100 Best Comedies to Absolutely Watch

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What are the most interesting comedies movies to watch in the history of cinema? Long considered a minor genre, some comedies have become cult, inserted by major film magazines and critics among the must-see movies. Before getting to the cinema, let’s see how the genre of comedy was born in ancient theater and literature.

The Origins of the Comedy

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The word comedy derives from the classical Greek kōmōidía, which is composed of the 2 words feast and song, ode. The known origins of the comedy date back to Ancient Greece in some works of Aristotle, such as La Poetica, and Aristophanes. In them the Greek authors made irony about the lifestyles and contradictions of Athenian society. 

The theatrical comedies were staged in the cities of ancient Greece to make social and political satire, as is the case in today’s television talk shows. Often they were performances on a current affairs conflict, on politicians and on well-known personalities of society, where there were two sides against each other. The public could identify and at the same time enjoy themselves. 

The Canadian critic Herman Northrop Frye identified this main conflict of theatrical comedy of ancient Greece in the clash between the young generations and the old generations, between those who do not yet have authority and power and those who he does not want to give up the prestigious role he has won in society. The clash was told in amusing tones and paradoxical situations. 

While the favorite hero in the tragedy was a virtuous man, the protagonist of the comedies was often a mediocre and flawed man. An ideal character to tell the flaws of society with a funny tone. 

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In the ancient Islamic world where Aristotle’s poetics was translated, the term comedy was not associated with entertainment. It was rather a genre associated with satirical poetry by writers and poets such as Abu Bishr, Al-Farabi, Avicenna and Averroes. 

The comedy crosses all eras, from that of ancient Rome to the Renaissance, up to the works of Shakespeare. In the Middle Ages the term comedy deviates from the meaning of funny representation and is associated with laughter and takes on the meaning of a poem with a happy ending. As in the case of Dante Alighieri’s La Commedia. 

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The Comedy in Silent Cinema

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Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid

Comedy is a very popular cinematic genre which has its main features in irony, satire and derision of social and moral mores. In the origin of cinema, comedy was immediately one of the main genres, especially after the creation of the Hollywood industry. The sentimental comedy was born in the ’10s with films that told of the separation of two spouses and the attendance of other partners. 

The films had a purpose of containing the divorce explosion of the time. They always ended with a moralistic ending in which the two spouses returned to live together.

Thanks to the comic comedy genre and the character of Charlot, Charlie Chaplin became one of the most famous actors and directors in the world. His masterpieces are countless, starting with the comic film The Kid up to the bitter and dramatic comedy of Limelight. 

In the limelight finale Charlie Chaplin stars with another comedy giant, Buster Keaton. Some Buster Keaton comedies are a must see, they are real masterpieces of the slapstick genre, a genre typical of the silent era in which comedy was focused on action and physical gags. For example in the films How I Won the War or The Cameraman. With the advent of sound, comedy begins to use gags also through dialogues. 

Sophisticated Comedy

In 1934 the Hays code came into force and the rigidity of the censorship no longer allowed the distribution of works that spoke of marital adultery. The comedy genre then turned towards the sub-genre of screwball comedy, the sophisticated comedy.

This genre of comedies featured rich characters from the upper middle class. Sophisticated comedy was frequented by great directors such as Frank Capra in films such as It Happened One Night, 1934. 

American comedy film

American comedy films are among the oldest genres of American cinema; some of the early silent films were comedies, as entertaining slapstick often relies on action and mimicry, without requiring sound. With the introduction of sound in the late 1920s and 1930s, comedy films rose in prestige. By the 1950s, the television industry had become stiff competition for the film industry. The 1960s saw an increasing number of entertaining comedies filled with Hollywood stars. In the 1970s, black comedies were preferred. Prominent figures in the 1970s were Woody Allen and Mel Brooks.

Ernst Lubitsch

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The undisputed master of sophisticated comedy in Hollywood was Ernst Lubitsch. Lubitsch’s style was brilliant, engaging and dynamic, made up of sudden changes of narrative and point of view. Among his most famous comedies to watch we can remember films such as Lady Windermere’s Fan, Trouble in Paradise, Design for Living, Ninotchka, shot between the 20s and 30s. Among his masterpieces certainly also, To Be or Not to Be, a memorable satire on Hitler, inspired by Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator. 

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Frank Capra

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Frank Capra

beginning of the thirties to establish itself as a comedy in Hollywood director especially Frank Capra with his films with happy endings, endings often far-fetched and sweetened. 

We are in the middle of the New Deal and after the Great Depression the United States needs trust. Production companies are happy to produce films that support the government’s political project of a new American dream. 

Howard Hawks

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From the 40-50s the master of comedyarrives to success Howard Hawks, with films like I am Susanna! (1938), His Girl Friday (1940) or Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953). 

They are cinematic stories in which the author focuses mainly on the conflict between boring life and chaos, with an invisible direction that gives objective relevance to the events that happen on the screen. 

Billy Wilder

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Billy Wilder

The comedy however becomes bitter and turns into arthouse films with greater depth only withcinema Billy Wilder’s. Wilder collaborated with great writers such as Charles Brackett or IAL Diamond. 

His films are a bitter critique of Western society full of black humor, reminiscent in a certain sense of the depth of the great Italian comedy

The most important masterpieces are A Foreign Affair, 1948, The Seven Year Itch, 1955, Some like it hot, 1959, Sabrina, 1954, Love in the Afternoon, 1957, Irma La Dolce, 1963.

The Italian Comedy 

At the end of the 1950s the so-called Italian comedy was born in Italy, a genre of comedy that deals with social, political and cultural themes from a funny and ironic point of view. The Italian comedy manages to be more incisive than many dramas considered arthouse. One of the first films is Mario Monicelli’s I soliti ignoti, in 1958.

Mario-Monicelli
Mario Monicelli

The Italian comedy will describe the Italian society of the 60s and 70s with extraordinary precision and wit, like no other genre will be able to do. The actor Alberto Sordi will be the protagonist on the big screen of hundreds of films that will tell the vices, the opportunism, the meanness and the propensity to scam of the average Italian. 

The main directors of the Italian comedy were Mario Monicelli, Ettore Scola, Dino Risi, Luigi Zampa, Steno, Vittorio De Sica and Luigi Comencini.

All the great Italian actors of the time attended the comedy genre: they were Vittorio Gassman, Anna Magnani, Sophia Loren, Ugo Tognazzi, Marcello Mastroianni, Nino Manfredi, Aldo Fabrizi, Claudia Cardinale Gastone Moschin and Adolfo Celi.

French Comedy Movies

French comedy films began to appear in substantial numbers during the silent film era, from 1895 to 1930. The visual humor of most of these silent films relied on farce and burlesque. One of the first entertaining shorts was Watering the Gardener (1895) by the Lumière brothers. Max Linder was an important comedian and can be considered the true celebrity of the comedy films of that era.

When sound hit theaters in 1927, comedy films made a comeback thanks to the use of dialogue. After the Second World War, French culture underwent many adaptations in the 1940s and 1970s, which had a great influence on the comedies of this duration. A variety of French comedians had the ability to spot an English-speaking market hit during this time; Fernandel, Bourvil, Louis de Funès and Jacques Tati.

In the early 1970s, young actors new to the baby boom generation starred in comedy films: Gérard Depardieu, Splendid, Daniel Auteuil, Daniel Prévost and Coluche.

Romantic Comedy

One of the main sub-genres of comedy, which became one of the most commercial film genres in the 2000s is romantic comedy, a subgenre of romantic movies. Famous Hollywood actors such as Julia Roberts and Richard Gere are mainly dedicated to this type of film, with mediocre artistic results and extraordinary box office receipts. 

The more recent romantic comedy has rarely found its artistic identity and has remained a predominantly commercial phenomenon. They were often the cinematic equivalent of the mass phenomenon of the romance novel, devoid of thickness. 

The Black Comedy

Perfect instead as a point of connection between the comedy genre and arthouse film is black comedy. The likes of Stanley Kubrick as in Doctor Strangelove, Ettore Scola, Marco Ferreri in Italy, and many others in various parts of the world. 

The black comedy, in contrast to the glossy and mellow romantic comedy, inserts amusing but obscene, obscure elements into the story, often connected to death. The black comedy is perfect for telling in a lighter way of the darker sides of the human being and society. 

The Dramatic Comedy

The comedy-drama, also called bitter comedy, is a film that despite preserve the tone of comedy explores dramatic events, often without a happy ending. 

The characters of the dramatic comedy frequently have a greater depth than those of the light comedy: the directors can insert more plausible elements and make the cinema more similar to life, with alternating funny moments and dramatic moments. 

Many films by Federico Fellini, if we really had to assign a genre to a brilliant and unclassifiable author, are dramatic comedies, where the master of Italian cinema mixes tragic and ironic moments, drama and grotesque with rare skill. 

In the 70s, in Italy for example, the Italian comedy changes while society changes. The optimism of the economic boom gives way to the years of lead and terrorism. 

The comedy becomes progressively more melancholy and dramatic, starting with films like We All Loved Each Other So Much by Ettore Scola. The abandonment of the values ​​of friendship and love in exchange for opportunism and career becomes one of the dominant themes. 

The films still have that funny and ironic spirit, but it is strongly attenuated by more committed reflections, melancholy glances on an often complex reality is difficult. 

Comedy can no longer afford to be too “light”, because the decline of society is beginning to be worrying, and the outlook on the world of directors is also changing. 

Other Genres of Comedies 

Comedy has spawned a myriad of sub-genres, and there will likely be film critics who will identify some new ones in the future. 

The anarchic comedy is a genre identified by some film critics focused on the mockery of authority and power. For example films like those of Monty Python, or irreverent American comedies like Animal House, 1978, National Lampoon and many of the Marx brothers’ films.

The bath comedy: gross and disgusting films shot with a demented approach. Porky’s (1982), Dumber and Dumber (1994), American Pie (1999). 

The comedy of good manners like the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, set in the conformism of a certain social class. 

The “farce” comedy that exaggerates situations bordering on paradox as in Some like it hot. Then there is the parody, the sex comedy, the situation comedy, the straight comedy, the surreal comedy. 

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Comedies to Watch Absolutely

After this brief journey into the history of comedy and the various subgenres of film genres, here is a list of arthouse comedies to watch. For those who love the genre but do not want to give up artistic quality and cultural depth. 

Charlie Chaplin – Short Films

Charlie Chaplin becomes known worldwide with the short films of his character Charlot, inspired by his life experience, invented in 1914. A tramp with huge shoes he adds to the comic films of the time the poetry of great cinema. Charlie Chaplin’s shorts, often less well-known than his most famous feature films, are real pearls of world comedy and cinematographic art.

Madame DuBarry (1919)

Madame DuBarry is a 1919 German silent historical comedy drama film directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Pola Negri. The film tells the story of Jeanne Vaubernier, a young and beautiful Parisian modiste who, after abandoning her true love, Armand de Foix, to pursue a relationship with Count Jean Du Barry, becomes the mistress of King Louis XV. Jeanne, who now calls herself Madame Du Barry, lives a life of luxury and opulence, but her position is increasingly threatened by the growing dissatisfaction of the French people.

Plot

The film opens with Jeanne Vaubernier working as a modiste in Paris. She is a beautiful and vivacious young woman, but also very poor. One day, Jeanne meets Count Jean Du Barry, a corrupt nobleman who is looking for a new mistress. The count is immediately captivated by Jeanne, and he convinces her to leave her job and follow him to Versailles.

Commentary

Madame DuBarry is a complex and multifaceted film that explores themes such as love, power, and revolution. The film was praised by critics for its direction, Pola Negri’s performance, and the recreation of the 18th-century setting.

The film was also the subject of controversy, particularly in France, where it was accused of being an anti-French propaganda work. The criticisms focused on the fact that the film presented 18th-century France as a decadent and corrupt country, and that Jeanne Du Barry was portrayed as a frivolous and unscrupulous woman.

Despite the controversy, Madame DuBarry is a film that has stood the test of time and continues to be enjoyed by film fans around the world. The film is an important example of German silent cinema, and it represents a work of great artistic and historical value.

Additional details

  • The film was shot in Germany, and the scenes of Versailles were recreated in the vast Babelsberg film studios.
  • Pola Negri’s performance was praised by critics for her sensuality and magnetism.
  • The film was a major commercial success, and it grossed over $1 million at the time.

