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 Posted:   Jul 26, 2014 - 3:55 PM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

This is one of my beloved genres in film and I want to share some of those I particularly enjoy and invite you to do the same - and your reasons:

1. "Talk of the Town" (Stevens):

The cast is so strong, the premise so silly but it has some hilarious scenes - particularly with Professor Lightcap (a play on 'night cap' since he's such a dried up old batchelor, played by Ronald Coleman) being pursued by dogs around the house, limping badly while trying to escape (when he's a lofty, important and serious individual about to be inducted into the American Supreme Court!). The incongruity of the characters is thrown into sharp relief under zany and improbable circumstances and the film is total class - TOTAL.

2. "Ninotchka" (Director: Lubitsch, Writers: Wilder et al)

This satire is one of the great films, and hilariously funny - particularly the scenes with the 3 Russian envoys and Garbo. Classic. Classy. Funny. Unforgettable.

 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2014 - 4:18 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

It's a Mad Mad Mad World
Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Not sure what determines a screwball comedy but I Love these as well:

My Favorite Year
The In-Laws
Lost in America
Night Shift
Gung Ho
The Money Pit

 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2014 - 5:29 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

Oh, I love this genre!

Classic period:

Nothing Sacred
Bringing Up Baby
The Awful Truth
all Preston Sturges films
Arsenic and Old Lace
My Man Godfrey
the screwball scenes in Astaire/Rogers musicals
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (Hitchcock of all people!)

Post - 1940s:

The Hudsucker Proxy
Raising Arizona
....make that all Coen bros. comedies
What's Up Doc
It's a Mad....World

 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2014 - 5:34 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I mention several in this ancient thread though the focus is "Screwball Heroines":

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=43484&forumID=7&archive=0

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2014 - 6:55 PM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

Here's as good a working definition of "screwball comedy" as you're likely to get:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screwball_comedy_film

Of course, many films from the 1950's were heavily influenced by 'screwball' and the likes of Preston Sturges and I'm thinking, firstly, about Billy Wilder and "Some Like it Hot" and "Seven Year Itch". Screenplays by Wilder and Brackett and George Axelrod, respectively, were masterpieces of the genre.

Even Amy Heckerling's "Clueless" has the air-headed but well-intentioned Cher (played by Alicia Silverstein) and this character is right out of 'screwball'. I always felt Heckerling was 'tipping her hat' towards the screwball genre with this film.

And there are others, of course.

Mark R.Y. your "classic" list is spot on - I adore these films. The Coens? What can I say about "The Big Lebowski" except that it was a composite of screwball, anarchy and satire.

 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2014 - 7:02 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Here's as good a working definition of "screwball comedy" as you're likely to get:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screwball_comedy_film


That was far more specific than I realized, and actually not what I thought screwball comedy meant. You learn something new everyday.

 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2014 - 7:37 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

This is one of the best, and Vincent Price cracks me up in this scene as an ad exec every time:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDZChz40B90&feature=youtube_gdata

 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2014 - 8:50 PM   
 By:   Essankay   (Member)

The cream of the crop for me:

  • THE AWFUL TRUTH
  • EASY LIVING
  • THE LADY EVE (and just about all of Preston Sturges' pix)
  • MIDNIGHT
  • NOTHING SACRED
  • THE PHILADELPHIA STORY

  •  
     
     Posted:   Jul 26, 2014 - 10:09 PM   
     By:   Regie   (Member)

    Great list, Essankay!!

    Nobody has mentioned "Ball of Fire" (Hawks). It was zany with the hard-boiled Barbara Stanwyck an excellent foil for the gawky and awkward linguistics professors, especially Gary Cooper.

    "Philadelphia Story" - WOW; there's a masterpiece of direction, acting and writing (Donald Ogden Stewart). Great music too - very evocative of the world of the film.

    I also thought of Judy Holliday in "Born Yesterday". That's a great film with a mixture of humour and tragedy (domestic violence).

    Please tell us what you love about your favourite screwball comedies.

     
     
     Posted:   Jul 27, 2014 - 9:17 AM   
     By:   Octoberman   (Member)

    There's plenty, but "My Man Godfrey" pretty much says it all.

    I laugh my fuzzy Slavic arse off every time. And it just gets funnier as time goes on.

