Golden Age Comedy Hall of Fame (1952-1976)

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Unfortunately only Sam Spade, who is greatly spoofed, but still his character wasn’t as satisfying as it should have been. The others I guess I can’t judge...

Maybe that's why you were so disappointed by the characters in the movie.

It's kind of like watching Young Frankenstein without ever having seen a Frankenstein movie, or at least knowing the story of Frankenstein.
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A Shot in the Dark (1974)

I've seen this movie several times, but even after another rewatch, I still had a tough time figuring out what to write about this movie. It's kind of all over the place for me.

I like Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau. He's very funny. He reminds me a little bit of Maxwell Smart from "Get Smart", but with more physical comedy. I also liked the scenes when he was randomly attacked by Cato.

While it was fun watching Commissioner Dreyfus go further and further off the deep end because of Clouseau, I didn't care for the scenes where he got injured because of it. I didn't think that was funny.

I also think they went too far with Clouseau getting arrested over and over again. It was funny the first couple of times, but how many times does he have to get arrested before it stops being funny? It got stale pretty fast for me.

Even the plot was all over the place, and predictable at times. As soon as I saw Clouseau at the pool table, I knew that he was going to rip the table cover, even before he was holding the curved stick. And they ended up at a nudist colony because it added some funny scenes to the movie, but unless I missed it, it wasn't explained why they ended up there. I know Clouseau followed Maria there, but why did she go there?

WARNING: "SPOILERS about the ENDING of "A Shot in the Dark"!!!" spoilers below
And the ending wasn't explained very well either. I know that they were all in on it, but there was so much arguing going on that I couldn't understand most of what they were saying, so I have no idea who actually did what in the original crime.


This movie had the potential to be very funny, but they seemed to focus more on the humor than on the actual plot of the movie, and that made it a bit too disjointed for me.



Unfortunately only Sam Spade, who is greatly spoofed, but still his character wasn’t as satisfying as it should have been. The others I guess I can’t judge...

Maybe that's why you were so disappointed by the characters in the movie.

It's kind of like watching Young Frankenstein without ever having seen a Frankenstein movie, or at least knowing the story of Frankenstein.
That’s true... interestingly I watched Blazing Saddles before I had seen virtually any Westerns and I still loved it (although I do enjoy it more now).



I loved Young Frankenstein when I first seen it at the theater, and I had never seen the original Frankenstein at that time. Sometimes you either just like a movie or you don't.



Pillow Talk

I loved this movie. It was very, very, similar in plot to Teacher's Pet, even including Doris Day; however, I like Rock Hudson more than Clark Gable as the "guy in disguise." It's played to perfection as their romance evolves and then crumbles. In Teacher's Pet the resolution is a bit slow and murky, but Pillow Talk has a short and sweet little ending. I liked the usage of the song that Brad sings, and how that is the way Jan finds about who Brad really is. Alma's character is pretty fun too. This is a movie that I can see myself watching in the future as well. While it is nothing new or special brought to the table, it is completely harmless and all in good fun.

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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
A Shot in the Dark (1974)While it was fun watching Commissioner Dreyfus go further and further off the deep end because of Clouseau, I didn't care for the scenes where he got injured because of it. I didn't think that was funny.
aww, you have SUCH a good heart, my dear. Bless you for that.
For myself, I laugh my evil, cold-hearted @ss off at those and others like it.
I could try to blame it on growing up on The Three Stooges and the like, but in reality. . . it's me.
I'm the one that adds, when someone says, "It's funny until someone gets hurt." -- "Yeah, then it's HILARIOUS."

WARNING: "SPOILERS about the ENDING of "A Shot in the Dark"!!!" spoilers below
And the ending wasn't explained very well either. I know that they were all in on it, but there was so much arguing going on that I couldn't understand most of what they were saying, so I have no idea who actually did what in the original crime.
WARNING: "It was. . ." spoilers below
the wife who did the original murder, looking to shoot the maid (Maria) for fooling around with her husband "Monsieur Ballon) who was hiding out in the closet. Who, in turn, framed the maid to protect his wife and thereby, his name.
Oh, wait. Was she looking to shoot her husband?. . .
I think that was more correct.