The Kid (1921)

The Kid is a 1921 American silent comedy-drama film written, produced, directed, edited, and starring Charlie Chaplin. The film is considered one of Chaplin’s best films and one of the greatest films of all time.

Plot

A tramp (Charlot) finds an abandoned baby (Jackie Coogan) and decides to raise him as his own. The two live together, facing the hardships of life as homeless people. Charlot takes care of the child with love and devotion, teaching him to live with dignity and hope.

Themes

The Kid explores a number of themes, including:

  • Love and family: The film is a story of love between a father and an adopted son. Charlot is a loving and protective father, and the child is a devoted son.
  • Poverty and discrimination: The film addresses the hardships of life as homeless people. Charlot and the child are often the targets of discrimination and prejudice.
  • Hope and resilience: The film is a story of hope and resilience. Charlot and the child never give up, even in the face of adversity.

Reception

The Kid was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its performances, its heartwarming story, and its exploration of important themes.

Legacy

The Kid is considered a classic of cinema. The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1994, being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and is considered one of the greatest films ever made.

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The High Sign (1921)

The High Sign is a 1921 two-reel silent comedy action film starring Buster Keaton, written and directed by Keaton and Edward F. Cline. It is a 21 minute short film. Dissatisfied with the result, Keaton shelved it and the film was not launched. The title describes the secret hand signal used by the film’s underworld gang.

Plot

Keaton plays a drifter who whiles away his time at a shooting gallery at a theme park. Believing Keaton to be a sharpshooter, both the murderous Blinking Buzzards gang and the man they wish to eliminate end up hiring him. The film ends with a wild chase through a house filled with secret passageways and trapdoors.

Style

In contrast to the “violent slapstick” of the films he actually made with Fatty Arbuckle, this short film exhibits the dry, funny, peaceful style that became Keaton’s hallmark. The climactic chase scenes inside the house take place on a split level set, with revolving wall panels, trap doors and secret passages.

Sherlock Jr. (1924)

Sherlock Jr. is a 1924 American silent comedy action film directed by and starring Buster Keaton and written by Clyde Bruckman, Jean Havez and Joseph A. Mitchell. Includes Kathryn McGuire, Joe Keaton and Ward Crane. The film is considered one of the best comedies ever made.

Plot

Sherlock Jr. Buster is a projectionist and janitor. When the theater is empty, he studies a book on How to Be a Detective. He loves a beautiful woman but has a competitor, the “local sheikh”. Neither of them have much money. He discovers a dollar bill in the trash he has swept up in the lobby. He takes it and includes it in the $2 he has. A lady claims that she has lost a dollar. She offers it back. Then she too an old woman claims she lost a dollar. A boy rummages through the trash and discovers a wallet full of cash.

Legacy

Sherlock Jr. is considered a classic of silent cinema. The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1995, being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and is considered one of the greatest films ever made.

Additional details:

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The screenplay for the film was written by Keaton and Joseph Mitchell.
  • The film’s score was composed by Keaton and Carl Stalling.

The Marriage Circle (1924)

The Marriage Circle (1924) is a silent romantic comedy film directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Adolphe Menjou, Monte Blue, Marie Prevost, and Florence Vidor. It is based on the play Only a Dream by Lothar Schmidt.

Plot

The film takes place in Vienna, Austria, and follows the story of two couples: Dr. Franz Braun (Monte Blue) and his wife Charlotte (Florence Vidor), and Mitzi Stock (Marie Prevost) and her husband Professor Josef Stock (Adolphe Menjou).

The story begins when Mitzi begins flirting with Franz. Josef, who is suspicious of his wife’s fidelity, hires a detective to investigate her. The detective’s investigation soon begins to focus on Franz, and the situation becomes increasingly complicated.

Meanwhile, Charlotte’s best friend, Dr. Gustav Mueller (Creighton Hale), tries to comfort her during her difficult time.

The film explores themes such as love, marriage, infidelity, and jealousy. It is a witty and sophisticated comedy that is also surprisingly insightful into human relationships.

Plot

The film begins with a scene in which Franz and Charlotte are happy and in love. Franz is a successful doctor, and Charlotte is a caring housewife.

One day, Franz and Charlotte are invited to a party at Mitzi and Josef’s house. Mitzi is a charming and seductive woman, and she immediately begins flirting with Franz.

Josef is jealous of his wife and suspects that she is cheating on him. He hires a detective to investigate her.

The detective begins to follow Mitzi and discovers that she is flirting with Franz. Josef is devastated and decides to divorce his wife.

Analysis

The Marriage Circle is a classic film of the silent era. It is a funny and intelligent comedy that explores universal themes such as love, marriage, and infidelity.

The film is directed with mastery by Ernst Lubitsch, one of the greatest directors of the silent era. Lubitsch uses his comedic skills to create funny and engaging scenes.

The performances of the actors are excellent. Adolphe Menjou is perfect in the role of the jealous and suspicious husband. Monte Blue is convincing in the role of the unfaithful husband who realizes his mistake. Florence Vidor is tender and understanding in the role of the betrayed wife.

The Gold Rush (1925)

The Gold Rush (1925) is a 1925 American silent comedy film written, produced, and directed by Charlie Chaplin. The film also stars Chaplin in his Little Tramp persona, Georgia Hale, Mack Swain, Tom Murray, Henry Bergman, and Malcolm Waite. Chaplin proclaimed at the time of its release that this was the film for which he wanted to be remembered.

Plot

A prospector named Charlie arrives in the Klondike during the 1890s gold rush. He is determined to strike it rich, but he faces many challenges, including the harsh weather, the treacherous terrain, and the ruthless competition from other prospectors.

Charlie eventually befriends a fellow prospector named Big Jim (Mack Swain). The two men work together to find gold, but they are constantly thwarted by their own incompetence and bad luck.

Despite the setbacks, Charlie never gives up on his dream. He eventually discovers a rich gold vein, and he becomes a millionaire.

Themes

  • The American Dream
  • Perseverance
  • Friendship
  • Greed
  • Love

Critical reception

The Gold Rush was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its direction, screenplay, performances, and music. It was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay, and won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography.

Legacy

The Gold Rush is considered one of Charlie Chaplin’s greatest films. It is a classic of silent cinema, and it has been preserved in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Awards

  • Academy Award for Best Cinematography
  • Photoplay Award for Best Picture
  • New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Film

Fun facts

  • The film’s special effects were groundbreaking for their time. The blizzard scene was created by using a combination of salt, flour, and paper.
  • The film’s dance scene is one of the most famous in cinema history. The scene was choreographed by Chaplin himself, and it has been parodied by many other filmmakers.
  • The film’s ending was changed at the last minute. Chaplin originally planned to have Charlie and Big Jim go their separate ways, but he decided to end the film on a more optimistic note.

The General (1926)

The General is a 1926 American silent comedy film directed, produced, and starring Buster Keaton. The film is considered one of Keaton’s best films and one of the greatest films of all time.

Plot

During the American Civil War, a Southern locomotive engineer, Johnny Gray, is rejected from the army because he is considered more valuable as an engineer than as a soldier. When Union soldiers steal his locomotive, Johnny sets out to redeem himself and rescue his girlfriend, Annabelle, who is on the locomotive.

Themes

The General explores a number of themes, including:

  • Love: The film is a love story between an engineer and a girl.
  • Heroism: The film explores the theme of heroism and sacrifice.
  • Technological progress: The film explores the impact of technological progress on war.

Reception

The General was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its physical comedy, its engaging story, and its exploration of important themes.

Legacy

The General is considered a classic of silent cinema. The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1998, being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and is considered one of the greatest films ever made.

Additional details:

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The screenplay for the film was written by Keaton and Clyde Bruckman.
  • The film’s score was composed by Keaton and Carl Stalling.

So This Is Paris (1926)

So This Is Paris (1926) is a silent American comedy film directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Monte Blue, Patsy Ruth Miller, Lilyan Tashman, and André Beranger. It is based on the 1872 stage play Le Reveillon by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy.

The film tells the story of Paul Giraud (Monte Blue), a happily married man who is tempted by another woman while his wife is out of town. Paul’s neighbor, Georgette Lalle (Lilyan Tashman), is a seductive dancer who invites him to her apartment for a party. Paul initially resists Georgette’s advances, but he eventually succumbs to temptation.

Analysis

So This Is Paris is a classic example of Lubitsch’s comedic style. The film is full of witty dialogue and subtle humor. Lubitsch also uses the film’s visual elements to create humor. For example, in one scene, Paul and Georgette are shown dancing in Georgette’s apartment. The camera moves around the couple, creating a sense of intimacy and excitement. However, the camera also reveals that Paul is wearing a ridiculous hat, which adds a touch of humor to the scene.

The film also explores the theme of infidelity in a complex and nuanced way. Paul is not a villain; he is simply a man who is tempted by another woman. Suzanne is also not a victim; she is a strong and independent woman who is able to forgive her husband.

Additional details

  • The film was shot in Berlin, Germany.
  • The film was a critical and commercial success upon its release.
  • It is considered to be one of the best silent films ever made.
  • The film was remade in 1938 as The Shop Around the Corner, starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan.

Steamboat Bill (1928)

Steamboat Bill Jr. is a 1928 American silent comedy film directed by Charles Reisner with Buster Keaton. The film is considered one of Keaton’s best films and one of the greatest films of all time.

Plot

William Canfield Jr., a young dandy from the city, returns to his hometown to win back his childhood sweetheart, Kitty. Kitty’s father, Steamboat Bill, is the owner of a steamboat that is in competition with another steamboat, owned by John King.

Themes

Steamboat Bill Jr. explores a number of themes, including:

  • Love: The film is a love story between a young dandy and a country girl.
  • Conflict: The film explores the conflict between two generations and between two rival families.
  • Nature: The film explores the power of nature and the vulnerability of man.

Reception

Steamboat Bill Jr. was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its physical comedy, its engaging story, and its cyclone sequences, which are considered among the most iconic in film history.

Legacy

Steamboat Bill Jr. is considered a classic of silent cinema. The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1995, and is considered one of the greatest films ever made.

Additional details

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The screenplay for the film was written by Charles Reisner, Carl Harbaugh, and Charles Rogers.
  • The film’s score was composed by Carl Stalling.

City Lights (1931)

City Lights is a 1931 American silent comedy-drama film directed, produced, written, edited, and starring Charlie Chaplin. The film is considered one of Chaplin’s best films and one of the greatest films of all time.

Plot

Charlot, a homeless man with a kind heart, buys a flower from a blind flower girl who mistakenly believes he is a wealthy man. Charlot falls in love with her and begins to court her, hoping to be able to help her regain her sight.

Themes

City Lights explores a number of themes, including:

  • Love: The film is a love story between a homeless man and a flower girl.
  • Compassion: The film explores the theme of compassion and kindness.
  • The city: The film explores the contrast between wealth and poverty, between light and darkness.

Reception

City Lights was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its moving story, its physical comedy, and its exploration of important themes.

Legacy

City Lights is considered a classic of silent cinema. The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1991, and is considered one of the greatest films ever made.

Additional details

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The screenplay for the film was written by Chaplin.
  • The film’s score was composed by Chaplin.

Review

In his last years, Charlie Chaplin he was known for bringing drama into his plays whenever he got the chance. City Lights is the film where he does both parts. Though its structure resembles Chaplin’s picaresque, there is more of an intentional focus as the tramp attempts to assist a blind flower girl, played adorably by Virginia Cherrill. When drunk and unable to recall his actions when sober, Harry Myers should also be remembered for his role as the generous millionaire in this remarkable film.

Tokyo Chorus (1931)

Tokyo Chorus is a 1931 Japanese silent film directed by Yasujirō Ozu. The film was shot in Tokyo during the Great Depression and tells the story of a middle-class family facing economic hardship.

Plot

The protagonist of the film, Shinji Okajima (Tokihiko Okada), is an insurance company employee who is fired after standing up for a laid-off coworker. Okajima’s wife, Sugako (Emiko Yagumo), is a housewife who must find a way to support the family. Their two children, the eldest son Chounan (Hideo Sugawara) and the younger daughter Chocho (Hideko Takamine), must face the challenges of their new situation.

The film is a realistic portrayal of everyday life in Tokyo during the Great Depression. Ozu shows the economic hardships that people had to face, but also their strength and resilience. The film is known for its minimalist style and evocative images.

