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.
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.
Last edited by Halfmiler2 on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
jeremyp wrote: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.
Guiness is also quite good in The Man in The White Suit
preston wrote: 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.
High Anxiety also deserves a mention as a parody of Hitchcock films - Brooks gets stabbed in the shower by a disgruntled hotel employee with a rolled-up newspaper! And he gives a talk at a shrinks' convention with large pictures behind him on the stage: Freud, Jung, and ... Dr. Joyce Brothers!
I wouldn't claim that Ace Ventura When Nature Calls is among the funniest of all time, but it has one of the funniest scenes (to me of course) of all time. Went and saw it during lunch of a workday and laughed so hard at the scene of the mechanical Rhino that I almost asphyxiated myself. I don't think I have ever come close to that with any other scene from any other movie.
I've seen some top ten titles already by others here. But if I had to name just one it is "The Producers," the best of Mel Brooks' movies, and I'm not talking about his latter musical. I rate it the best because it was his most original. Just about all his other movies are spoofs, which are "too easy" to get laughs out of.
I think another good related topic could be what are the funniest non-Englsih language films, to see where we find cross cultural humor. I think Italian films might lead the lists.
My tastes seem to have evolved.....when I watched a movie like Blazing Saddles originally it was very funny, but now it just seems corny. The ones that seem to keep me laughing now are Beverly Hills Cop and Napoleon Dynamite.
Master Po wrote:Even though "what's funny" is a radically individual thing,
Indeed - I do not endorse this list as 'great cinema' but as the things that really made me laugh!
10. Happy, Texas – broad farce 9. Hitch – Will Smith and Kevin James - Dream Team 8. The Hangover – crude but effective 7. Bridesmaids – see #8 and Kristen Wiig! 6. Dodgeball – Vince Vaughn! 5. Fish Named Wanda – Kevin Kline! 4. Juno - "I mean I'm already pregnant, so what other kind of shenanigans can I get into?" 3. A Shot in the Dark – Peter Sellers! 2. Dr. Strangelove – Peter Sellers!! 1. When Harry Met Sally – Billy Crystal!!! ("I'll have what she's having.')
Vince wrote:My tastes seem to have evolved.....when I watched a movie like Blazing Saddles originally it was very funny, but now it just seems corny. The ones that seem to keep me laughing now are Beverly Hills Cop and Napoleon Dynamite.
I agree. What I found funny as a teenager and 20's isn't quite so anymore. I ranted and raved about Monty Python and the Holy Grail only to have my wife and kids roll their eyes and quickly exit the room after buying the DVD. Part of it might actually depend on the mood you were in when you watched the movie and who you were with.
A couple that I like that have not been mentioned are Planes, Trains & Automobiles ("those aren't pillows!") and Uncle Buck.
gh wrote:ahhh.... I searched the thread for "Keaton" not "General"
You probably thought I meant The General with Brendan Gleeson, about a violent Dublin gangster who was involved with the Ulster Volunteer Force, a real bunch of nice guys. It was funny. Especially when I saw in England. It had the crowd in stitches.
Marlow wrote:1. When Harry Met Sally – Billy Crystal!!! ("I'll have what she's having.')
Maybe the funniest line in the history of film. But that does not mean that the movie was all that funny.
I show it every year in my film class and they still think it's hilarious, despite being over 20 years old. Its humor goes way beyond pratfalls and guffaws. Dodgeball, Hangover, etc., are funny in a laugh-out-loud-way, but WHMS is funny in a sustained and engagingly memorable way. I can watch every scene year after year and still laugh - that's pretty special when 99% of all humor depends on the surprise factor.
The funniest movie ever is Todd Solandz's 'Happiness'.
It's wildly offensive and yet hilarious at the same time. You find yourself laughing at the most disturbing moments. It's probably my favourite film.
I remember first seeing it in New York in 1999. Mump and I fell about laughing throughout whilst the rest of the American audience just looked at us appalled. I don't think many people 'got' it.
I once watched it on DVD and when it finished watched it all over again.
The two other films that made me literally fall off my seat laughing are 'Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan' which is so funny it hurts. You can't believe what you're watching. He should have won the Oscar.
Also 'South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut'. My jaw hit the floor about 2 minutes in and stayed dropped throughout.