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My Favorite Movie Comedies--Part Two

  • Jun 20, 2010
The first list of movie comedies dealt with more recent films--this list (with one exception) will deal with older films.

The older I get the more I need comedy.
Poster of the film.
In Chaplin's last silent film the Little Tramp falls in love with a blind girl who sells flowers.
I'm No Angel
Mae West is a circus performer who has captivated New York City, and Cary Grant. Although she has been known to accept money and expensive gifts from her lovers in the past her intentions toward Grant are absolutely honorable--and she even proves it in court!
She Done Him Wrong
It's Mae West as a saloon singer and Cary Grant as a member of the Salvation Army-but not everthing is as it seems. Best exchange? He, "Can I hold your hand?" She, "It ain't heavy, I can hold it myself."
My Little Chickadee
Mae does her best to disguise her loathing for W.C. Fields in the story set in the oldish west. Mae even logs some time as a school marm! Mae, "One and one is two, Two and two is four, and five'll get you ten if you know how to work it."
The Cocoanuts
The Marx Bros first film has even more of their stage material in it than later films. Best routine for me is the "via-duct "why a duck" exchange .
Duck Soup
Hail, Hail Freedonia!"
Horse Feathers
Groucho is the new president of Huxley University, and boy do they need someone with his "special talents.
Monkey Business
Best known for the scene in which the Brothers try to convince the immigration authorities that they are Maurice Chevalier!
Animal Crackers
"Hooray for Captain Spalding the African explorer/ "Did someone call me schnorrer?"/ Hooray hooray horray!
Cary Grant almost goes nuts trying to cover for his to elderly aunts who ARE nuts--they like to kill elderly gentlemen and then bury their bodies in the basement. Great screwball comedy that also features Peter Lorre and Raymond Massey doing his best Boris Karloff.
Adam's Rib
Katherine Hepburn plays an attorney defending Judy Holliday who's being prosecuted by Spencer tracy for attempted muder. The problem? The defense attorney and the D.A. are married...to each other.
Desk Set
Katherine Hepburn works in the reference depatment of a major television network She and her staff either know or know how to get the answer to anything. Then one day Spencer Tracy walks in lugging a big shiny computer. Can you say "unemployment"?
Movie poster
This is the second Pink Panther flick and definitely my favorite. Inspector Clouseau falls in love with Elke Sommers who, unfortunately, is also suspected of killing her employer.
A Hard Day's Night
I still love it (and The Beatles' music) after all these years...even if it is a bit difficult to watch knowing that John and George are gone.
I Wanna Hold Your Hand
Various teens head for the Big Apple to try and see The Beatles in their first U.S. performance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Co-stars Eddie Deezen, one of the best geeks ever!
Peter Cook as The Devil buys Duddley Moore's soul for 7 wishes, all of which Moore uses in an attempt to gain the love of a waitress he works with at Wimpy's where he's a short order cook. (Peter Cook could never resist an opportunity to take a shot at Moore's lack of height.) The remake can't hold a candle to this one, although I do like scene where Brendan Fraser is delighted to discover he's speaking Spanish when he's a Columbian drug lord.
The President's Analyst
James Coburn is the titular character who finds his own sanity starting to slip away under the weight of the secrets the President has passed on to him. He begins to imagine he's being followed--or is it his imagination?
The Graduate
Forget the limp-wristed TV version--the original Robert Altman film had a bite that the Army will never forget.
Brewster McCloud
Altman's quirky film about a young man (Bud Cort) who lives deep in the Bowels of the Houston Astodome where he is building a pair of wings that will enable him to fly like a bird. Proecting him (and presumedly killing all those who would keep him from his goal) is his literal Guradian Angel Sally Kellerman. There's also a wonderful performance by Rene Auberjonois as a lecturer on birds who comments on things from time to time, and who physically transforms into a bird as the film progressives. This stuff is great. Oh, there's also Michael Murphy as a Bullitesque cop from San Francisco who kills himself after his "piercing blue eyes" are discovered to be tinted contact lenses.
The Kentucky Fried Movie
Jim Abrams and the Zucker Brothers made one of the first and definitely the best of the sketch comedy movies that were so popular for a while. The take off an ENTER THE DRAGON alone makes this flick a classic.
Top Secret!
A zany movie from the guys who gave you AIRPLANE! and KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE. In this one Val Kilmer plays an American rock and roll star (He's definitely NOT Mel Torme) on tour in Nazi Germany who joins the French resistence and rescues a famous scientist. Highlight is Kilmer's stage show,
What's your favorite gag? Mine is Beaver Cleaver's mother speaking jive to the two black dudes.
The Hospital
Two doctors and a nurse turn up dead and that's just the start of George C. Scott's problems in the very dark satire. His is not a name or face you commonly associate with big laughs.
Australia. A boys boarding school on one side of a lake, a girls school on the other. A brilliant, sensitive young teenage boy, the shy daughter of a Kenyan diplomat. An amusing, tender coming of age story. Not the type of film I normally seek out but I'm very glad I saw it.
The Gods Must Be Crazy
A Coke bottle tossed from a low flying plane causes problems in a tribe of Bushmen who believe it to be a gift from the Gods. In fact it cause so many problems that one man is chosen to return it to them, saying thanks, but no thanks. And so he starts walking.
Poster for the film.
The perfect mix of martial arts, stuntwork, and comedy. Chan, Sammo, and Yuen Biao team up against pirates.
Easy Wheels
A biker named She Wolf leads her pack of female bikers in a diabolical plot to raise a breed of super-women who will rule the world. Great fun.
See the full review, "Easy Rider of the Evil Dead".
Harold and Maude
An eccentric boy who likes to stage his own death falls in love with an eccentric old woman. A match made in heaven.
Eric Bogosian's Funhouse\
A one man show written and performed by Bogosian in which he moves from one street character to another sometimes without so much as the blink of an eye. Many of them are hilariou, some of them are tragic--a couple of them are frightening. This is the most impressive show I've ever seen, and I say that having seen Bogosian's other shows including his Tony Award winners.
To Die For
Nicole Kidman is a beautiful coniving woman who wants to become a network news anchor. Towards that goal she marries into a family with Mafia connects and gets a job as a weather girl on a tiny local station. While working on a show about Teens she seduces a boy and ultimately gets him to kill her husband. Based loosely on the Pam Smart case. hard to believe there's anything funny here, isn't it. But Kidman is terrific in the role.

