Leonard Maltin's Rating :
Should be :
IMDB Rating : 6.7
Rotten Tomatoes Rating : 77%
Rotten Tomatoes Synopsis : In this post-modernist exercise, star/writer Steve Martin and director Carl Reiner spoof the film noir yarns of the '40s with Martin playing gumshoe Rigby Reardon, who interacts with a legion of Hollywood greats -- including Humphrey Bogart, Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, Edward Arnold, Barbara Stanwyck, Ingrid Bergman, Veronica Lake, Bette Davis, Lana Turner and Joan Crawford -- in a succession of intercut clips from seventeen vintage Hollywood films.
Leonard says in his review : "Fun at first, but with no story and cardboard characters, it wears thin fast; film buffs will enjoy it more than the average viewer."
This is a movie that is so different from any other, and so clever, that it deserves a much higher rating than the two stars Leonard gave it. The clips themselves are wonderful and Steve Martin was great as Rigby. The clips of the movies make it a highlight reel of film noir and the film noir stars.
A great homage to the American genre, film noir, and a very funny movie in its own right.
Leonard is probably right that film buffs will enjoy it more than the average viewer, but this is also the kind of movie that can turn the average viewer in to a film buff, and that's not a bad thing.