Tokyo Chorus is considered one of Yasujirō Ozu’s most important films. The film has been praised for its realistic portrayal of everyday life, its minimalist style, and its humanity.

Review

Tokyo Chorus is an important film for several reasons. First, it is a realistic portrayal of everyday life in Tokyo during the Great Depression. The film shows the economic hardships that people had to face, but also their strength and resilience.

Second, the film is known for its minimalist style. Ozu uses limited use of dialogue and camera movement, instead focusing on images and details. This minimalist style helps to create a sense of realism and intimacy.

Finally, Tokyo Chorus is a human film. Ozu shows compassion and understanding for people facing hardship. The film is a message of hope for all who face challenges in life.

Some important themes of the film:

  • Social justice
  • Human resilience
  • The strength of the family
  • The power of music

Some details of the film:

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The running time of the film is 91 minutes.
  • The film was released in Japan on December 28, 1931.
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I Was Born, But… (1932)

I Was Born, But… (1932) is a 1932 Japanese drama film directed by Yasujirō Ozu and starring Tatsuo Saitō, Hideo Sugawara, and Tomio Aoki.

Plot

Two brothers, one older and one younger, live with their father, a low-ranking clerk. The father is an authoritarian and stern man, and he often makes fun of the younger son, who is more timid and introverted than the older brother.

One day, the father suddenly dies. The two brothers are orphaned and must learn to fend for themselves. The older brother, who is stronger and more enterprising, takes care of the household chores and tries to find a job to support the family. The younger brother, on the other hand, is still reeling from the death of his father and retreats into solitude.

Themes

  • Family
  • Death
  • Growth

Critical reception

I Was Born, But… was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its delicacy, its sensitivity, and its ability to tell the story of the growth of two brothers.

The film won the award for best direction at the Venice Film Festival in 1932.

Awards

  • Venice Film Festival 1932: award for best direction

Fun facts

  • The film was shot in Japan.
  • The film is based on the novel of the same name by Yasujirō Ozu.

Analysis

I Was Born, But… is a film that explores the complexity of family relationships, in particular the relationship between brothers. The film is set in Japan, in a period of great social and cultural change.

The father, played by Tatsuo Saitō, is an authoritarian and stern man, who embodies the traditional values of Japanese society. The two brothers, played by Hideo Sugawara and Tomio Aoki, represent the new generations, who are searching for their own identity.

The film tells the story of the conflict between these two points of view. The father tries to impose his authority on his children, but the children resist his pressures. In the end, the two brothers find a way to coexist and overcome the death of their father.

Trouble in Paradise (1932)

Trouble in Paradise (1932) is a Pre-Code American romantic comedy film directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Miriam Hopkins, Herbert Marshall, and Kay Francis. It is considered to be one of the best films of the Pre-Code era, and it is still enjoyed by audiences today.

The film tells the story of Gaston Monescu (Herbert Marshall), a suave and sophisticated jewel thief, and Lily Chevalier (Miriam Hopkins), a beautiful pickpocket. The two meet on a train and fall in love. They decide to team up and use their skills to commit a series of jewel thefts.

Their first target is Madame Mariette Colet (Kay Francis), a wealthy and beautiful perfume magnate. Gaston and Lily infiltrate Madame Colet’s inner circle and begin to romance her. However, their plans are complicated when Gaston falls in love with Madame Colet for real.

Trouble in Paradise is a witty and sophisticated comedy that is full of double entendres and sexual innuendo. It is also a surprisingly romantic film, and the relationship between Gaston and Lily is one of the most believable and well-developed romantic relationships in film history.

Analysis

Trouble in Paradise is a masterpiece of Pre-Code cinema. It is a film that is full of wit, sophistication, and romance. Lubitsch’s direction is masterful, and the performances of the three lead actors are superb.

The film is also notable for its frank and open treatment of sex and sexuality. This was possible because the film was made before the enforcement of the Production Code, which was a set of moral guidelines that Hollywood films were required to follow.

The Production Code prohibited the depiction of sex, violence, and other controversial topics. However, Trouble in Paradise was made before the Production Code was strictly enforced, and it is able to freely explore these topics.

This freedom allows Lubitsch to create a film that is both funny and provocative. The film is also able to explore the complex relationship between love and sex in a way that was not possible in films made after the enforcement of the Production Code.

Zero For Conduct (1933)

Zero For Conduct is a 1933 French silent film directed by Jean Vigo. The film is considered one of the masterpieces of surrealist cinema and one of Vigo’s most important films.

Plot

Four boys, Bruel, Caussat, Colin, and Le Grand, are punished with a “zero” in conduct and are confined to a military school. The boys, however, do not give up and organize a revolt against discipline and authority.

Themes

Zero For Conduct explores a number of themes, including:

  • Adolescence: The film is a story of rebellion and personal growth.
  • Authority: The film explores the conflict between youth and authority.
  • Freedom: The film celebrates freedom and individuality.

Reception

Zero For Conduct was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its originality, its freshness, and its exploration of important themes.

Legacy

Zero For Conduct is considered a classic of cinema. The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1998, and is considered one of the greatest films ever made.

Additional details

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The screenplay for the film was written by Jean Vigo and Alexandre Astruc.
  • The film’s score was composed by Maurice Jaubert.

Review

One of the great masterpieces in the history of cinema on the theme of childhood and scholastic and social conditioning on the younger generations. A hymn to freedom and creativity, a drive to free themselves from the invisible prisons in which they try to lock themselves up. Fundamental work to see at least once in a lifetime. A masterpiece from the genius of Jean Vigo.

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Duck Soup (1933)

Duck Soup is a 76-minute American pre-Code musical black comedy film written by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, with additional dialogue by Arthur Sheekman and Nat Perrin, directed by Leo McCarey, and starring the Marx Brothers (Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo in his final film appearance) and also featuring Margaret Dumont, Louis Calhern, Raquel Torres and Edgar Kennedy. Duck Soup was the last of five Marx Brothers films released by Paramount Pictures.

Plot

The film opens with Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx), a failed nightclub singer, being appointed president of the small nation of Freedonia. Firefly is a corrupt and incompetent politician who is more interested in enriching himself than in helping his country.

Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont), a wealthy American widow, offers Firefly a loan of $20 million if he will marry her daughter Vera (Raquel Torres). Firefly agrees to the loan, but he has no intention of marrying.

Meanwhile, the neighboring country of Sylvania, led by dictator Trentino (Louis Calhern), declares war on Freedonia. Firefly hires two spies, Chicolini (Chico Marx) and Harpo (Harpo Marx), to help him win the war.

Critical and commercial reception

Duck Soup was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its satirical humor and its hilarious scenes.

The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, but it lost to Cavalcade.

Trivia

  • Duck Soup is considered one of the funniest films ever made. It was included in the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Funniest Movies of All Time.
  • The film was shot in just six days.
  • Groucho Marx wrote most of his own lines for the film.
  • The scene where Chicolini and Harpo play the orchestra was improvised.
  • Duck Soup was one of the first films to use synchronized sound.

It Happened One Night (1934)

Set in the midst of the Great Depression, “It Happened One Night” is an American romantic screwball comedy film directed by Frank Capra and starring Claudette Colbert as Ellie Andrews, a spoiled heiress who elopes with a fortune-hunting pilot, and Clark Gable as Peter Warne, a cynical and recently fired reporter who agrees to help Ellie reunite with her husband in exchange for an exclusive story.

Plot

Ellie Andrews, the wealthy daughter of a domineering industrialist, impulsively marries King Westley, a pilot with a reputation for being a gold digger. Ellie’s father, determined to prevent his daughter from making a foolish mistake, sends his private detectives to track down the newlyweds and bring Ellie back home.

Ellie, realizing that her marriage was a mistake and that Westley is only interested in her money, runs away from the yacht where they are honeymooning. At a bus stop, she encounters Peter Warne, a recently fired reporter who is desperate for a scoop. Ellie, in need of help, proposes a deal to Peter: she will pay him to help her reunite with Westley, and in return, she will give him an exclusive story about their escapade.

Ending and Themes

“It Happened One Night” ends with Ellie and Peter together, ready to start a new life together. The film celebrates the power of love, independence, and self-discovery.

Critical Reception and Legacy

“It Happened One Night” was a critical and commercial success upon its release in 1934. The film was praised for its witty dialogue, its memorable characters, and its masterful direction by Frank Capra. It won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Clark Gable, Best Actress for Claudette Colbert, and Best Original Screenplay.

“It Happened One Night” has remained popular for decades and is considered one of the greatest romantic comedies ever made. It has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for its cultural, historical, and aesthetic significance.

Trivia

  • The film’s original title was “Three is a Crowd”, but it was changed to “It Happened One Night” at the suggestion of Columbia Pictures’ head Harry Cohn.
  • Clark Gable had to grow a mustache for his role in “It Happened One Night”, as his character was a reporter. This was the first time that Gable had ever appeared on screen with facial hair.
  • The film’s most famous scene is the “wall crawl” scene, in which Ellie and Peter are forced to share a bed in a crowded motel room. The scene was improvised by Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable, and it was not in the original script.

Sazen Tange and the Pot Worth a Million Ryo (1935)

“Sazen Tange and the Pot Worth a Million Ryo” (Japanese: “Tange Sazen Yowa: Hyakuman Ryo no Tsubo”) is a 1935 Japanese film directed by Sadao Yamanaka. The film is a film adaptation of an 18th century Japanese novel written by Kyokutei Bakin.

Plot

The plot of the film follows the adventures of Sazen Tange, a skilled one-handed swordsman, as he searches for an ancient Japanese vase worth a million ryo. In the course of his quest, Sazen meets various eccentric characters and clashes with numerous enemies, engaging in spectacular duels.

Reception

The film is considered a classic of Japanese cinema and has influenced many subsequent directors. In particular, the character of Sazen Tange has become an icon of Japanese popular culture and has inspired many films and television works.

Legacy

Sadly, director Sadao Yamanaka died a few years after the film’s release, during World War II, making “Sazen Tange and the Pot Worth a Million Ryo” one of his last works. However, its influence in Japanese cinema is still very strong and the film remains a beloved work of critics and audiences.

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A Night at the Opera (1935)

A Night at the Opera (1935) is a classic American pre-Code musical black comedy film written by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, with additional dialogue by Arthur Sheekman and Nat Perrin, directed by Leo McCarey, and starring the Marx Brothers (Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo in his final film appearance) and also featuring Margaret Dumont, Louis Calhern, Raquel Torres and Edgar Kennedy. A Night at the Opera was the last of five Marx Brothers films released by Paramount Pictures.

Plot

At a restaurant in Milan, Italy, Mrs. Claypool, a wealthy widow, has apparently been stood-up for dinner by Otis B. Driftwood, her business manager.

Backstage at the opera house, chorister Ricardo Baroni hires his best friend Fiorello to be his manager. Ricardo is in love with the soprano, Rosa Castaldi, who is also being courted by Lassparri.

Otis approaches Mrs. Claypool with a proposition: he will convince the world-famous tenor Rodolfo Lassparri to sing at her party, if she will invest in his new opera company. Mrs. Claypool agrees, and Otis travels to Italy to meet with Lassparri.

Critical Reception and Legacy

A Night at the Opera was a critical and commercial success upon its release in 1935. The film was praised for its humor, its music, and its performances. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, but it lost to Cavalcade.

A Night at the Opera is considered one of the Marx Brothers’ best films. It is a hilarious and chaotic film that is still enjoyed by audiences today.

Themes

A Night at the Opera is a satire of high society, opera, and the music industry. It is also a film about friendship, love, and the power of music.

Ninotchka (1939)

Ninotchka (1939) is a romantic comedy film directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas.

Plot

The film tells the story of Ninotchka Yakushova (Garbo), a stern and serious Soviet commissar who is sent to Paris to sell three jewels that were confiscated from the Russian aristocracy. Ninotchka is joined by her colleagues Ivan Buljanoff (Sig Ruman) and Iranoff (Felix Bressart), but the trio are soon seduced by the luxuries and pleasures of Paris.

Ninotchka herself is initially resistant to the charms of Paris, but she eventually falls under the spell of Leon d’Algout (Douglas), a charming and sophisticated Parisian. Leon is tasked with helping Ninotchka sell the jewels, but he is also secretly working for the Grand Duchess Swana (Ina Claire), who is the rightful owner of the jewels.

