what's the funniest movie ever?


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what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby gh » Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:09 pm

members of a film subscription service did a study and measured laughs per minute.

Airplane wins at 3.0 lpm, with Hangover second at 2.4.

The lack of any Marx Bros. in the top 10 confirms that it's a bogus poll. (Not to mention the presence of Borat)
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby DrJay » Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:45 pm

Funniest-at-the-time-(and age)-you-saw-it for me has to be Animal House, as I was an immature 16 y.o. then. As an immature 50 y.o., I still think it's a hoot, though if I was seeing it for the first time now, it wouldn't have the same "charm" it did back then. :D
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby DrJay » Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:49 pm

My idea of great humor has swung toward films like Dr. Strangelove.
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby DrJay » Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:52 pm

Wow! Clearly into the T&F "off-season" already, aren't we! I sense a big non-T&F-thread purge in the offing. Purge as in, inner cleansing, not mass deletion.
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby Conor Dary » Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:34 pm

DrJay wrote:Funniest-at-the-time-(and age)-you-saw-it for me has to be Animal House, as I was an immature 16 y.o. then. As an immature 50 y.o., I still think it's a hoot, though if I was seeing it for the first time now, it wouldn't have the same "charm" it did back then. :D


That is a great film. And I was there when they filmed it!
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby dukehjsteve » Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:02 pm

Conor Dary wrote:
DrJay wrote:Funniest-at-the-time-(and age)-you-saw-it for me has to be Animal House, as I was an immature 16 y.o. then. As an immature 50 y.o., I still think it's a hoot, though if I was seeing it for the first time now, it wouldn't have the same "charm" it did back then. :D


That is a great film. And I was there when they filmed it!



Movie coincides with my time of collegiate experience ( early 60's) and although the characters and events are bit embellished for theatrical effect, it is dead on. I never get sick of it. ( Poor Fawn Liebowitz.... )
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby Conor Dary » Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:09 pm

Off hand, I would list:
Duck Soup
Airplane!
Naked Gun
Dr. Strangelove
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Life of Brian
Animal House
The General
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby Master Po » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:54 pm

Conor Dary wrote:Off hand, I would list:
Duck Soup
Airplane!
Naked Gun
Dr. Strangelove
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Life of Brian
Animal House
The General


Even though "what's funny" is a radically individual thing, I endorse conor's list entirely, and would add to it some exemplars from Mel Brooks (The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles).
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby Per Andersen » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:26 pm

I don't know about funniest ever but I thought the following were extremely funny.
Being There
High Anxiety
Shampoo
The Big Lebowski
A Fish called Wanda

For sure Dr Strangelove was a fabulous movie with outrageously funny parts but so had A Clockwork Orange.
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby Rog » Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:40 am

The classic age for screen comedy belongs to the 30s and 40s. My favourite is "The More The Merrier" with Joel McCrea and Jean Arthur - Joel is fantastic in that movie. It's funny and romantic and very timely - the premise is the shortage of housing in Washington as the US joined the war. Other inspired Joel McCrea comedies are "The Palm Beach Story" with Claudette Colbert and "Sullivan's Travels", which is a fascinating film about a privileged Hollywood Director who wants to make a film about hard times, and ends up encountering them firsthand. It's actually quite thought-provoking.

Other faves include any number of Cary Grant comedies plus, from the 60s, "Some Like It Hot".
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby Conor Dary » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:33 am

Master Po wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:Off hand, I would list:
Duck Soup
Airplane!
Naked Gun
Dr. Strangelove
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Life of Brian
Animal House
The General


Even though "what's funny" is a radically individual thing, I endorse conor's list entirely, and would add to it some exemplars from Mel Brooks (The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles).


I will do you one back and endorse your 3, especially The Producers.

Springtime for Hitler, and Germany,
winter for Poland and France!
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby Conor Dary » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:41 am

Rog wrote:The classic age for screen comedy belongs to the 30s and 40s. My favourite is "The More The Merrier" with Joel McCrea and Jean Arthur - Joel is fantastic in that movie. It's funny and romantic and very timely - the premise is the shortage of housing in Washington as the US joined the war. Other inspired Joel McCrea comedies are "The Palm Beach Story" with Claudette Colbert and "Sullivan's Travels", which is a fascinating film about a privileged Hollywood Director who wants to make a film about hard times, and ends up encountering them firsthand. It's actually quite thought-provoking.

Other faves include any number of Cary Grant comedies plus, from the 60s, "Some Like It Hot".


