The Neglected Comedies

Ed Brayton has his reactions to a list of the “100 funniest movies of all time”, including mentions of several that he thought should have been on the list.

One of the comments noted that the list appeared to only be of things made in the past 40 years or so, and that struck me as true. So I’m going to list some of my own picks for movies that would have made my top 100 comedy picks here, and I will encourage you to join in.

Kind Hearts and Coronets Kind hearts and coronets: A spot of serial murder, anyone? Alec Guinness wowed the world with his performance of six doomed aristocrats in this film.

One, Two, Three One, Two, Three: Jimmy Cagney in comedy? Not just in it, but great in it. This one has to been seen to be believed.

What's Up, Doc? What’s Up, Doc?: OK, maybe some of you, or a lot of you, think that Ryan O’Neal and Barbra Streisand aren’t your cup of tea. This movie deserves an afternoon once in a while, though.

Jabberwocky Jabberwocky: I think this movie was Terry Gilliam’s second directing effort. While it isn’t as smooth and polished as perhaps would be best, I find it consistently funny on viewing again. Michael Palin of Monty Python fame turns in a great performance as the bumbling Dennis Cooper, a craftsman with the soul of an MBA and a thing for the fat Griselda Fishfinger. Find out why he was able to slay the monster, earn half the kingdom, and still end up unhappy.

The Parent Trap (1961) The Parent Trap: Perhaps this is a guilty pleasure. OK, so I had a crush on Hayley Mills when I was growing up, a condition I expect I share with most guys my age who aren’t currently chalking up how many “Gay Pride” parades they’ve been in, and maybe even some of them, too. Of the Disney kid-fare offerings, though, I think this one stands out and holds up over time.

The Bed Sitting Room: I’ll cop to this, I’ve only seen the last 45 minutes of this film. I’m not sure that seeing the first 45 minutes would lead to enlightenment, but I’m willing to be confused. Somebody let me know when this makes it out of the storage bin and onto VHS or DVD. Really. Rita Tushingham and Dudley Moore are in it, as well as the occasional parrot and the post-nuclear scenario of England.

The Court Jester The Court Jester: Danny Kay in one of his best performances.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: Need I say more?

OK, that’s about it for me now. Your turn.

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Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

5 thoughts on “The Neglected Comedies

  • 2006/05/30 at 4:44 pm
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    I cannot believe that Clue,Fletch,Oscar, and many others weren’t on the list but Something about mary was? I saw at list fifteen movies that had no reason being on there. It seemed they put a lot of recent movies on there probably due to their box office take in, that doesn’t make them one of the funniest movies. What about Hunted Honeymoon, See no evil, hear no evil? The Incredibles, was no where near as funny as The Emporer’s New Groove. I was very disappointed with this list.

  • 2006/05/30 at 6:08 pm
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    The plot of One, Two, Three sounds intriguing. I might have to pick it up.

  • 2006/06/03 at 10:12 pm
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    I completely agree, the reasoning behind this list is questionable. Fletch should be in the top 10, let alone left off the list? It was very disappointing.

  • 2006/06/04 at 3:44 pm
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    Mel Brooks’ Men in tights. Especially the scene where the knights in shining armour line up. You know what’s coming, and when it does – hilarious!

  • 2006/06/15 at 5:52 pm
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    As long as you have a Dudley Moore movie on your list, don’t forget the ultimate Peter Cook / Dudley Moore movie: “Bedazzled”!

    It features Peter Cook (also the writer, I think) as George Spiggot, who is actually the Devil, hunting for souls and Dudley Moore, as a hapless lovestruck loser who only wants to get into the arms of his beloved.

    Sample dialogue(from memory): George Spiggot: You just can’t hire good sins nowadays. It’s the wages, I suppose.”

    A man with a very bad stutter spends five minutes forcing out a single short sentence. Spiggot replies: “That’s easy for you to say, but …”

    Spiggot: “I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep since the middle ages.”

    Be sure to avoid the 1990s remake.

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