Simple enough
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A Shot in the Dark

This is the only Pink Panther movie I've seen, and so far I'm looking forward to watching more. Peter Sellers is a comedic genius, right up there with Chaplin and the Marx Brothers as one of the greatest of all time. You can see his effortless ability to just become and embody a role in A Short in the Dark. His timing is perfectly placed and his slapstick is so fun as well. He just steals the show. The whole plot is pretty engaging too, but with Sellers I don't know if this movie would have been half as good as it turned out to be. Anyways, I'm glad I watched it - It won't rank too high on my ballot, but it was very entertaining.




Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?



Hobson's Choice

Henry Hobson: You, you blood-sucking, money-grabbing...
Albert Prosser: One moment, Mr. Hobson. You can call me what you like...
Henry Hobson: And I shall, you...

While I do not laugh loudly through this film I DO retain a smile throughout with continual chuckling at how enchanting of a story this is.
The first time I saw this, it was to see a Charles Laughton film I had not previously seen. And while with each revisit it still remains a Laughton film in my mind and in my heart, it is also this amazing couple and their growth as a couple that truly clinches it for me.


I have heard that John Mills was a last minute choice and I so do enjoy such serendipitous situations because he is so ideal for Mr. Mossop who's mousy beginnings is transformed to that of a lion by the love of the determined eldest daughter, Maggie, played by Brenda de Banzie who's stern features melt away upon seeing the mouse become a lion.
Their little love story within this very enjoyable film is quite the highlight that balances Laughton's boisterous presence as he is placed within the literal Hobson's Choice. That is, where the only two choices are: take it or leave it.
I should also mention that it is said that this was Mills' favorite film and I can very easily see why. It's a delightful and fun role with such a character growth,filled with such charm and wit to it.

A charm and wit that encompasses the entirety of the film.
Something that doesn't always work out elsewhere, where the remaining scenes and characters appear as filler or feel unimportant.
Here, the movie shines throughout as does the remaining cast all the way down the doctor who treats Henry Hobson.

There were quite a number of films that I was considering for this, my second nomination, but once I came across this, and remembered my enjoyment of it. . .
Well, it was a Hobson's Choice, now, wasn't it?



Singin' in the Rain (1952)

I've seen this movie more times than I can count, and I love it more each time I watch it. I was surprised, (but delighted), to see it nominated in this HoF because I don't really think of it as a comedy. It's always been a great romance and a great musical in my mind, but it definitely qualifies as a comedy too.

I've always been a huge fan of Gene Kelly, and I can watch him dance forever, but Donald O'Connor shines in the movie too. O'Connor proves that he can dance as good as anyone, not only in his dance scenes with Kelly, but in his solo dance as well. "Make 'em Laugh" is one of the funniest dance scenes ever filmed. O'Connor continues to make us laugh throughout the movie as he seems to have most of the best comic lines too.

Debbie Reynolds did a great job keeping up with both O'Connor and Kelly, especially when you consider how young and inexperienced she was at the time. Reynolds and Kelly had great chemistry together too.

Jean Hagen was brilliant as Lina Lamont. If you doubt how talented she was, just listen to the scene when Kathy is dubbing the dialogue for Lina for the movie within the movie. That's not Debbie Reynolds' voice we hear. It's Jean Hagen's real voice.

From the romantic story, to the wonderful songs, and the amazing dancing, there's just so much to love about this movie. I'm so glad that it was nominated.



Just finished watching Charade, thought I'd drop my 2 cents here..
Cute, romantic, spy film with just enough comedic elements to qualify for a comedy hof.
Incredibly stylish wardrobe by Givenchy.
Some slightly dated stuff like the shower scene and the scene on the boat in front of a screen.
Really enjoyed the natural charm and chemistry between Hepburn and Grant. Solid performances by Coburn and Matthau. Loved the twists and the beautiful romantic ending.
+
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A Shot in the Dark (1964)

"I love this Comedy HoF! There's so many fun films to watch that each movie night I actually look forward to seeing the next nomination." CR


Another fun flick with laughs a plenty, a tally of talent and a bodacious babe...what more could you asked for? Well, maybe just a bit more of Miss Sommer's, say like in the nudist scene

Inspector Cousteau is dumb as door knob and I thought I might not like the movie. But what works for me is that Peter Seller's plays it like he's the world's greatest detective! He's self assured and even a bit cocky. When he falls into the water or pokes his hand through the door glass, he doesn't act like a dummy, he plays it cool, way cool.

