A number of posts appeared on Cinetv tribe, people are writing about their most favorite comedy films. I think these posts are for a contest. Although, I will not be partaking in the contest, I wanted to share some of the comedy films that moved me over the years at any rate.
Comedy Films that define the genre for me
1. Dr. Strangelove (1964) by Stanley Kubrick
Perhaps this anti-war film can be dubbed easily as the greatest dark comedy film ever made! Every piece of it is perfect. Very quotable too. In fact, "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the war room!" is a quote I often use as a lighthearted attempt to break disputes. It doesn't usually work but it is hilarious nonetheless.
The film emerged from the fear of nuclear warfare. An army general "went a bit silly in the head" and ordered his plane to attack the USSR. Now, there's no way to turn them back (it is set up in such a way so the enemy can't dissuade the attacking plane via false commands). With the impending nuclear war looming overheads, an emergency meeting is called in the war room of the US. There happen all sorts of outrageous acts.
George C. Scott was there, Peter Sellars was there. Sellars acted in three different characters and man, I wouldn't catch him if I didn't read it later on! Such an actor!
There's a phone call conversation scene between the US president and the Russian one. An Iconic scene, one of the finest comedy gigs I've ever seen.
You can see it here —
2. Playtime (1967) by Jacques Tati
This is a surreal comedy, targeted at excessive consumerism and modernity in a futuristic Paris life. I loved that Tati reduced dialogues to such an incomprehensible extent, that the film is better understood visually. And the visual comedy it presents is priceless!
Here, Tati himself plays as the everyman — baffled in such a world. His encounters emit laughter and absurd joy.
I actually wrote about the film in details on hive some days ago, here — https://peakd.com/hive-121744/@notacinephile/film-as-art-21-playtime-1967-by-jacques-tati
3. The Big Lebowski (1998) by Ethan and Joel Coen
Another black comedy and a prime example of the genre. Although The Big Lebowski is a cult classic, so much so, it sprouted even a mock religion. Dudeism—of which I'm a proud believer!
The film and philosophy of Dudeism is a light-hearted view of life, living it and enjoying it like the dude. The dude character has become iconic too and is part of the mass pop culture. Then again, I don't need to introduce The Dude to anyone.
4. Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) by Robert Hamer
Black comedy again, a British one this time. Boy, I do like the genre, don't I? I suppose I do. The regular comedy feels too blunt and cheap and they do not make me laugh at all, rather I cringe at them. Now now, I'm not saying they are bad, they are just not for me. I'm pretty sure we're allowed to have different tastes.
In Kind Hearts and Coronets, a man murders a bunch of successors to dukedom to be the duke himself, and the killing scenes are rather hilarious! But as I said in my review of the film, the blackest comedy erupts from the protagonist's relationship with two women.
5. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) by Sergio Leone
The scene where Tuco takes a bath, Blondie's (Clint Eastwood) overall attitudes, Angel Eyes introduction scene, even the battle of trio scene — all are laced with comedy, in some cases subtle, in others, not so much. But they are one of the reasons why the film is rewatchable time after time.
None of these films are unknown to the mass, I'm pretty sure a lot of people on CineTv have watched them already. If not, happy watching!
You can read more of my film and literature related articles on my hive blog page.