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Steve Martin

Related: American cinema - comedy - actor


Stephen Glenn Martin (born August 14, 1945) is an American comedian, writer, producer, actor, musician, and composer. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Martin [Jan 2006]

Martin majored in philosophy at California State University, Long Beach, but dropped out. Nevertheless, his time there changed his life:

"It changed what I believe and what I think about everything. I majored in philosophy. Something about non sequiturs appealed to me. In philosophy, I started studying logic, and they were talking about cause and effect, and you start to realize, 'Hey, there is no cause and effect! There is no logic! There is no anything!' Then it gets real easy to write this stuff, because all you have to do is twist everything hard—you twist the punch line, you twist the nonsequitur so hard away from the things that set it up, that it's easy... and it's thrilling."
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Martin [Jan 2006]

L.A. Story (1991) - Mick Jackson

  • L.A. Story (1991) - Mick Jackson [Amazon.com]
    Steve Martin wrote this film as a meditation on both love and Los Angeles (and then-wife Victoria Tennant). He plays a L.A. TV weatherman who finds himself conflicted about what to do with his life, both professionally and personally. As he works his way through a couple of relationships (including a very funny one with a frisky Sarah Jessica Parker, who talks him into colonic therapy), he discovers a L.A. freeway sign that gives him romantic advice. It helps him realize what he knows intuitively: that the British woman he is attracted to (Tennant) is the one he should pursue. A big cast (and lots of cameos) have fun with this witty (if slight) material and director Mick Jackson adds visual pizzazz. --Marshall Fine for amazon.com

    Steve says:

    All I know is, on the day your plane was to leave, if I had the power, I would turn the winds around, I would roll in the fog, I would bring in storms, I would change the polarity of the earth so compasses couldn't work, so your plane couldn't take off.

    The soundtrack features the normally unbearable Enya with Epona (1988) and Charles Trenet's "La Mer".

    Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982) - Carl Reiner

  • Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982) - Carl Reiner [Amazon.com]
    Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid was a movie first released in 1982 directed by Carl Reiner and featuring the inimitable talents of comedian Steve Martin. It is both a pastiche and act of homage to film noir, the pulp-fiction detective movies of a bygone age.

    The film's concept is an interesting one in that it is largely comprised of a collage effect of old black and white movie clips from films of the 1940s and 1950s with more recent footage of Martin and other actors (including Carl Reiner, Rachel Ward, and Reni Santoni) similarly shot in black and white. In many ways the construction of the film anticipates the later Oscar winning movie, Forrest Gump. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Men_Don%27t_Wear_Plaid [Oct 2003]

    Amazon.com essential video
    This is one of the best parodies of the '40s hardboiled detective genre, with a very clever conceit: weaving the plot and production design around memorable movie clips (The Killers, The Big Sleep, Double Indemnity, The Lost Weekend, White Heat, This Gun for Hire, Sorry, Wrong Number, Notorious). Steve Martin plays the cool Rigby Reardon, who tries solving an incomprehensible mystery with the assistance of Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Burt Lancaster, Fred MacMurray, Ingrid Bergman, and Ray Milland, among others. It's all silly hokum with Rachel Ward as the pretty moll and director-cowriter Carl Reiner as the nefarious villain. Miklos Rozsa takes us back to yesteryear with his lush score, and, fittingly, Edith Head handles the period costumes in her final production. --Bill Desowitz

    See also: collage - film noir - parody

    Pennies From Heaven (1981) - Herbert Ross

  • Pennies From Heaven (1981) - Herbert Ross [Amazon.com]
    Steve Martin plays Arthur, a '30s-era traveling sheet-music salesman whose marriage is bleak and who embarks on a fateful affair with a teacher (an amazing Bernadette Peters). Arthur's dreary world is juxtaposed with Busby Berkeley-styled musical production numbers that showcase Martin's and Peters's versatility. Arthur's world is desperate, sad, and only the more so when directly compared to the musical numbers. But it does work and it is affecting. This dark, yet simultaneously ebullient film written by Dennis Potter is capable of presenting such polar-opposite visuals and emotion. Until this film, Martin was best known for his comedic albums, and for 1979's The Jerk. In other words, Pennies' disappointing box office can be accredited to audiences' inability to accept a dark Martin in the early 1980s. If Martin's dancing ability comes as a surprise, an even greater revelation is Christopher Walken in a sexy stripping tap-dancing number. Bob Hoskins played Arthur in the 1978 British miniseries of the same name. --N.F. Mendoza

    Pennies From Heaven is a 1978 BBC television drama serial by the highly-regarded television playwright Dennis Potter. In 1981, the series was adapted as a film, starring Steve Martin. Potter adapted his own screenplay, and Herbert Ross directed. Potter was nominated for the 1981 Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennies_From_Heaven [Jan 2006]

    Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid dialogue excerpt

    CUT TO:


    STEVE MARTIN, a natty robe over his pyjamas, and

    wearing a cravat, slippers and smoking elegantly, watches

    as a WOMAN enters the room.

    It is none other than LANA TURNER, and she is wearing a

    fitting, soft and primarily white combination of separates.

    Her hair is so platinumed, it seems to glow.

    LANA TURNER is worried, nervous, and filled with a kind of

    regret. She clasps and unclasps her hands in earnest before

    she put them behind her and leans against the door she has

    just closed.


    What are we going to do?



    Kinsey, from cover to cover...

    He advances, and she does not resist.


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