     
     Posted:   Jul 27, 2014 - 9:25 AM   
     By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

    There's plenty, but "My Man Godfrey" pretty much says it all.

    I laugh my fuzzy Slavic arse off every time. And it just gets funnier as time goes on.


    Especially that blooper reel:

     
     
     Posted:   Jul 27, 2014 - 9:41 AM   
     By:   Octoberman   (Member)

    God, I love Carole Lombard. There's nothing like a classy dame that cusses so easily.

    And Eugene Pallette is the awesome icing on that particular amazing cake.

     
     Posted:   Jul 27, 2014 - 4:26 PM   
     By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

    More a farce than official "Screwball" - HI DIDDLE DIDDLE. Simply amazing.

     
     Posted:   Jul 27, 2014 - 5:56 PM   
     By:   mastadge   (Member)

    Nobody has mentioned "Ball of Fire" (Hawks). It was zany with the hard-boiled Barbara Stanwyck an excellent foil for the gawky and awkward linguistics professors, especially Gary Cooper.


    Great choice.

     
     
     Posted:   Jul 28, 2014 - 12:20 AM   
     By:   Richard-W   (Member)

    I've always liked a couple of underdogs, Ralph Nelson's FATHER GOOSE (1964) with Cary Grant and Leslie Caron, and Howard Hawks' MAN'S FAVORITE SPORT? (1964) with Paula Prentiss and, unfortunately, Rock Hudson.

    I never understood Rock's popularity. Yes he was a highly skilled and talented actor, but there's a vacuousness and ugliness in him that I find repugnant. He starred in several superb films but I always wished someone else were playing his part. Likewise, Paula Prentiss was always enchanting, blessed with real comic timing and dramatic chops, and I never understood why she did not become a BIG star with a long career.

     
     Posted:   Jul 28, 2014 - 5:49 AM   
     By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)


    I never understood Rock's popularity. Yes he was a highly skilled and talented actor, but there's a vacuousness and ugliness in him that I find repugnant. He starred in several superb films but I always wished someone else were playing his part. Likewise, Paula Prentiss was always enchanting, blessed with real comic timing and dramatic chops, and I never understood why she did not become a BIG star with a long career.


    Could you point out specific scenes in his film or TV roles where Hudson displays "vacuousness" and "ugliness"? I'm not a huge fan of him myself but I thought he had a wry comic wit and subtlety that I could "understand" many, many people loving. It didn't hurt that the man was handsome as hell (John Wayne said something to the effect of "Do you know what kind of career I could have had if I looked like him?") I don't care much for his soapy 1950s films so much as I do his role on McMillan and Wife but really, ugliness? You've expressed some downright bizarre opinions on this forum lately and that's fine, but as they tell us in school, "qualify your generalizations."

     
     
     Posted:   Jul 28, 2014 - 6:22 AM   
     By:   BillCarson   (Member)

    dp.

     
     
     Posted:   Jul 28, 2014 - 6:22 AM   
     By:   BillCarson   (Member)

    go jim! great in Seconds. and well cast in Hornets nest and undefeated.


    if it looks like i cant have mad mad mad mad world, - id like to suggest there is enough courtship comedy and male-female rapport in The Great race and magnificent men in flyin machines - if they count, i choose them!

     
     
     Posted:   Jul 28, 2014 - 7:44 AM   
     By:   tarasis   (Member)

    Off the top of my head, though there are many many more:

    Arsenic and Old Lace
    Duck Soup
    Crosby & Hope Road movies
    Hudsucker Proxy
    Noises Off
    (Radioland Murders)

     
     
     Posted:   Jul 28, 2014 - 11:04 AM   
     By:   John McMasters   (Member)

    My current two favorites are:

    1. Trouble in Paradise (1932, Ernst Lubitsch) -- I love the beauty of the direction and set design -- and the cool ironies of the screenplay. The performances seem effortless.
    2. The Palm Beach Story (1942, Preston Sturges) -- I love Colbert and McCrea in this film. The Ale and Quail Hunting Club sequences always reduce me to a giggling mess.

    Others:

    His Girl Friday
    Blithe Spirit
    Hail the Conquering Hero
    The Miracle of Morgan's Creek
    Twentieth Century
    Bringing Up Baby -- perhaps the funniest film I've ever seen
    The Party
    A Shot in the Dark
    My Man Godfrey

     
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