Others are the Carole Lombard films: My Man Godfrey, To Be or Not to Be and Hitchkock's Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby jeremyp » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:05 am

This is probably the most subjective of all movie genres. I don't find any of the modern movies funny. "The Hangover" was 90 minutes of scratching on a blackboard. I stopped really consistently laughing in movies about 30 years ago. I know, I know, I'm a depressed geezer. The one movie I remember that last brought me to constant guffaws was "A Shot In The Dark" one of the first, if not the first of the Peter Sellers "Clouseau" movies, which I saw in Bangkok when I was in the Peace Corps. I remember the other actors had a really hard time keeping sombre. If I remember rightly Blake Edwards (Director) had planned a small role for Clouseau but as he kept ad libbing it grew and grew.
I also liked Mel Brooks movies. The classic comedy of all time for me was: "Growing up with Baby."
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby jeremyp » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:16 am

Conor Dary wrote:
DrJay wrote:Funniest-at-the-time-(and age)-you-saw-it for me has to be Animal House, as I was an immature 16 y.o. then. As an immature 50 y.o., I still think it's a hoot, though if I was seeing it for the first time now, it wouldn't have the same "charm" it did back then. :D


That is a great film. And I was there when they filmed it!

One of the guys who wrote it: Chris Miller was a classmate of mine. It was based on Dartmouth....Loosely, very loosely. I remember going to see it with a friend of mine (from Duke) in the 70's and while he was busting a gut I was mostly thinking "I don't remember that at Dartmouth."
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby aaronk » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:33 am

Different eras produced different types of comedy.
So from the 30's and 40's, I'd have to go with some of the Cary Grant/Irene Dunne or Spencer Tracy/Katherine Hepburn comedies.
Choose any or all of them!!

In the 40's and 50's I chose the Abbott and Costello and Martin and Lewis slapstick stuff.
I also enjoyed The Three Stooges, though for their short stuff, not the feature length movies.

In the 70's I choose Young Frankenstein...for both comedic and personal reasons.
It was the movie I saw (in 1974) where I discovered that High School classmate (and infatuation!!) Terry Garr had become actress TERI Garr.
I sat there watching the movie (in the Minor Theater in Arcata CA), and thought, wow, "Inga" sure does look familiar!!!
"Rollll, rollll, rolllll in the hay!!!"
Then when I saw the credits and it said "Teri Garr" was "Inga", I was shocked.
I had no idea she'd gone into acting!!
I hadn't seen her since high school, 12 years earlier!!

But Young Frankenstein was also a hilarious flick!!

Like some others, I don't really find modern comedies very funny.
But Airplane!, Arthur, When Harry Met Sally, As Good As It Gets, and any of several Woody Allen movies were pretty damn funny!!
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby Pego » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:43 am

jeremyp wrote:I also liked Mel Brooks movies


Another one of his gems not yet mentioned is "Spaceballs."
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby br » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:01 am

"It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" gets my vote. This scene with Milton Berle, Ethel Merman, Terry Thomas and Dorothy Provine is amongst the many that still cracks me up. Berle's unspoken response in the first scene is priceless.

http://youtu.be/eoi10P5b0Kg
Last edited by br on Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby Conor Dary » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:08 am

br wrote:"It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" gets my vote. This scene with Milton Berle, Ethel Merman, Terry Thomas and Edie Adams is amongst the many that still cracks me up. Berle's unspoken response in the first scene is priceless.

http://youtu.be/eoi10P5b0Kg


Another great one.
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby bekayne » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:41 am

Conor Dary wrote:
I will do you one back and endorse your 3, especially The Producers.

Springtime for Hitler, and Germany,
winter for Poland and France!


Favourite line in a comedy, all-time. Zero Mostel:"THAT'S OUR HITLER!"
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby br » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:34 am

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: You know, I'm a rather brilliant surgeon. Perhaps I can help you with that hump.
Igor: What hump?
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby br » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:56 am

Two W.C. Fields' movies rank high. "The Bank Dick" and "It's a Gift". I'm sure Scott Davis would concur.
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby preston » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:21 am

Airplane...clearly. Every scene has a quotable moment (was it the sequel where the little girl tells the little boy how she takes her coffee?) ... The Krishnas ... The pervert pilot ... The pervert ottopilot ... Billingsley speaking "jive" ... "everyone in crash position" ... the gratuitous woman running onto the scene just to jiggle her breasts. Not to mention the "special effects": one guy steps out of a mirror after getting dressed

Cinematic excellence.

Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and for sheer stupidity I put History of the World, Part 1 9"It's good to be the king!") over the Producers - which is just a better movie, but not necessarily funnier/sillier to me.

