Comedy

Marcel Varnel – King Arthur Was a Gentleman (1942)

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King Arthur Was a Gentleman is a 1942 British musical comedy film, directed by Marcel Varnel, starring Arthur Askey as Arthur King. Set during World War II, the plot involves the diminutive Arthur joining the army to prove himself to his girlfriend Susan (Evelyn Dall), who is in the same unit as him. Here, his idealistic notions about King Arthur prompt his messmates to trick him into believing that a sword they have dug up is the fabled Excaliber. Armed with this talisman Arthur strides forth to deal with the Wehrmacht. Read More »

Ralph Levy – Bedtime Story (1964)

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Description:
In this 1960s comedy, Freddy Benson (Marlon Brando) and Lawrence ‘The Prince’ Jameson (David Niven) are two charming scoundrel confidence trickster gigolos who prey on wealthy women taking holidays on the French Riviera. The pair join a playful competition to see who is best at the job, and the target is cute Janet Walker (Shirley Jones), better known as the “American Soap Queen.” Who can extract $25,000 first Read More »

Herbert Achternbusch – Heilt Hitler! AKA Heal Hitler! (1986)

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Herbert in plaster
In the films of Herbert Achternbusch the plot is more of a space in which the Bavarian filmmaker, poet and painter improvises. For example as artist and soldier Herbert in Heilt Hitler!, which premiered 25 years ago at the Berlinale. At night Herbert sits with his last comrade in the trenches of Stalingrad. While his comrade is writing with his finger one last letter to the Fuehrer into the air, Herbert starts to plaster himself with the last bucket of plaster, so the Russians find only a statue. Suddenly Herbert finds himself in the Munich of the eighties. At the war memorial in Munich’s Hofgarten is written “They will rise again”. That’s the miracle of Stalingrad. Herbert does not know where he is and tries to scrounge cigarettes, in Russian. Maybe the Germans have won the war, have rebuilt Stalingrad after the model of Munich and renamed it Hitlergrad. On the Munich Marienplatz and Lake Starnberg Herbert observes that all Germans are sick. Like Hitler: “No one is healed.” Heilt Hitler! is an absurd farce, shot in eleven days in Super-8 and blown-up to 35 mm, a histrionic, avant-garde artist’s film with wonderful monologic passages, where Achternbusch’s later conversion to Buddhism is already indicated.
Detlef Kuhlbrodt in DIE ZEIT, 7th July 2011 Read More »

Ken Annakin – Miranda (1948)

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A young married physician discovers a mermaid, and gives into her request to be taken to see London. Comedy and romantic entanglements ensue soon after. Read More »

Frank Tashlin – The Girl Can’t Help It (1956)

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Description:
The Alphabet Murders is a 1965 British detective film based on the novel The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie, starring Tony Randall as Hercule Poirot. The part of Poirot had originally been intended for Zero Mostel but the film was delayed because Agatha Christie objected to the script. The film varies significantly from the novel and emphasises comedy. Read More »

Frank Tashlin – Artists and Models (1955)

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Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader wrote:

Quote:
The best Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movie (1955) is also Frank Tashlin’s best feature at Paramount, a satire about the comic book craze with explosive uses of color and VistaVision, better-than-average songs, and much-better-than-average costars, especially Dorothy Malone and Shirley MacLaine (the latter giving Lewis a run for his money in terms of goofy mugging). Martin and Malone are comic book artists, MacLaine is a model for the Bat Lady, and Lewis is a deranged fan whose dreams wind up inspiring (or is it duplicating?) comic book stories and the coded messages of communist spies—or something like that. Five cowriters are credited along with Tashlin, but the stylistic exuberance is seamless, and this film eventually wound up providing the inspirational spark for Jacques Rivette’s late, great New Wave extravaganza Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974). With Eva Gabor and Anita Ekberg. 109 min. Read More »

Fred Niblo – Way Out West [Pre-Code] (1930)

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Plot/Synopsis: from ROVI
A pleasant enough western parody starring one of the victims of sound, William Haines, Way Out West is the story of a carnival huckster forced to work on a western ranch in order to repay a couple of cowboys he once fleeced. There’s a sandstorm, a fist-fight with the ubiquitous crooked foreman (Charles Middleton), a pretty female ranch owner (Leila Hyams), and sundry other western clichés thrown in to prove the star’s manly qualities.The light-weight Haines played many such roles, but reshuffling due to sound (not to mention a quarrel with MGM studio head, Louis B. Mayer), ended his career. Haines later became a fashionable interior decorator. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi Read More »