What did you think of this list?

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January 03, 2011
stellar list, Karen! I have no idea how I almost missed this one (but I guess it is because I don't come to this community). I loved # 31 but I hardly think it qualifies as a classic since it was made in the 90's; but that is one of my fave films. period..  I see movies from the 70's and the 80's here, and I loved your picks... fun list!
January 05, 2011
When I made these lists originally there were no communities to worry about.
January 05, 2011
ah...that's why. =)
January 03, 2011
Great list - I'll admit I have not seen most of these, but Airplane is an old favorite. And I agree with you about the older we get, the more we need to laugh!
January 05, 2011
Everybody loves AIRPLANE!
July 15, 2010
Love the entire list even though I will admit I have not seen them all, but "Arsenic and Old Lace" really brings me back. Great film and great list.
July 15, 2010
I divided the comedies into older films and more recent ones and ARSENIC is obviously with the older ones.
June 21, 2010
Is #31 really a comedy? :P I'm well-versed with newer films, so I love that this list is full of older ones. I'll have to check them out. Thanks for sharing, Karen! :)
June 21, 2010
Yes it is, it's just a really dark one.
January 03, 2011
so dark that it is so black.
January 05, 2011
Very black. But, yes, it's comedic.
June 20, 2010
I was never a big fan of comedy, but I find the same thing true about me-- the older I get, the more I need to laugh. Nice list. I actually haven't seen any of these titles, although I have heard of some.
June 20, 2010
Which ones? With the exception of TO DIE FOR these are all older films. My previous comedy list (Part One) consists of slightly more modern films. I'll bet AIRPLANE! is one that you've at least heard of.
June 21, 2010
I've heard of "The Graduate," "Airplane," and "Harold and Maude." I must have missed your part one list...did I comment on it? Shoot me the link again, just in case, so I can check it out.
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karen ()
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I am the poster child for inertia. Where ever I am is where I plan to stay FOREVER.   So much so in fact that it took me decades to understand the punchline about why   the chicken … more
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