I loved the scene where he walks into the wall and tells George Sanders it's the architectures fault for placing the door in the wrong place, ha! That confidence, despite his ineptness, makes him funny. I'm so glad he didn't play Inspector Cousteau like Jerry Lewis would of I can't stand watching those old Jerry Lewis movies.

So to sum up: fun movie, I did laugh...Elke's pretty and Peter Sellers is a huge talent.
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Singin' in the Rain (1952)

I've seen this movie more times than I can count, and I love it more each time I watch it...
That's cool, I think a lot of people in this HoF have watched and rewatched and rewatched some of these noms until they know the movie by heart and in that way each scene, each moment and every nuance becomes very special to them. I'm at a disadvantage in that regard as I've only seen most of the noms once before and many years ago. I had seen Singin' In the Rain, but it was when I first got into movies 15+ years ago, so I didn't remember a thing about it! I didn't even know it was about a silent movie studio trying to transition into the sound era. For me it was literately a first time watch as I had totally forgotten it and I was impressed with the movie's theme which is very apt for the upcoming MoFo Top Pre1930s Countdown. And of course I loved the music/dance numbers.



Just finished watching Charade, thought I'd drop my 2 cents here..
Cute, romantic, spy film with just enough comedic elements to qualify for a comedy hof.

Incredibly stylish wardrobe by Givenchy.
I'm glad somebody gave credit to the wardrobe, Miss Hepburn sleighed them in those outfits by Givenchy. Except I wasn't a fan of the emerald green cape and cap she wore. Though it did stand out! So I guessed it worked.



Hobson's Choice (1954)

A re-watch after many years, it confirmed my belief that Charles Laughton was one of the greatest actors of any era. His range of moods, his presence, and his ability to express a wide range of emotions by facial expression alone, point to the fact that Laughton hardly needed dialogue to convey his part, ala the great silent screen actors. But without his commanding voice and vocal inflections we'd be robbed of his unique presentations.

Even so, Brenda De Banzie, playing Hobson's eldest and spinster daughter Maggie, gave Laughton a run for his money seeing who could dominate when each were featured together in a scene. It was a stretch for De Banzie, at age 45 to play a character said to be 30 years old, but after initial suspicion, the dichotomy became accepted.

Laughton of course played Henry Horatio Hobson, a crusty old tippler who ran his late 19th Century shoe shop with an iron hand, ordering his daughters around like a drill instructor. Eventually his eldest decides to grab the shop's chief shoemaker (John Mills), and make some major changes. Mills is adept as a mousy fellow who is eventually lead to be an assertive man and husband by Maggie's maneuvering. Their relationship provides a wonderful sub-story.

Laughton's character has the vast majority of comic lines and sight gags, so it was basically his movie, surrounded by first rate secondary actors.

The Brits are experts at this type of film, especially during the mid 1950s. Hobson's Choice is a fine example of this style.

~Doc



Some Like it Hot
Billy Wilder's talent behind the camera and three terrific lead performances make the 1959 classic Some Like it Hot still sparkle after all these years.

It's Chicago in 1929 where we meet Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) struggling musicians who find themselves in hot water when they witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. In order to get away from a mobster named Spats Columbo (George Raft). Joe and Jerry dress up as girls, call themselves Josephine and Daphne, and join an all-girls band traveling by train to a 3-week gig in Florida. Joe finds himself completely smitten by the band's lead singer, Sugar Kane (Marilyn) and Daphne finds herself being pursued by an eccentric millionaire named Osgood Fielding (Joe E. Brown).

Billy Wilder and I A L Diamond have concocted one of their most clever stories that takes some calculated risks for 1959. Cross-dressing wasn't exactly everyday subject matter in 1959 but it becomes very funny especially watching the evolution of Jerry/Daphne, who really seems to embrace this new life as a woman and actually has to be reminded more than once that he's a guy. Love that scene after Osgood has proposed to Daphne and Jerry has already figured out that he can tell Osgood the truth on their honeymoon, get divorced, and collect alimony checks for the rest of his life.

