutting techniques make Martin seem actually to be playing scenes with Cagney, Bogart and Bette Davis. But the plot is one Big Sleep, and Martin reverts to bathroom humor and those now-tired wild-and-crazy mannerisms. Rachel Ward, the discovery of Sharky's Machine, is fine as Martin's client but can't save this flop. (PG)

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