Ninotchka is a witty and sophisticated comedy that explores themes such as love, laughter, and the importance of individual freedom. It is also a celebration of the city of Paris. The film was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and it is still considered to be one of the best romantic comedies ever made.

Analysis

Ninotchka is a classic example of Lubitsch’s comedic style. The film is full of witty dialogue and subtle humor. Lubitsch also uses the film’s visual elements to create humor. For example, in one scene, Ninotchka and Leon are shown walking down a street in Paris. The camera pans up to reveal that Ninotchka is wearing a ridiculous hat. This image of Ninotchka in a Parisian hat is both funny and subversive, as it challenges the Soviet stereotype of the stern and serious communist.

The film also explores the theme of love in a complex and nuanced way. Ninotchka and Leon’s love for each other transcends their political differences. Their love is also a source of freedom and liberation for Ninotchka. She is able to break free from the rigid constraints of Soviet society and embrace her own individuality through her relationship with Leon.

Ninotchka is a film that is still relevant today. It is a funny and insightful look at love, laughter, and the importance of individual freedom.

His Girl Friday (1940)

His Girl Friday is a 1940 film directed by Howard Hawks and starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.

Plot

The film is a romantic comedy that follows ex-wife and journalist Hildy Johnson (played by Russell) who returns to the newsroom for one last story before giving up journalism and getting married again. However, the editor of the newspaper (played by Grant), who is also her ex-husband, tries to stop her from leaving journalism and draws her into a cover-up of a murder case that develops unpredictably.

Reception

The film is known for its fast, cutting dialogue and strong chemistry between Grant and Russell. It is considered one of the best films of its era and was named to the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American films of all time.

Review

The double-edged cynicism of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s Broadway comedy The Front Page couldn’t be more contemporary. The director had the enthusiastic intuition to transform the male character Hildy, protagonist of the novel, into a fiery woman played by Rosalind Russell in the film, igniting one of the most incendiary and entertaining war fights between man and woman in the history of cinema.

The Great Dictator (1940)

Plot

In the fictional country of Tomainia, Adenoid Hynkel (Charlie Chaplin), a ruthless dictator, rises to power through manipulation and fear. Hynkel, a clear parody of Adolf Hitler, is assisted by his ambitious and power-hungry chief of staff, Garbitsch (Henry Daniell), who constantly plots to take over the country for himself.

Meanwhile, in the Jewish ghetto, a barber (also played by Chaplin) leads a simple life and is unaware of the political turmoil around him. When he is mistaken for Hynkel by the dictator’s guards, he is taken to the palace and treated as a high-ranking official.

The barber, who is kind and compassionate, is horrified by the cruelty and oppression he witnesses in the palace. He tries to use his position to help the people of Tomainia, but he is constantly thwarted by Garbitsch and his cronies.

Themes

  • Dictatorship
  • Totalitarianism
  • Oppression
  • Hope
  • Freedom

Critical Reception and Legacy

“The Great Dictator” was a critical and commercial success upon its release in 1940. The film was praised for its humor, its performances, and its powerful message. It was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, Best Music, and Best Original Score.

“The Great Dictator” is considered one of the greatest films of Charlie Chaplin’s career. It is a classic satire that has remained relevant and important for decades. The film’s message of hope and freedom is as important today as it was when it was first released.

Curiosità

  • “The Great Dictator” was the first film to feature Chaplin speaking on screen.
  • Chaplin had wanted to make a film about Hitler for several years, but he was afraid of the political backlash. He finally decided to make the film after he realized that the world was on the verge of war.
  • The film was banned in Germany and Italy upon its release.
  • “The Great Dictator” was the highest-grossing film of 1940.

The Philadelphia Story (1940)

The Philadelphia Story (1940) is a 1940 American romantic comedy film directed by George Cukor and starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and James Stewart. The film is based on the 1939 Broadway play of the same name by Philip Barry.

Plot

Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn) is a wealthy socialite who is about to marry George Kittredge (John Howard), a nouveau riche industrialist. However, on the eve of her wedding, she is visited by her ex-husband, C.K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant), a charming but irresponsible playboy.

Tracy and Dexter rekindle their old flame, and she begins to question whether she truly wants to marry George. She also develops an unlikely friendship with Macaulay Connor (James Stewart), a cynical reporter who is covering the wedding.

As the wedding approaches, Tracy must decide who she truly loves and what she wants out of life.

Themes

  • Love
  • Marriage
  • Class
  • Social status
  • Self-discovery

Critical reception

The Philadelphia Story was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its direction, screenplay, performances, and costumes. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Cary Grant), Best Actress (Katharine Hepburn), Best Supporting Actor (James Stewart), and Best Original Screenplay, and won two awards, for Best Actress (Hepburn) and Best Original Screenplay.

Awards

  • Academy Award for Best Actress (Katharine Hepburn)
  • Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay

Fun facts

  • Katharine Hepburn was initially reluctant to star in the film, but she was persuaded by George Cukor.
  • Cary Grant was loaned to Columbia Pictures by RKO Radio Pictures for the film.
  • James Stewart was originally cast as George Kittredge, but he was replaced by John Howard when it was decided that he was too young for the role.
  • The film’s costumes were designed by Adrian, who was one of the most famous costume designers in Hollywood.

The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

The Shop Around the Corner (1940) is a romantic comedy film directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. The film is based on the 1937 Hungarian play Parfumerie by Miklós László.

Plot

The film tells the story of Alfred Kralik (Stewart) and Klara Novak (Sullavan), two employees at a gift shop in Budapest who constantly bicker and argue with each other. However, the two are unaware that they are also anonymous pen pals who have fallen deeply in love.

One day, Alfred is fired from his job, and Klara is promoted to his position. This leads to even more tension between the two, but it also forces them to confront their true feelings for each other.

The film is a charming and witty exploration of love, friendship, and the importance of communication. It is also a testament to Lubitsch’s skill as a director, as he is able to create a film that is both funny and heartwarming.

Analysis

The Shop Around the Corner is a classic example of Lubitsch’s comedic style. The film is full of witty dialogue and subtle humor. Lubitsch also uses the film’s visual elements to create humor. For example, in one scene, Alfred and Klara are shown arguing in the gift shop. The camera pans over to a shelf full of figurines, which are all shown to be arguing with each other as well. This image of the arguing figurines is both funny and symbolic, as it reflects the tension between Alfred and Klara.

The film also explores the theme of love in a complex and nuanced way. Alfred and Klara’s love for each other is initially based on their anonymous pen pal relationship. However, as they get to know each other better in person, their love for each other deepens.

The film also shows the importance of communication in a relationship. Alfred and Klara’s relationship is initially strained because they are unable to communicate their true feelings to each other. However, once they are able to open up to each other, their relationship blossoms.

To Be or Not to Be (1942)

To Be or Not to Be (1942) is a satirical comedy film directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack, Felix Bressart, Lionel Atwill, Stanley Ridges, and Sig Ruman. It is considered to be one of the greatest comedies ever made, and it is still enjoyed by audiences today.

Plot

The film tells the story of a Polish acting troupe during the Nazi occupation of Poland. The troupe is led by Joseph Tura (Jack Benny) and his wife Maria (Carole Lombard). They are a popular and successful troupe, and they are known for their satirical performances.

One day, Tura is approached by a Polish resistance fighter who asks him to help smuggle a message out of Poland. Tura agrees to help, and he recruits Maria and the rest of the troupe to assist him.

To Be or Not to Be is a witty and sophisticated comedy that satirizes the Nazis and their ideology. The film is also a celebration of the power of art and theater to resist oppression.

Analysis

To Be or Not to Be is a masterpiece of cinematic satire. Lubitsch’s direction is masterful, and the performances of the cast are superb. The film is also full of witty dialogue and subtle humor.

One of the things that makes To Be or Not to Be so effective is that it never takes itself too seriously. The film is constantly poking fun at the Nazis, and it does so in a way that is both clever and subversive.

The film also explores the power of art and theater to resist oppression. The acting troupe in To Be or Not to Be uses their art to challenge the Nazis and to inspire hope in the Polish people.

Heaven Can Wait (1943)

Heaven Can Wait (1943) is a supernatural comedy film directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Gene Tierney, Don Ameche, and Charles Coburn. It is considered to be one of Lubitsch’s greatest films, and it is still enjoyed by audiences today.

Plot

The film tells the story of Henry Van Cleve (Ameche), a wealthy and successful businessman who dies in a freak accident. Van Cleve is sent to hell, but he is given a chance to plead his case before Satan (Coburn). Van Cleve tells Satan the story of his life, and he tries to prove that he is not as wicked as Satan thinks he is.

Van Cleve’s story is a charming and witty tale of love, laughter, and redemption. It is also a celebration of the human spirit.

Analysis

Heaven Can Wait is a masterpiece of comedic cinema. Lubitsch’s direction is masterful, and the performances of the cast are superb. The film is also full of witty dialogue and subtle humor.

One of the things that makes Heaven Can Wait so effective is its unique perspective on heaven and hell. The film’s depiction of hell is surprisingly lighthearted and humorous. Satan is portrayed as a kind and reasonable figure, and he is always willing to give people a second chance.

The film’s depiction of heaven is also unique. Heaven is not portrayed as a place of eternal reward or punishment. Instead, it is portrayed as a place where people can go to reflect on their lives and to learn from their mistakes.

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Plot

Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant), a man about to be married, discovers that his two elderly aunts, Abby (Josephine Hull) and Martha (Jean Adair), have a habit of poisoning lonely old men and burying them in the basement.

Mortimer is horrified by this revelation, but he loves his aunts and doesn’t want to turn them in to the police. He tries to figure out how to stop them from killing again, but he is constantly thwarted by their eccentricities and his own clumsiness.

Meanwhile, Mortimer’s brother Jonathan (Raymond Massey), who has been missing for years, suddenly reappears. Jonathan is a murderous psychopath who is even more dangerous than his aunts. He quickly realizes that the aunts are killing people, and he decides to join in on the fun.

Themes

  • Family
  • Murder
  • Insanity
  • Morality
  • Love

Critical Reception and Legacy

“Arsenic and Old Lace” was a critical and commercial success upon its release in 1944. The film was praised for its humor, its performances, and its exploration of complex social issues. It was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor for Cary Grant, and Best Supporting Actress for Josephine Hull.

“Arsenic and Old Lace” has remained popular for decades and is considered one of the greatest black comedies ever made. It has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for its cultural, historical, and aesthetic significance.

Trivia

  • The film was based on the play of the same name by Joseph Kesselring.
  • The play was a huge success on Broadway, and it ran for three and a half years.
  • The film was originally supposed to be released in 1942, but it was delayed due to the war.
  • The film’s ending was changed from the play’s ending to be more optimistic.

Monsieur Verdoux (1947)

“Monseiur Verdoux” is a 1947 film directed by Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin himself plays the protagonist, a man who marries and kills women to steal their money. The film is a satire of capitalist society and traditional American values, and represents a turning point in the career of Chaplin, who until then was best known for his silent comedies.

Plot

The plot of “Monsieur Verdoux” revolves around the character played by Charlie Chaplin, Henri Verdoux, a former banker who, due to the Great Depression of the 1930s, loses his job and finds himself without means of support for himself and for his his family. To survive, he decides to marry rich women and then kill them to take their money.

The story develops with the presentation of Verdoux as a kind and friendly character, but who hides a dark and criminal side. Over the course of the film, it also comes to light that Verdoux has a family, consisting of a wife and a son, who know nothing of his criminal activities.

The plot becomes complicated when Verdoux marries a woman who turns out to be a false widow, who causes him to lose all his money and forces him to work as a gardener in a country villa. Here he meets a young woman, played by Marilyn Nash, who sympathizes with him and gives him the strength to redeem himself and try to redeem himself from his crimes.

Reception

“Monsieur Verdoux” was a commercial failure upon its release, but has been re-evaluated over the years and is considered one of the director’s masterpieces.

Review

In his filmed black comedy when he was fired and exiled because of his communist views Charlie Chaplin stages the story of Bluebeard, using his comedy with unprecedented resentment and interest in unknown fate in his films. It is precisely the contrast between Chaplin’s comic tones and also the ruthless activities of the main characters that provides the comedy with shocking and unusual action.

Jour de fete (1949)

Jour de fête is a 1949 French comedy film directed by Jacques Tati. The film is considered one of the masterpieces of comedy and one of Tati’s most important films.

