Tuesday, 27 July 2010

My double bills#22 Murder by Death & Dead men don't wear plaid

Murder by Death was written by Neil Simon and directed by Robert Moore.

The plot is a comedic take on the ‘cluedo’ style country-house whodunit, familiar to mystery fiction fans from classics by the likes of Agatha Christie. The cast is an ensemble of well known actors; Eileen Brennan, Truman Capote, James Coco,Peter Falk, Alec Guinness, Elsa Lanchester, David Niven, Peter Sellers, Maggie Smith, Nancy Walker and Estelle Winwood.

The characters of Jessica Marbles, Sidney Wang, Dick and Dora Charleston, Milo Perrier and Sam Diamond are all ciphers of well known detectives Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Charlie Chan, Nick and Nora Charles, and Sam Spade.

It’s murder and mystery with mayhem site gags set pieces snappy dialogue and just the right amount of tongue in cheek from the formidable cast.Pun and purility mix with silly accents and obvious innuendo. It's fun at the old house

In Carl Reiner's Dead men don’t wear plaid Steve Martin plays a private detective who encounters a bizarre assortment of suspects while trying to find out the truth about a scientist's death. It uses classic noir scenes from old Warner Bros inter spliced into scenes with Martin. films. Martins co stars are the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Alan Ladd, Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Barbara Stanwyck, Ray Milland, among others.

It pays homage to film noir while parodying it. Martin under plays his wild and crazy guy routine to great effect and at times the interspersed scenes are pretty convincing. It is a funny and clever film. A reminder of the sort of risk taking movies Steve Martin used to make.


1 comment:

  1. A great double bill...but I'd go for triple and end the evening with THE CHEAP DETECTIVE.


having said that;