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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Steve Martin Movie Collection


Starring: Steve Martin
Distributor: Fabulous Films Ltd / Fremantle Media Enterprises
RRP: £39.99
5 030697 039491
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 18 September 2017

Fabulous Films Ltd / Fremantle Media Enterprises release an all new Steve Martin Movie Collection The set includes his 1982 black and white comedy crime mystery Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, the 1989 Ron Howard directed smash hit Parenthood, the 1996 film version of the classic Phil Silver’s series Sgt. Bilko, also starring Dan Aykroyd. And the wonderful 1999 Frank Oz directed comedy about a low budget film director Bowfinger, also starring Eddie Murphy...

Back in his day, when Steve Martin seemed to crop up in just about every film made, he was funny; funny in that annoyingly pompous way, but still funny. Sadly most of his films have just not aged very well at all. The problem is is that Steve Martin has one onscreen character: Steve Martin. And it soon wears thin.

This box set contains four of his movie, not necessarily his best, but they represent a fairly wide selection of this output.

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1989)
Private eye Rigby Reardon is brought a case by Juliet Forrest (Rachel Ward): her father, a noted scientist, philanthropist and cheese-maker has died mysteriously. Reardon immediately smells a rat and follows a complex maze of clues that lead to the “Carlotta Lists’. With a little help from his “friends” Burt Lancaster, Humphrey Bogart etc, Reardon gets his man...

As the private eye of private eyes, Steve Martin is Rigby Reardon. He’s tough, rough and ready to take on anything. This action-packed film showcases films the way films used to be… literally! This comedy-mystery incorporates clips from 19 films from the Classic Hollywood era, creating a spoof/parody/homage to the early '30s and '40s Film Noir detective movies. Among the actors who pop up are Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Kirk Douglas, Ava Gardner, Cary Grant, Burt Lancaster, Vincent Price and Lana Turner.


Parenthood (1996)
The Buckmans are a modern day family facing the age-old dilemma of trying to raise children the “right” way. At the centre of the storm is Gil (Steve Martin), who manages to keep his unique sense of humour while attempting to maintain a successful career and be a loving husband and parent, all at the same time. As Gil and the rest of the Buckmans discover, being the “perfect” parent often means just letting children be themselves...

Oscar winning director Ron Howard teams up with Steve Martin to create a hilarious, touching and unforgettable portrait of life’s most rewarding occupation: Parenthood. The film is based on the parental experiences of Ron Howard, producer Brian Grazer and screenwriters Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel - they have 17 children between the four of them.

Click here to read our full review of the 2016 reissue of this movie.


Sgt. Bilko (1996)
Martin is the inexplicable, the incorrigible, the invincible Sgt. Bilko, leader of a ragtag group of the sorriest soldiers ever to enlist in the armed forces. Instead of training his troops for battle, he passes on his legacy of gambling and shunning responsibility. Times get tough however, when the base is threatened with a shutdown, and a by-the-book adversary, Major Thorn, is intent on taking Bilko’s reputation down with it. Now, all bets are on Bilko to drum up his biggest scheme yet to save Fort Baxter... and clear his name...

Martin stars with Dan Aykroyd and Phil Hartman in this comedy from Imagine Entertainment. It is an adaptation of the iconic 1950s television series The Phil Silvers Show. Phil Silvers’s daughter Cathy Silvers plays 1st Lt. Monday in the film. The role of Sgt. Bilko was offered to Michael Keaton, Robin Williams and Billy Crystal before Steve Martin stepped in to Phil Silvers’s boots.

Click here to read our full review of the 2017 reissue of this movie.


Bowfinger (1999)
How does Bobby Bowfinger, Hollywood’s least successful director, get Kit Ramsey, Hollywood’s biggest star, in his ultra low-budget film? Any way he can. With an ingenious scheme and the help of Kit’s eager and nerdy brother Jiff, an ambitious and sexy wannabe and an over-the-hill diva, Bowfinger sets out to trick Kit Ramsey into the performance of a lifetime.

Written by Martin, Bowfinger is based on a real incident in 1927. A Russian filmmaker covertly shot footage of Mary Pickford - the Canadian-American actress and co-founder of the film studio United Artists. He fashioned an entire film around the footage, creating the illusion that Pickford was actually starring in his Russian film. It was directed by Frank Oz and was the 4th film on which he and Steve Martin had worked together.

Click here to read our full review of the 2016 reissue of this movie.

If you fondly remember these movies from their original release, then you may be disappointed as none are as amusing as you'll remember. If you fancy a Martin fix then these are four very different and entertaining movies, but certainly not timeless classics.


Nick Smithson

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