Hangover wasn't that funny to me; maybe I need to watch it again. And, there is nothing that the Coen brothers have done that I would recognize for actually being "funny"; I think nearly everything they've ever done has had oscar consideration, if it didn't win, though.

Me, Myself and Irene was hilarious!
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby bekayne » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:38 am

preston wrote:Airplane...clearly. Every scene has a quotable moment (was it the sequel where the little girl tells the little boy how she takes her coffee?) ... The Krishnas ... The pervert pilot ... The pervert ottopilot ... Billingsley speaking "jive" ... "everyone in crash position" ... the gratuitous woman running onto the scene just to jiggle her breasts. Not to mention the "special effects": one guy steps out of a mirror after getting dressed


The coffee one was in the original. You forgot Johnny! Not to mention "I picked the wrong week to quit..."

Win one for the Zipper!
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby Flumpy » Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:47 pm

aaronk wrote:Different eras produced different types of comedy.
So from the 30's and 40's, I'd have to go with some of the Cary Grant/Irene Dunne or Spencer Tracy/Katherine Hepburn comedies.


My favourite screwball comedy by a mile is The Awful Truth with Cary Grant and the great Irene Dunne. The scene where she pretends to be his sister is genius.

It's such a shame she's completely forgotten these days. 5 Oscar noms and more versatile than any of her peers which maybe accounts for why she doesn't have one iconic style or movie moment to base a legend upon.
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby tandfman » Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:57 pm

gh wrote:The lack of any Marx Bros. in the top 10 confirms that it's a bogus poll.

Ditto Laurel & Hardy.

Nobody on this thread has yet mentioned any film with Alistair Sim or Terry-Thomas, so I'll nominate The Green Man, which had them both.
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby rsb2 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:07 pm

Terry Thomas was in "Mad, Mad, Mad World", one of my picks for funniest ever, or damned close!
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby Pego » Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:18 pm

rsb2 wrote:Terry Thomas was in "Mad, Mad, Mad World", one of my picks for funniest ever, or damned close!


He was also great as a scheming participant à la comic character Dastardly in Those magnificent men in their flying machines. Gert Frobel (Goldfinger) is a Prussian officer. Beautiful.
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby Mighty Favog » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:18 pm

In 1994, my wife and a friend and I were in the local video store experiencing what I termed "video store ennui". We walked past this one movie that only I had heard of, and even then only vaguely. Bored and apathetic, we decided to watch it. It's hard to top watching Clerks when you don't know what you're in for, and especially if you're a twenty-something who enjoys witty banter and sophomoric lowbrow humor. I appreciate that not many others love it as much as I do, but for me it's near the top of the list.

In no particular order, I also appreciate Caddyshack, Blazing Saddles, Airplane, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, This Is Spinal Tap, O Brother Where Art Thou.

Two I've seen recently that I loved because they were so radically different are Bernie and Moonrise Kingdom. I'm going to see Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk With Me this weekend and I'm very hopeful, given how funny "Birbigs" is as a comedian.
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby JayIsMe » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:49 pm

br wrote:"It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" gets my vote.


Another one from roughly the same time- The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming! "Emergencee, everybody to get from street!" still cracks me up.
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby Rye Catcher » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:37 pm

You've all missed the funniest one of all: "USED CARS" with Kurt Russell and also Jack Warden playing both of the the Fuchs brothers.
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby Rog » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:23 am

Flumpy wrote:
aaronk wrote:Different eras produced different types of comedy.
So from the 30's and 40's, I'd have to go with some of the Cary Grant/Irene Dunne or Spencer Tracy/Katherine Hepburn comedies.


My favourite screwball comedy by a mile is The Awful Truth with Cary Grant and the great Irene Dunne. The scene where she pretends to be his sister is genius.

It's such a shame she's completely forgotten these days. 5 Oscar noms and more versatile than any of her peers which maybe accounts for why she doesn't have one iconic style or movie moment to base a legend upon.


Irene Dunne was one of the greats and could do anything - comedy, melodrama etc, and not above subtle parody. Joel McCrea was very fond of her but said there was no sexual chemistry - I think she was a strict Catholic and that sort of thing was out. Maybe that came across to the public? She definitely deserves to be remembered in the same way that, say, Katherine Hepburn is remembered (actually Dunne parodies her in one of her films and it's quite brilliant, it might actually be The Awful Truth).