Plot

François, a postman in a small French village, is a kind-hearted and easily distracted man. On the day of the village fair, François finds himself involved in a series of misadventures as he tries to deliver the mail.

Themes

Jour de fête explores a number of themes, including:

  • Comedy: The film is an hilarious comedy that explores the theme of the absurd.
  • The everyday: The film explores the everyday life of a small French village.
  • Technology: The film explores the relationship between man and technology.

Reception

Jour de fête was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its comedy, its observation of everyday life, and its exploration of important themes.

Legacy

Jour de fête is considered a classic of comedy. The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1995, and is considered one of the greatest films ever made.

Additional details

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The screenplay for the film was written by Jacques Tati and Henri Marquet.
  • The film’s score was composed by Jean Yatove.

Review

Though perhaps not as successful here as in his later work, Tati hones his dialogue-free aesthetic humor, a series of loosely connected comic vignettes in which his masterful shots allow the jokes to unravel naturally.

Three versions of Jour de fête are still available: the black and white version from 1949; the total edited version of 1964 with the addition of hand-drawn colors and the 1995 reissue, restored in the originally intended color scheme. All three have their charms and provide an excellent account of his identity among the masters of French cinema.

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Late Springs (1949)

Late Spring (1949) is a 1949 Japanese comedy drama film directed by Yasujirō Ozu and starring Chishū Ryū, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka, Haruko Sugimura, Hohi Aoki, and Jun Usami.

Plot

A widowed professor worries that his daughter will become a ridiculed spinster and tries to convince her to marry, but the girl is happy living with her father, and they both know that the man would be lost without someone in the house to take care of him.

Themes

  • Family
  • Tradition
  • Japanese society

Critical reception

Late Spring was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its delicacy, its sensitivity, and its ability to tell the complex story of family relationships.

The film won the award for best direction at the 1950 Cannes Film Festival.

Legacy

Late Spring is considered a classic of Japanese cinema. It is a film that marked an era and that helped to change the way Japanese cinema represented family and society.

Awards

  • Cannes Film Festival 1950: award for best direction

Fun facts

  • The film was shot in Japan.
  • The film is based on the novel of the same name by Yasujirō Ozu.
  • The film was presented in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 1950.

Conclusion

Late Spring is a moving and poetic film. It is a film that is sure to stay with you long after you have seen it.

Additional details

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The film stars Chishū Ryū, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka, Haruko Sugimura, Hohi Aoki, and Jun Usami.

Analysis

Late Spring is a film that explores the complexity of family relationships, in particular the relationship between father and daughter. The film is set in Japan, in a time of great social and cultural change. The professor, played by Chishū Ryū, is a traditional man who believes that his daughter, played by Setsuko Hara, must marry to be happy. The daughter, on the other hand, is a modern woman who does not feel the need to marry.

The film tells the story of the conflict between these two points of view. The professor tries to convince his daughter to marry, but the daughter resists his pressure. In the end, the two find a compromise: the daughter will remain living with her father, but she will not marry.

Late Spring is a film that is both moving and poetic. The film is acted by two extraordinary actors, Chishū Ryū and Setsuko Hara, who give two memorable performances. The film is directed with mastery by Yasujirō Ozu, who creates a delicate and sensitive atmosphere.

The film has been interpreted as a critique of traditional Japanese society, which imposed on women the obligation to marry and have children. The film has also been interpreted as an ode to the family and the value of family relationships.

Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (1953)

Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot (English title: Mr. Hulot’s Holiday) is a 1953 French comedy film written, directed, and starring Jacques Tati. The film is considered one of Tati’s best films and one of the greatest comedies of all time.

Plot

Monsieur Hulot, a polite and eccentric man, arrives at a seaside resort for his annual vacation. However, his attempts to relax and enjoy himself are constantly interrupted by a series of mishaps and misunderstandings.

Themes

Mr. Hulot’s Holiday explores a number of themes, including:

  • The absurdity of modern life: The film is a hilarious satire of the modern world, with its emphasis on conformity and consumerism.
  • The importance of individuality: The film celebrates the importance of being different and of not fitting in.
  • The power of observation: The film is full of witty and insightful observations about human nature.

Reception

Mr. Hulot’s Holiday was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its originality, its humor, and its unique visual style.

Legacy

Mr. Hulot’s Holiday is considered a classic of French comedy. The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2005, and is considered one of the greatest films ever made.

Additional details

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The screenplay for the film was written by Jacques Tati.
  • The film’s score was composed by Alain Romans and Jean Wiener.

Review

Impossible to make a list of the best French comedies without including Jacques Tati, among the best French directors, dazzling burlesque star, the French equivalent of Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot is excellent. Its shape and unique design make the master the perfect hero to gaze lightly at the sweet absurdity of summer sojourns by the sea in an excessively windy shoreline.

There is actually no story in the film. The dialogue is minimal and is only used for ridiculous and meaningless things that summer season tourists say. Sounds of all kinds end up being firecrackers, thrown for comic effect.

The film is among the best collection of sight gags yet, however it is the context in which they are set and the setting of the film that elevates it into another world. The central character is an amazing amalgam of bewilderment at the modern world, and his every effort to fit in on his beach vacation devastates the order of things.

Equinox Flowers (1958)

Equinox Flowers (1958) is a 1958 Japanese comedy drama film directed by Yasujirō Ozu and starring Chishu Ryu, Setsuko Hara, Keiji Sada, Mariko Okada, Miyuki Kuwano, and Shin’ichirô Mikami.

Plot

Wataru Hirayama, a retired businessman, sees the children of his friends and acquaintances marrying one after the other; this worries him about the future of his two daughters, Setsuko and Hisako, with the first being of marriageable age.

Themes

  • Family
  • Tradition
  • Social change

Critical reception

Equinox Flowers was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its delicacy, its sensitivity, and its ability to tell the complex story of family relationships in a period of great social change.

The film was presented in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 1959.

Awards

  • Cannes Film Festival 1959: award for best direction

Fun facts

  • The film was shot in Japan.
  • The film is based on the novel of the same name by Yasujirō Ozu.

Analysis

Equinox Flowers is a film that explores the complexity of family relationships, in particular the relationship between father and daughter. The film is set in Japan, in a period of great social change.

Wataru Hirayama, played by Chishu Ryu, is a traditional man who believes that his daughter, played by Setsuko Hara, must marry to be happy. The daughter, on the other hand, is a modern woman who does not feel the need to marry.

The film tells the story of the conflict between these two points of view. The father tries to convince his daughter to marry, but the daughter resists his pressure. In the end, the two find a compromise: the daughter will remain living with her father, but she will not marry.

Giants and Toys (1958)

Giants and Toys (1958) is a 1958 Japanese satirical comedy film directed by Yasuzō Masumura and starring Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Hitomi Nozoe, and Yûnosuke Itō.

Plot

Candy manufacturer World Caramel competes with companies Giant and Apollo over caramel sales. While looking for a poster girl for a new promotional campaign, advertising chief of World Caramel, Goda, discovers Kyoko, a working-class girl with bad teeth, and makes her World’s mascot, dressing her up in a space suit and wielding a ray gun.

Themes

  • Consumerism
  • Commercialism
  • Social satire

Critical reception

Giants and Toys (1958) was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its humor, its sharp satire of Japanese society, and its ability to blend social commentary with lighthearted entertainment.

The film was nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

Awards

  • Venice Film Festival: nominated for the Golden Lion

Fun facts

  • The film was shot in Japan.
  • The film is based on a story by Takeshi Kaikō.

Analysis

Giants and Toys (1958) is a film that satirizes the excesses of consumerism and commercialism in Japan. The film’s exaggerated portrayal of the candy industry is a reflection of the growing materialism of Japanese society in the 1950s.

The film also explores the theme of social inequality. Kyoko, the working-class girl who becomes World’s mascot, is exploited by the company for her image, but she is not given the respect or opportunities that she deserves.

The film’s humor is often sharp and satirical, but there is also a sense of pathos in the portrayal of Kyoko’s situation. The film ultimately suggests that the pursuit of material wealth can be empty and unsatisfying.

Here are some of the specific ways in which the film explores the themes of consumerism, commercialism, and social inequality:

  • The film’s portrayal of the candy industry is exaggerated and satiric. The companies are shown to be obsessed with sales and profits, and they are willing to do anything to achieve their goals.
  • The film’s use of Kyoko as a mascot is a commentary on the way that companies exploit people for their own gain. Kyoko is objectified and commodified, and she is not given any agency in the situation.

A Bucket of Blood (1959)

A Bucket of Blood is a 1959 film directed by Roger Corman. It is a black comedy that takes inspiration somewhat distantly from a story written in 1930 by Charles Belden.

Plot

Walter Paisley is a timid and introverted busboy who works at the Yellow Door, a popular beatnik hangout. Walter is an aspiring sculptor, but his work is always rejected by critics. One day, Walter finds a dead body in an alleyway and, to hide it, uses it as material for one of his sculptures. The sculpture is a huge success and Walter begins to be known as a talented artist. However, his fame is based on a lie, and Walter finds himself involved in a series of murders to keep his secret.

Characters

  • Walter Paisley: A timid and introverted busboy who becomes a successful artist thanks to a series of murders.
  • Carla: A female artist who is attracted to Walter.
  • Maxwell H. Brock: An art critic who begins to suspect that Walter’s work is fake.
  • Mr. Coogan: The owner of the Yellow Door.
  • Mrs. Coogan: Mr. Coogan’s wife.
  • Mr. Johnson: A beatnik artist.
  • Mr. Jones: A beatnik artist.
  • Miss Miller: A beatnik artist.

Themes

  • Satire of the bohemian art world
  • Black humor
  • The nature of creativity

Critical reception

“A Bucket of Blood” was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its satire of the bohemian art world, its black humor, and its effective direction.

Awards

  • Golden Globe nomination for Best Comedy in 1960.
  • Audience Award at the Avoriaz Film Festival in 1960.

Legacy

“A Bucket of Blood” is considered a classic of horror cinema. The film has been cited as an inspiration by numerous other directors, including John Carpenter and Quentin Tarantino.

Trivia

  • The film was shot in just five days on a budget of $50,000.
  • The cast is made up of non-professional actors.

Watch A Bucket of Blood

The Great War (1959)

The Great War (1959) is an Italian film directed by Mario Monicelli. It is a comedy-drama that tells the story of two Italian soldiers, Giovanni Busacca (Alberto Sordi) and Oreste Jacovacci (Vittorio Gassman), who fight during World War I.

The plot

The film begins with Giovanni and Oreste being drafted into the Italian army. The two are initially optimistic and hope to return home soon. However, they soon realize that war is a very different reality than they expected.

Giovanni is a Milanese peasant who was drafted by mistake. He is a simple and naive man who does not understand much about war. Oreste is a Roman doorman who was drafted to avoid going to prison. He is a cunning and opportunistic man who is always looking for ways to avoid battle.

The two soldiers are sent to the trenches, where they must face the harsh reality of war. They are forced to live in terrible conditions and are constantly exposed to danger.

The themes

The film explores several themes, including the folly of war, the human cost of war, the friendship and solidarity between soldiers, and the importance of not forgetting the past. The film portrays war as a foolish and senseless reality. Soldiers are forced to kill each other for reasons they don’t understand.

The film shows the human cost of war in terms of human lives, suffering, and destruction. The film shows the friendship and solidarity between soldiers who are forced to share the same experience. The film reminds us of the importance of not forgetting the human cost of war and working for peace.

Review

The Great War was comedy at its most sophisticated. His anti-heroic stance towards Italian WWI exploits – which the establishment wanted to either proclaim or, better yet, not review at all – inspired the film. However, it ended up being popular and was exceptionally significant, sharing the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion with Rossellini’s Generale Della Rovere.

Vittorio Gassman and Alberto Sordi are at their best as two soldiers whose goal is only to resist. Their efforts to avoid a fate of fear are extraordinarily amusing, given the circumstances – for Monicelli and screenwriters Age and Scarpelli are right to create an environment in which the debacle of war is clearly evoked – but the ultimate irony of their fate is heartbreaking.

Some Like It Hot (1959)

Some Like It Hot (1959) is a 1959 American crime comedy film directed, produced and co-written by Billy Wilder. It stars Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon, with George Raft, Pat O’Brien, Joe E. Brown, Joan Shawlee and Nehemiah Persoff in supporting roles. The screenplay by Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond follows two musicians who witness a gangland massacre and dress in drag to flee Chicago with an all-girl band.