This film had a very troubled production history and, not surprisingly, a lot of the trouble revolved around Monroe, who was frequently absent from the set and when she was there, couldn't remember her lines. Legend has it that Monroe's lines were taped up all over the sets so that they could get the job done. but none of this tension shows onscreen. Marilyn appears a little on the chunky side, but she has rarely been so alluring. Her renditions of "Running Wild" and "I Wanna Be Loved By You" are the stuff of legends.

Tony Curtis is hysterical channeling Cary Grant in order to romance Sugar, but the real joy of this film is the richly complex yet endlessly entertaining performance from Jack Lemmon, which deservedly earned him his first Oscar nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor. I love this performance because even though Lemmon spends the majority of the role in Daphne drag, he never plays Daphne, he always plays Jerry playing Daphne and that's what makes the performance so special. Joe E. Brown is a lot of fun and George Raft is seriously classy as Spats Columbo. This movie is so much fun...still.








Well I guess it's time to get the ball rolling on this, I decided to start with Hobson's Choice. This is the story of a 30 year old daughter who decides to marry a genial slow witted man rather than stay and be the surrogate wife for her doltish father (Charles Laughton). The film is directed by David Lean who turns London into this gorgeous land of poverty and beauty.



Charles Laughton is so good in this, sadly he doesn't really play the lead Brenda De Baanzie and her marriage seems to be more the focal point of the story and it's to me the weakest part of the story. I would have also liked it if the two other daughters were more flushed out I think less is more would have worked for the eldest daughter. Often times when I was watching the film I felt like the plot was running in circles a bit.


But that's not to say I didn't enjoy the film, I found it to be rather charming and a good nomination. I just wish we got something more from Alice and Vicky.




Blazing Saddles (1974)

I didn't like it...You know how sometimes people think they know immediately why someone else thinks the way they do? Well, if you think you know why I didn't like this, you're most likely wrong Completely wrong

I was not offended by anything in the movie. I repeat, I was not offended...And no I don't think this movie is being racist. In fact it's poking fun at the uptight white people who freaked out when a black sheriff came to town, and that was a funny premise for a movie. So get it out of your head that I objected to the racist stuff, same goes for any of the offensive humor.

So why didn't I like it? I find one liners and sight gags to be a bore. I found nothing funny about Mel Brooks' governor. Though I did find plenty stupid about his on screen time. Sorry, but crossing your eyes for a joke last worked on me in grade school. Same with the GOV on the back of his coat, if that was suppose to be funny I didn't laugh. And there was a lot I didn't laugh at in this comedy, I mean 5 minutes of fart jokes isn't funny to me.

I did like Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder's scenes together. Those scenes, especially the first one in the jail were funny because both men have natural comic talent and didn't rely on cheap gags to get a laugh.

Blazing Saddles reminds me of one of the most beloved comedies of the 1980s...Airplane!. I hated Airplane!, same style of broad comedy that just doesn't work for me.
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Blazing Saddles (1974)

I didn't like it...You know how sometimes people think they know immediately why someone else thinks the way they do? Well, if you think you know why I didn't like this, you're most likely wrong Completely wrong

I was not offended by anything in the movie. I repeat, I was not offended...And no I don't think this movie is being racist. In fact it's poking fun at the uptight white people who freaked out when a black sheriff came to town, and that was a funny premise for a movie. So get it out of your head that I objected to the racist stuff, same goes for any of the offensive humor.

So why didn't I like it? I find one liners and sight gags to be a bore. I found nothing funny about Mel Brooks governor. Though I did find plenty stupid about his on screen time. Sorry, but crossing your eyes for a joke last worked on me in grade school. Same with the GOV on the back of his coat if that was suppose to be funny I didn't laugh.

I did like Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder scenes together. Those scenes, especially the first one in the jail were funny because both men have naturally comic talent and didn't relay on cheap gags to get a laugh.

Blazing Saddles reminds me of one of the most beloved comedies of the 80s Airplane!...I hated Airplane!, same style of broad comedy that just doesn't work for me.
I knew it! I knew you wouldn't like Blazing Saddles...I don't know how I knew it, but I knew it.