In those days there were so many actors who had the perfect timing for comedy - Grant, McCrea, Dunne, Rosalind Russell, Jean Arthur, Melvyn Douglas, even Greta Garbo - why is it so rare now?
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby Flumpy » Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:14 am

Exactly. Claudette Colbert was also wonderful. They all made it look so easy.

'It's A Wonderful World' with James Stewart is fantastic.

I swear by my eyes!!!

I absolutely love Jean Arthur. I'll watch her Colbert and Dunne in absolutely anything and enjoy it.

I've just read a biography of her. She was a very strange woman.
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby Rog » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:33 am

Flumpy

Make a point of watching The More The Merrier, if you can find it. Jean Arthur is paired with Joel McCrea and they have a rare chemistry together. Apparently Jean wasn't confident about her appeal, but there's a scene where she's talking and Joel keeps kissing and fondling her and she really looks like she's responding to it*! It's a surprisingly sensuous film.

Joel was very popular in Hollywood and had a reputation as an unassuming, nice guy, so naturally other actors were very fond of him. He was also one of the great romantic leads early in his career - very good looking, to the point where Anita Loos said she fainted the first time she saw him on the beach in his trunks (guess where all the blood went). He's great in romantic comedies that make the most of this combination, and this is the best of them.

*The same thing seems to happen to Claudette Colbert in The Palm Beach Story!
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby tandfman » Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:34 am

Another guy who made some very funny movies was Danny Kaye.
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby Flumpy » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:50 am

Rog wrote:Make a point of watching The More The Merrier, if you can find it. Jean Arthur is paired with Joel McCrea and they have a rare chemistry together. Apparently Jean wasn't confident about her appeal, but there's a scene where she's talking and Joel keeps kissing and fondling her and she really looks like she's responding to it*! It's a surprisingly sensuous film.


I've seen 'The More The Merrier'. It was Jean Arthur's only Oscar nom and Charles Coburn won Best Supporting Actor for it.

I actuallly prefer 'The Devil and Miss Jones' from 1941 also with Arthurs and Coburn which has some surprisingly left leaning politics for a major studio picture of the 40's.
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby Daisy » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:24 am

Not a movie but this skit is pretty funny. It ask whether Bolt is 'football fast'.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lqanl8hCjNE
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby aaronk » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:36 am

Dumb me!!!

How could I possibly leave out "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek" or "Hail the Conquering Hero", two HILARIOUS WWII-era flicks by Preston Sturges??!!

"Miracle" had me laughing my head off all the way through!!
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby jeremyp » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:42 am

Almost any of the Brit comedies made in the 50's,usually starring Peter Sellars, Terry Thomas, Ian Carmichael, Graham Stark, Alec Guiness. Actually Alec Guiness films stand out by themselves especially "Kind Hearts and Coronets," "The Ladykillers," and "The Lavender Hill Mob."
Many Boulting films were great and usually had a twofer with TT and Carmichael. "I'm All Right Jack" probably the best spoof/satire of British labour unions, with Peter Sellars as a union boss with a hitler moustache.
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby tandfman » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:46 am

Spot on, jeremyp. The Guinness comedies can't be ignored,
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Re: what's the funniest movie ever?

Postby Halfmiler2 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:35 pm

Rog wrote:
Flumpy wrote:
aaronk wrote:Different eras produced different types of comedy.
So from the 30's and 40's, I'd have to go with some of the Cary Grant/Irene Dunne or Spencer Tracy/Katherine Hepburn comedies.


My favourite screwball comedy by a mile is The Awful Truth with Cary Grant and the great Irene Dunne. The scene where she pretends to be his sister is genius.

It's such a shame she's completely forgotten these days. 5 Oscar noms and more versatile than any of her peers which maybe accounts for why she doesn't have one iconic style or movie moment to base a legend upon.


Irene Dunne was one of the greats and could do anything - comedy, melodrama etc, and not above subtle parody. Joel McCrea was very fond of her but said there was no sexual chemistry - I think she was a strict Catholic and that sort of thing was out. Maybe that came across to the public? She definitely deserves to be remembered in the same way that, say, Katherine Hepburn is remembered (actually Dunne parodies her in one of her films and it's quite brilliant, it might actually be The Awful Truth).

In those days there were so many actors who had the perfect timing for comedy - Grant, McCrea, Dunne, Rosalind Russell, Jean Arthur, Melvyn Douglas, even Greta Garbo - why is it so rare now?


The film historians classify the "screwball comedies" for the period 1934-1942 ending with WWII. Cary Grant is also great in His Gal Friday and Bringing Up Baby. Every once in a while I see a screwball comedy on TCM that I had not seen before and almost always enjoy them.
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