Plot

Saxophonist Joe (Tony Curtis) and double bass player Jerry (Jack Lemmon) are struggling musicians in Chicago. One day, they witness the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, a notorious gangland shooting. Fearing for their lives, they devise a plan to escape the city by disguising themselves as women and joining an all-girl band headed for Florida.

On the train, Joe falls in love with Sugar Kane Kowalczyk (Marilyn Monroe), the band’s ukulele player and lead vocalist. Jerry, meanwhile, attracts the unwanted attention of millionaire Osgood Fielding III (Joe E. Brown), who believes Jerry is a woman and wants to marry him.

As the band travels towards Florida, Joe and Jerry continue to struggle with their disguises and their growing feelings for Sugar and Osgood. They also have to deal with the mobsters who are still looking for them.

Themes

  • Gender identity
  • Friendship
  • Love
  • Crime

Critical reception

Some Like It Hot was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its direction, screenplay, performances, and music. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay, and won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design.

Legacy

Some Like It Hot is considered one of the greatest comedies of all time. It has been ranked on numerous lists of the best films of all time, and it has been preserved in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Awards

  • Academy Award for Best Costume Design
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Tony Curtis)
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Marilyn Monroe)
  • Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screenplay – Comedy
  • Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures

Fun facts

  • The film’s title is a reference to the song “I Wanna Be Loved by You” by Josephine Baker.
  • The film’s original title was “Some Like It Hot But Not Osgood.”
  • Marilyn Monroe was initially reluctant to star in the film, but she was persuaded by Billy Wilder.
  • Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon had to wear bras and girdles for their roles.
  • The film was shot in black and white because Marilyn Monroe’s studio refused to let her appear in a color film.

Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

It’s an american horror comedy from 1960 directed by Roger Corman. Written by Charles B. Griffith, the film is a farce about a florist who grows a plant that eats human blood.

Plot

Gravis Mushnick owns a flower and designer shop, run by himself and 2 staff members, sweet Audrey Fulquard and awkward Seymour Krelboined. Found on skid row, the rundown shop has little organization. Mushnick fires Seymour when he ruins a flower delivery for evil dentist Dr. Farb. Seymour informs him of a unique plant that he actually grew from seeds he obtained from a “Japanese Garden Enthusiast on Central Avenue.” Seymour confesses that he named the plant “Audrey Jr.”, which excites the real Audrey.

Trivia

Jack Nicholson, describing the reaction to a screening of the film, said the audience laughed so hard you could barely hear the dialogue. The actor said that he had never had such a favorable reaction from the public before.

Review

Among Corman’s gems, a crazy subject that was written in one evening. A successful film, with entertaining performances provided by the cast and excellent directing results from Corman while working under the self-imposed pressures of fast shooting and a budget plan.

Watch Little Shop of Horrors

The Apartment (1960)

Plot

C.C. Baxter is a low-level clerk at a large insurance company in New York City. In order to get ahead, Baxter rents his apartment to his superiors for their extramarital affairs.

Baxter is attracted to his secretary, Fran Kubelik, but she is in love with his boss, Jeff Sheldrake. Baxter begins to arrange meetings between Fran and Sheldrake in his apartment.

Fran and Sheldrake begin a relationship, and Baxter begins to develop feelings for Fran. When Fran discovers that Baxter is responsible for the meetings, she is shocked and accuses him of being a voyeur.

Characters

  • C.C. Baxter: A low-level clerk at a large insurance company who rents his apartment to his superiors for their extramarital affairs.
  • Fran Kubelik: A secretary at a large insurance company who is in love with her boss, Jeff Sheldrake.
  • Jeff Sheldrake: Fran Kubelik’s boss, who is having an extramarital affair with her.
  • Mr. J.J. Sheldrake: Jeff Sheldrake’s father, who is a powerful businessman.
  • Miss Kubelik: Fran Kubelik’s mother, who is a housewife.

Themes

  • Love
  • Career
  • Betrayal
  • Cynicism
  • Redemption

Awards

  • Academy Award for Best Picture
  • Academy Award for Best Director
  • Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
  • Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (Shirley MacLaine)
  • Academy Award for Best Art Direction
  • Nomination for Academy Award for Best Actor (Jack Lemmon)
  • Nomination for Academy Award for Best Actress (Faye Dunaway)
  • Nomination for Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (Fred MacMurray)
  • Nomination for Academy Award for Best Cinematography
  • Nomination for Academy Award for Film Editing
  • Nomination for Academy Award for Costume Design
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (Shirley MacLaine)
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay
  • British Academy Film Award for Best Film
  • David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Film

Legacy

The Apartment is considered one of the greatest romantic comedies of all time. The film has been cited as an inspiration by numerous other directors and screenwriters.

Review

The Apartment is a romantic comedy with existential reflections on the mistakes of falling in love, especially the fathers of families. It’s also a comedy where the seemingly nice guy becomes negatively affected by everyone who acts on him.

Among the great aspects of The Apartment is its sensitivity to office harassment and the negative habits of men in power. It is one of the best rom-coms about work: a film by master Billy Wilder that is worth watching and looks as great as the first time.

Zazie in the Metro (1960)

Zazie in the Metro (1960) is a 1960 French comedy film directed by Louis Malle and starring Catherine Deneuve.

Plot

Zazie is a ten-year-old girl who comes to Paris from the countryside to stay with her uncle Gabriel, a cross-dressing dancer. Zazie is a rebellious and restless child, and she can’t wait to see the subway.

However, a subway strike ruins her plans. Zazie is forced to wander around Paris with her uncle Gabriel and his lover, Mado.

During her wanderings, Zazie finds herself involved in a series of hilarious adventures, including a robbery, a game of billiards, and an encounter with a group of beatniks.

Themes

  • Freedom
  • Rebellion
  • Discovery of the city

Critical reception

Zazie in the Metro was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its surreal humor, its vibrant depiction of Paris, and its performance by Catherine Deneuve.

The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Foreign Language Film.

Awards

  • Silver Ribbon for Best Director for Louis Malle
  • Louis Delluc Prize
  • Jean Vigo Prize

Fun facts

  • The film was shot in Paris.
  • The film is based on the novel Zazie in the Metro by Raymond Queneau.
  • The film stars Catherine Deneuve, Philippe Noiret, Jean-Pierre Cassel, and Jeanne Moreau.
cult-movie

Late Autumn (1960)

Late Autumn (1960) is a 1960 Japanese comedy drama film directed by Yasujirō Ozu and starring Chishu Ryu, Setsuko Hara, Keiji Sada, Mariko Okada, Miyuki Kuwano, and Shin’ichirô Mikami.

Plot

Three long-time friends, all widowed and advanced in age, decide to find a husband for Akiko’s daughter, who is a widow of their old friend. In reality, they are still in love with Akiko: in their youth, they all courted her.

Themes

  • Love
  • Age
  • Loneliness

Critical reception

Late Autumn was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its delicacy, its sensitivity, and its ability to tell the complex story of human relationships.

The film was presented in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 1961.

Awards

  • Cannes Film Festival 1961: award for best direction

Fun facts

  • The film was shot in Japan.
  • The film is based on the novel of the same name by Yasujirō Ozu.
  • The film was presented in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 1961.

Additional details

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The film stars Chishu Ryu, Setsuko Hara, Keiji Sada, Mariko Okada, Miyuki Kuwano, and Shin’ichirô Mikami.

Analysis

Late Autumn is a film that explores the complexity of human relationships, in particular love, age, and loneliness. The film is set in Japan, in a period of great social and cultural change.

The three friends, played by Chishu Ryu, Keiji Sada, and Shin’ichirô Mikami, are traditional men who believe that Akiko’s daughter, played by Setsuko Hara, must marry to be happy. Akiko, on the other hand, is a modern woman who does not feel the need to marry.

The film tells the story of the conflict between these two points of view. The three friends try to convince Akiko to marry one of them, but Akiko resists their pressure. In the end, the daughter remains to live with her mother, but she does not marry.

Late Autumn is a film that is both moving and poetic. The film is acted by three extraordinary actors, Chishu Ryu, Keiji Sada, and Shin’ichirô Mikami, who give three memorable performances. The film is directed with mastery by Yasujirō Ozu, who creates a delicate and sensitive atmosphere.

Sabrina (1960)

Sabrina (1960) is a romantic comedy film directed by Billy Wilder and starring Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, and William Holden. It is considered to be one of the greatest romantic comedies ever made, and it is still enjoyed by audiences today.

Plot

The film tells the story of Sabrina Fairchild (Hepburn), the young daughter of the Larrabee family’s chauffeur, Thomas. Sabrina has been in love with David Larrabee (Holden) all her life. David is a playboy who has never paid romantic attention to Sabrina. However, when Sabrina returns from a two-year trip to Paris transformed into a beautiful and sophisticated woman, David finally takes notice of her.

David’s older brother Linus (Bogart), a serious and responsible businessman, is also attracted to Sabrina. As the three of them spend more time together, a love triangle develops.

Sabrina is a charming and witty film that explores themes such as love, class, and social status. It is also a celebration of female empowerment and self-discovery.

Analysis

Sabrina is a classic example of Wilder’s comedic style. The film is full of witty dialogue and subtle humor. Wilder also uses the film’s visual elements to create humor. For example, in one scene, Sabrina is shown wearing a ball gown that is too large for her. The gown dwarfs her, and it makes her look like a child. This image of Sabrina in the oversized ball gown is both funny and poignant, as it reflects her feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.

The film also explores the theme of class in a complex and nuanced way. Sabrina is from a working-class family, while the Larrabees are a wealthy and upper-class family. The film shows how the class difference between Sabrina and the Larrabees complicates their relationships.

Divorce Italian Style (1961)

Divorce Italian Style (1961) is an Italian comedy-drama film directed by Pietro Germi and starring Marcello Mastroianni, Daniela Rocca, and Stefania Sandrelli. The film was a critical and commercial success and won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Plot

Ferdinando Cefalù is a Sicilian baron married to Rosalia, a woman who is ugly and unbearable. Ferdinando is in love with Angela, his young cousin, who returns his love.

In order to marry Angela, Ferdinando must first divorce Rosalia. However, divorce was still illegal in Italy at the time. Ferdinando then decides to kill Rosalia to have an excuse to divorce.

Characters

  • Ferdinando Cefalù: A Sicilian baron who is married to Rosalia and in love with Angela.
  • Rosalia Cefalù: Ferdinando’s wife, an ugly and unbearable woman.
  • Angela: Ferdinando’s cousin, whom he is in love with.
  • Turi: Ferdinando’s friend who helps him kill Rosalia.

Themes

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Love
  • Death
  • Sicily

Critical reception

Divorce Italian Style was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its direction, screenplay, performances, and comedy.

The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and received international critical acclaim.

Awards

  • Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film
  • BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Language Film
  • David di Donatello Award for Best Film
  • David di Donatello Award for Best Director
  • David di Donatello Award for Best Actress (Daniela Rocca)
  • David di Donatello Award for Best Screenplay

Review

Oscar winner, Pietro Germi‘s film tells an excellent story with very intelligent funny moments. The film is full of truly phenomenal camera movements as well as an extraordinary direction by Germi and an excellent performance by Marcello Mastroianni.

Despite being released in 1961, the film is quite different from the comedies typically made at the time. His finest moments are in the role of Mastroianni and in the diabolical project of his character.

A Difficult Life (1961)

Una vita difficile (1961) is an Italian drama film directed by Dino Risi and starring Alberto Sordi. The film was a critical and commercial success and won the Silver Ribbon for Best Film.

Plot

Silvio Magnozzi is a young Roman partisan who, after the war, finds himself living in a difficult and chaotic Rome. Silvio tries to find a job and build a life for himself, but he is hindered by a series of events and circumstances.

Silvio falls in love with Elena, a young woman who works as a saleswoman, but their relationship is hindered by Elena’s family. Silvio is also involved in a series of illegal activities, including cigarette smuggling.

Characters

  • Silvio Magnozzi: A young Roman partisan who tries to build a life for himself after the war.
  • Elena: A young woman who works as a saleswoman and is in love with Silvio.
  • Amalia: Elena’s mother, who is opposed to the relationship between Silvio and Elena.
  • Simonini: A friend of Silvio who is involved in illegal activities.
  • Bracci: A corrupt businessman who exploits Silvio.

Themes

  • The difficult life of the post-war period
  • Love
  • Friendship
  • Disillusionment
  • Corruption

Critical reception

Una vita difficile was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its direction, screenplay, performances, and cinematography.

The film won the Silver Ribbon for Best Film and received international critical acclaim.

Awards

  • Silver Ribbon for Best Film
  • Silver Ribbon for Best Director (Dino Risi)
  • Silver Ribbon for Best Actress (Lea Massari)
  • Silver Ribbon for Best Supporting Actress (Lina Volonghi)
  • David di Donatello for Best Film
  • David di Donatello for Best Director (Dino Risi)
  • David di Donatello for Best Actress (Lea Massari)
  • David di Donatello for Best Screenplay

Legacy

Una vita difficile is considered one of the classics of Italian cinema. The film has been cited as a source of inspiration for numerous other directors and screenwriters.

Una vita difficile is an intense and moving film that explores the difficulties of life after the war. The film is a realistic portrait of Italian society at the time and its contradictions.

Here are some additional details about the film:

  • The film was based on the novel of the same name by Alberto Moravia.
  • The film was shot in Rome.
  • The title of the film is a reference to the difficult life that the protagonists must face.
  • The film was one of the first Italian films to deal with the theme of post-war disillusionment.

One, Two, Three (1961)

One, Two, Three (1961) is a satirical Cold War comedy film directed by Billy Wilder and starring James Cagney, Horst Buchholz, and Pamela Tiffin.

Plot

The film follows the exploits of C.R. MacNamara, the American head of Coca-Cola’s West Berlin office, as he tries to keep his company’s operations running smoothly despite the political tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The film is a fast-paced and witty look at the Cold War, and it features some of Wilder’s most memorable dialogue. Cagney is in top form as MacNamara, and he is ably supported by Buchholz and Tiffin.

The film was a critical and commercial success, and it was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay. It is considered to be one of Wilder’s best films, and it remains a popular cult classic today.

The film’s plot is full of twists and turns, and it is full of Wilder’s trademark satire. MacNamara is constantly juggling the demands of his company, the American government, and the Soviet government. He is also dealing with his own personal problems, including his love interest, Lisa, who is the daughter of a high-ranking Soviet official.

Detailed review

One, Two, Three is a classic Cold War comedy that is still funny today. Cagney is at his best as MacNamara, and the film is full of Wilder’s trademark wit and satire. If you are a fan of Wilder’s work, or if you enjoy well-made comedies, then you should definitely check out One, Two, Three.

Here are some additional details about the film:

  • The film is set in West Berlin in 1961, during the construction of the Berlin Wall.
  • MacNamara is an arrogant and cynical man who doesn’t care much about politics. He is only interested in making money and satisfying the needs of his company.
  • Lisa is a young idealistic woman who believes in peace and cooperation between East and West.

Il sorpasso (1962)

Il Sorpasso (1962) is an Italian comedy-drama film directed by Dino Risi and starring Vittorio Gassman and Jean-Louis Trintignant. The film was a critical and commercial success and won the Silver Ribbon for Best Film.

Plot

On the morning of Ferragosto 1962, Roberto Mariani, a shy and reserved young law student, meets Bruno Cortona, a carefree and immature forty-year-old, in Rome. Bruno invites Roberto to spend the day with him, and the two set off on a road trip through Italy.

Over the course of the day, Roberto and Bruno live a series of adventures and misadventures, which take them to see Italian life in all its facets. Roberto begins to see the world with new eyes, and begins to understand that life is more than he had ever imagined.

Characters

  • Roberto Mariani: A shy and reserved young law student.
  • Bruno Cortona: A carefree and immature forty-year-old.

Themes

  • Friendship
  • Personal growth
  • Generational conflict
  • Italy in the 1960s

Critical reception

Il Sorpasso was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its direction, screenplay, performances, and cinematography.

The film won the Silver Ribbon for Best Film and received international critical acclaim.

Awards

  • Silver Ribbon for Best Film
  • Silver Ribbon for Best Director (Dino Risi)
  • Silver Ribbon for Best Male Actor (Vittorio Gassman)
  • Silver Ribbon for Best Male Actor (Jean-Louis Trintignant)
  • David di Donatello for Best Film
  • David di Donatello for Best Director (Dino Risi)
  • David di Donatello for Best Male Actor (Vittorio Gassman)

Review

It is one of the best examples of Italian comedy as it reveals modern Italy of the 1960s with financial growth and also the surge of “nouveau-riche” society, mainly thanks to a rapidly growing market. The duo Gassman and Jean-Louis Trintignant make this set one of the most magical.

The distinctions of individuality of both characters, which end with a heartbreaking fate rather unwanted by the comedy’s target audience, make “Il Sorpasso” one of the most fascinating and unusual films.

The duo works perfectly and even the distinction of the characters really radiates in a film that brings us to an understanding of 1960s Italy. Despite their seemingly inevitable differences and conflicts, they end up loving each other.

It seems that Roberto likes Bruno more than Bruno likes him. The difference in individuality is also an allegory and description of the “new life” that was developing in Italy at the time.

This Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) is a 1963 American comedy film directed by Stanley Kramer and starring Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman, and Jonathan Winters. The film was a critical and commercial success and won two Academy Awards, for Best Editing and Best Original Screenplay.

Plot

The story follows four men who, starting from New York, head to Las Vegas to participate in a poker tournament. Along the way, the four meet a series of eccentric and bizarre characters, who will lead them to live a series of adventures and misadventures.

Characters

  • Oscar Madison: A messy and careless man.
  • Felix Unger: A neat and precise man.
  • Virgil Starkwell: A failed con man.
  • Dwayne Hoover: A mentally unstable man.
  • Judy Maxwell: A cabaret singer.
  • Lt. Drebin: A police officer assigned to arrest Virgil.
  • Miss Jones: A woman that Virgil tries to con.
  • Mrs. DeCarlo: Oscar and Felix’s landlady.

Themes

  • Friendship
  • Family
  • Madness
  • Love

Critical reception

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its direction, screenplay, performances, and comedy.

The film won two Academy Awards, for Best Editing and Best Original Screenplay.

Awards

  • Academy Award for Best Editing
  • Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Spencer Tracy)
  • BAFTA Award for Best Film
  • BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor (Spencer Tracy)

Review

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is a funny, moving, and thought-provoking film. The film is a satire of American society in the 1960s. The film is also a commentary on the nature of friendship, family, and madness.

Here are some additional details about the film:

  • The film was based on the 1961 novel “The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” by Joseph Heller.
  • The film was shot in California, between Los Angeles and Palm Springs.
  • The title of the film is a reference to the series of accidents and misadventures that occur throughout the story.
  • The film was one of the first films to use the parallel editing technique to create a sense of chaos and confusion.

The Pink Panther (1963)

The Pink Panther (1963) is a 1963 British comedy-mystery film directed by Blake Edwards and starring Peter Sellers, David Niven, Capucine, Robert Wagner, and Claudia Cardinale. The film was a critical and commercial success and won the Academy Award for Best Original Score.

Plot

The story follows the misadventures of Inspector Clouseau, a bumbling and incompetent French investigator, who is assigned to investigate the theft of the world’s largest pink diamond. The diamond has been stolen from Prince Dala, and Clouseau must find it before it falls into the hands of a dangerous criminal.

Characters

  • Inspector Jacques Clouseau: A bumbling and incompetent French investigator.
  • Sir Charles Lytton: A wealthy British gentleman who is the prime suspect in the theft of the pink diamond.
  • George Lytton: Sir Charles’s son, who is actually the real thief of the diamond.
  • Simone Clouseau: Clouseau’s wife, who is a Russian spy.
  • Cato: Clouseau’s Chinese servant, who is an expert in martial arts.

Themes

  • Mystery
  • Comedy
  • Investigation
  • Love

Critical reception

The Pink Panther was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its direction, screenplay, performances, and soundtrack.

The film won the Academy Award for Best Original Score, composed by Henry Mancini.

Awards

  • Academy Award for Best Original Score
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song (The Pink Panther Theme)
  • BAFTA Award for Best Film
  • BAFTA Award for Best Original Score

Review

The first ever in a collection of 5 entertaining films about Peter Sellers’ clumsy pseudo-French infidel detective, Chief Inspector Clouseau, The Pink Panther is also among the most determined, polished, and lazy in the franchise. While hugely entertaining, Sellers’ character only mattered from the second film, A Shot in the Dark, onwards.

I mostri (1963)

The Monsters (1963) is a 1963 Italian comedy film directed by Dino Risi and starring Ugo Tognazzi and Vittorio Gassman.

Plot

The film is composed of a series of episodes, each of which tells the story of a character, or group of characters, who embody a negative aspect of Italian society in the 1960s.

Themes

  • Corruption
  • Hypocrisy
  • Violence
  • Consumerism

Critical reception

The Monsters was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its biting satire, its sharp comedy, and its ability to tell the reality of Italy at the time. It was nominated for four David di Donatello Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actor (Gassman). It won the David di Donatello for Best Film.

Awards

  • David di Donatello Award for Best Film

Fun facts

  • The film was shot in Rome and surroundings.
  • The film’s budget was 2 billion lire.
  • The film was a commercial success, grossing over 20 billion lire.
  • The film was a critical success, and it was praised for its direction, screenplay, performances, and its satire.

Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Dr. Strangelove (1964) is a 1964 American satirical black comedy film directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Peter Sellers, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, George C. Scott, Peter Bull, Tracy Reed, James Earl Jones, Slim Pickens, and Frederick Forrest. The film is based on the 1962 novel Red Alert by Peter George.

Plot

The film tells the story of a U.S. Air Force general, Jack D. Ripper, who is convinced that the Soviet Union is planning a nuclear attack on the United States. Ripper orders a preemptive strike with his squadron of B-52 bombers, which are en route to the Soviet Union.

Characters

  • The President of the United States: A calm and rational man who tries to prevent a nuclear war.
  • General Jack D. Ripper: A paranoid U.S. general who orders a preemptive strike against the Soviet Union.
  • Colonel Buck Turgidson: A hawkish U.S. general who is in favor of a nuclear war.
  • General Thomas B. “Leper” Hapgood: A U.S. general who tries to stop the nuclear attack.
  • Dr. Strangelove: A former Nazi scientist who is now an advisor to the U.S. President.

Themes

  • Nuclear war
  • Paranoia
  • Madness
  • Power

Critical reception

Dr. Strangelove was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its direction, screenplay, performances, and satire.

The film is considered one of the classics of satirical cinema.

Awards

  • Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
  • BAFTA Award for Best Film
  • BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay

Review

The film is considered a cinematic classic and a brilliant satire on international politics and the nuclear arms race during the Cold War. The phone call between the presidents would certainly be enough to certify this black comedy as one of the darkest and funniest films ever, reaching peaks of humor between the awkward and the essential. Some scenes, such as the war sequence, remain among the craziest ever seen.

Fantomas (1964)

Fantomas (1964) is a French comedy-crime film directed by André Hunebelle and starring Jean Marais in the dual role of Fantômas and Jérôme Fandor, and Louis de Funès as Commissioner Paul Juve. The film is based on the Fantômas novel series by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre.

Plot

The story of Fantômas begins with journalist Jérôme Fandor publishing a fictitious interview with the mysterious criminal Fantômas. Fantômas, offended, kidnaps Fandor and forces him to dress as him to commit a crime. Fandor escapes and, together with Commissioner Juve, begins to investigate Fantômas.

The two discover that Fantômas is a master of disguise and escape. He is able to assume any identity and escape capture with ease. Fandor and Juve find themselves facing an opponent who seems invincible.

Themes

Fantomas is a film that explores several themes, including:

  • Good versus evil: Fantômas represents evil, while Fandor and Juve represent good. The story is a struggle between the two opposites.
  • Identity: Fantômas is a master of disguise, and this allows him to hide his true identity. The film explores the concept of identity and how it can be manipulated.
  • Humor: Fantomas is a funny film, and humor is often used to relieve the tension of the story.

Analysis

Fantomas is a well-made and entertaining film. It is full of action, suspense, and humor.

The performances of Jean Marais and Louis de Funès are excellent. Marais is perfect in the role of the mysterious and charming Fantômas. De Funès is also excellent in the role of Commissioner Juve, a capable but often clumsy man.

The film is also noteworthy for its action scenes, which are well-choreographed and entertaining. Fandor’s escape from Fantômas’s castle is particularly memorable.

Simon of the Desert (1965)

Simon of the Desert (1965) is a Mexican surrealist short film directed by Luis Buñuel and starring Claudio Brook and Silvia Pinal. It is loosely based on the story of the 5th-century Syrian saint Simeon Stylites, who lived for 39 years on top of a pillar.

Plot

The film tells the story of Simon, an ascetic who lives on a pillar in the desert. Simon is obsessed with sin and temptation, and he is continually tempted by the devil in various forms.

Themes

The film explores themes such as faith, religion, spirituality, and the nature of asceticism. Buñuel uses surrealism to explore these themes in a provocative and ironic way.

Reception

The film was met with positive reviews from critics, who praised its originality, vision, and performances. The film won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1965.

Commentary

Simon of the Desert is a complex and thought-provoking film that offers a provocative view of faith and religion. The film is a classic of surrealist cinema and one of Buñuel’s best films.

Additional details:

  • The film is set in an imaginary desert that is a mix of real and surreal landscapes.
  • The film is shot in black and white, with frequent use of surreal special effects.
  • The film stars Claudio Brook as Simon and Silvia Pinal as the devil.

Surreal and critical comedy of the highest level and refinement to religious dogmas by the surrealist genius of Luis Bunuel. Born as a short film project, Simon has become one of the most iconic characters of the great Spanish director. In the original Spanish version, the holy man’s way of speaking is really funny and grotesque, something completely lost in the dubbing.

Watch Simon of the Desert

Gentlemen & Ladies (1965)

Gentlemen & Ladies (1965) is a 1965 Italian comedy film directed by Pietro Germi and starring Virna Lisi, Gastone Moschin, Franco Fabrizi, Olga Villi, Beba Lončar, and Gigi Ballista.

Plot

The plot is centered on the lives of a group of middle-class merchants and professionals who, behind an impeccable façade of respectability, hide a dense network of mutual betrayals.

Themes

  • Hypocrisy
  • The middle class
  • Italian society

Critical reception

Gentlemen & Ladies was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its scathing satire, its biting comedy, and its ability to tell the reality of Italy at the time. It was nominated for four David di Donatello Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actor (Moschin). It won the David di Donatello Award for Best Film.

Awards

  • David di Donatello Award for Best Film

Fun facts

  • The film was shot in Rome and surroundings.
  • The film’s budget was 3 billion lire.
  • The film was a commercial success, grossing over 20 billion lire.
  • The film was a critical success, and it was praised for its direction, screenplay, performances, and its satire.

La grande vadrouille (1966)

La grande vadrouille is a 1966 French comedy film directed by Gérard Oury and starring Bourvil and Louis de Funès. The film tells the story of two ordinary Frenchmen, Augustin Bouvet, a house painter, and Stanislas Lefort, the conductor of the Paris Opera, who help to save a group of British pilots shot down over Nazi-occupied Paris.

Plot

The story of La grande vadrouille begins in 1942, in Nazi-occupied Paris. Augustin Bouvet, a house painter, and Stanislas Lefort, the conductor of the Paris Opera, are two ordinary Frenchmen going about their daily lives.

One day, a group of British pilots is shot down over Paris. They parachute into the city and find themselves hiding in the sewers. Augustin and Stanislas are the first to find them, and they decide to help them escape.

The two Frenchmen help them to disguise themselves as women and hide in a theater. They also help them to find a way out of Paris.

Augustin and Stanislas face many obstacles along their journey. They must avoid the Germans, find food and money, and obtain clothes and identification papers.

Themes

La grande vadrouille is a film that explores several themes, including:

  • Ordinary heroism: Augustin and Stanislas are ordinary people who become heroes by helping the British pilots. They show that anyone can make a difference, even in the most difficult circumstances.
  • Friendship: Augustin and Stanislas form an unlikely friendship during their journey. They learn to appreciate each other and to support each other.
  • Humor: La grande vadrouille is a comedy, and it is very funny. The film uses humor to address serious topics, such as World War II.

Analysis

La grande vadrouille is a well-made and entertaining film. It is full of humor, action, and emotion.

The performances of Bourvil and de Funès are excellent. Bourvil is perfect in the role of the simple and likable character of Augustin. De Funès is also excellent in the role of the eccentric and authoritarian character of Stanislas.

The film is also noteworthy for its action scenes, which are well-choreographed and exciting. The bicycle chase through the streets of Paris is particularly memorable.

Review

La grande vadrouille is a must-see film for all fans of French cinema. It is a hilarious and heartwarming comedy that offers a unique perspective on World War II.

The film is well-made and entertaining. The performances of Bourvil and de Funès are excellent, and the action scenes are well-choreographed.

La grande vadrouille is a classic of French cinema that continues to entertain audiences of all ages.

Trivia

  • The film was shot on location in the streets of Paris, which was unusual for the time.
  • Bourvil and de Funès were friends in real life, and their chemistry is evident on screen.
  • The film was a commercial and critical success, and it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1967.

The Producers (1967)

The Producers (1967) is a 1967 American satirical comedy film directed by Mel Brooks and starring Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Kenneth Mars, Dick Shawn, and Marty Feldman.

Plot

Max Bialystock is a down-on-his-luck Broadway producer who is constantly producing flops and losing money. He is approached by Leo Bloom, an accountant who has discovered a loophole in the Broadway investment system.

Bloom explains that if a Broadway show loses money, the producers can keep all the money that was invested in it. Bialystock and Bloom decide to produce a deliberate flop in order to make a fortune. They choose a satirical musical about Adolf Hitler called “Springtime for Hitler”, believing that it is so bad that it will surely fail.

Themes

  • Greed
  • Ambition
  • The American Dream
  • Satire

Critical reception

The Producers was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its humor, its sharp satire, and the performances of its stars. It was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor (Mostel). It won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Awards

  • Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
  • National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor (Kenneth Mars)
  • Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay

Fun facts

  • Zero Mostel based his portrayal of Max Bialystock on the real-life Broadway producer David Merrick.
  • Gene Wilder was originally cast as Max Bialystock, but he was persuaded to play Leo Bloom instead.
  • The original production of “Springtime for Hitler” was staged at the Playhouse Theatre in New York City.
  • The film’s title song was written by Stephen Sondheim.

Take the Money and Run (1969)

It is a 1969 film written, directed and performed by Woody Allen. It is a surreal comedy that follows the life of Virgil Starkwell, a clumsy and bumbling criminal who tries in vain to carry out robberies. The film uses an omniscient narrator to poke fun at Virgil’s life and failures, and is known for its visual humor and experimental narrative. “Take the Money and Run” is considered one of Allen’s early blockbuster films and has had a lasting impact on popular culture.

The plot follows the life of Virgil Starkwell, played by Woody Allen, from childhood to adulthood, focusing on his criminal career. Virgil is a clumsy and clumsy petty thief who tries to pull off bank robberies and other places, but always gets caught by the authorities. Despite being a criminal, Virgil is portrayed as a comical and hapless character whose actions always lead to unpredictable and amusing consequences. Throughout the film, the character marries twice, is in and out of prison, and finds himself embroiled in increasingly bizarre situations.

The narrative is supported by an omniscient narrator who comments and jokes about Virgil’s life, and the film also has some experimental elements, such as the use of black and white screens to represent the actions of the character.

Le Distrait (1970)

Le Distrait (1970) is a French comedy directed by Pierre Richard. The film stars Pierre Richard, Marie-Christine Barrault and Bernard Blier.

Plot

The film tells the story of Pierre Malaquet, a young man who lives with his mother, Glycia. Glycia is a controlling and manipulative woman who dominates Pierre’s life.

Pierre is a distracted and careless man who cannot find a stable job. His mother finds him a job as a civil engineer, but Pierre is unable to perform his duties.

Pierre begins dating Lisa Gastier, a successful woman. Lisa is attracted to Pierre, but she is also irritated by his lack of ambition.

Pierre and Lisa get married, but their marriage is difficult. Glycia continues to interfere in their lives, and Pierre is unable to find his place in the world.

Themes

The film explores themes such as parental influence, identity, and the difficulty of growing up. The film is a satire of French society in the 1970s and a funny and moving portrait of the life of an ordinary man.

Reception

The film was met with positive reviews from critics, who praised its originality, humor, and performance by Pierre Richard. The film is considered one of Pierre Richard’s best films and a classic of French comedy.

Commentary

Le Distrait” is a complex and thought-provoking film that offers a satirical and moving view of life. The film is a classic of French comedy and an important work by Pierre Richard.

Additional details:

  • The film is in black and white.
  • The film stars Pierre Richard as Pierre Malaquet, Marie-Christine Barrault as Lisa Gastier, and Bernard Blier as Alexandre Guiton.
  • The film was a commercial success, grossing over 10 million French francs.

Here are some additional details about the film:

  • The film was directed by Pierre Richard, who also stars in the film.
  • The film was written by Pierre Richard and Jean-Marie Poiré.
  • The film was shot in Paris and the French countryside.

Review

Before becoming a big star in the 80s in a duet with Gérard Depardieu in the films of Francis Veber, Pierre Richard revealed his comic ability in more particular films in which he shone with the natural humor that identifies him. Something that cannot be described always involves the famous awkwardness of the character, which reaches a poetic measure behind its comic potency. This goes for Le Distrait, which the star directed himself.

Bananas (1971)

“Bananas” is a 1971 film written, directed by and starring Woody Allen. It is a satirical comedy that follows the adventures of an insecure man named Fielding Mellish, played by Allen, who joins the revolution in a small fictional republic in Latin America.

Plot

The plot of “Bananas” follows the story of Fielding Mellish (played by Woody Allen), a neurotic documentary producer who tries to win the heart of his beloved Nancy (Louise Lasser), a political activist who is committed to the cause of the poor and of the oppressed.

After Nancy leaves him, Fielding finds himself experiencing an existential crisis and decides to travel to a small fictional republic in Latin America. There, he meets a group of rebels trying to overthrow the ruling regime and ends up becoming their leader.

Subsequently, the political situation in the country becomes increasingly chaotic and surreal, with Fielding who finds himself involved in a series of comical and absurd situations, such as a basketball game with extravagant rules, a farcical trial in which he is accused of treason and a coup that makes him the new dictator of the country.

Review

Along with this main plot, the film also features a series of humorous scenes and gags that satirize various aspects of American society and international politics, always maintaining a surreal and paradoxical comic style. The film is known for its quirky humor, twists and turns, and surreal comedy style, which is characteristic of Allen’s filmography.

Harold and Maude (1971)

Harold and Maude (1971) is a 1971 American black comedy-drama film directed by Hal Ashby and starring Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort. The film also features Vivian Pickles, Charles Tyner, Ellen Geer, Cyril Cusack, and John Pearce. The screenplay by Colin Higgins began as his master’s thesis for film school.

Plot

Harold Chasen (Bud Cort) is a morose teenager from a wealthy family who is obsessed with death. He attends funerals for people he doesn’t know and stages fake suicides to get attention from his indifferent mother (Vivian Pickles).

At one of the funerals, Harold meets Maude (Ruth Gordon), an eccentric 79-year-old woman who has a zest for life. Maude teaches Harold to appreciate the beauty of life and to live each day to the fullest.

Harold and Maude develop an unlikely friendship, and they begin spending a lot of time together. They go on adventures, they talk about life and death, and they fall in love.

Harold’s mother is horrified by Harold’s friendship with Maude, and she tries to break them up. However, Harold is determined to be with Maude, no matter what his mother thinks.

Themes

  • The meaning of life
  • Death
  • Love
  • Nonconformity
  • Family

Critical reception

Harold and Maude was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its direction, screenplay, performances, and music. It was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Cort), and Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Gordon).

Legacy

Harold and Maude is considered one of the cult films of the 1970s. It has been praised for its unique and subversive take on life, death, and love. The film has been cited as an influence by numerous other filmmakers, including Wes Anderson and David Lynch.

Awards

  • BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles (Cort)
  • National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress (Gordon)
  • Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress (Gordon)

Fun facts

  • The film’s soundtrack was composed by Cat Stevens, and it features some of his most popular songs, including “Cat Stevens”, “Where Do the Lonely Go?”, and “Father and Son”.
  • The film’s title character, Maude, was based on Gordon’s own mother.
  • The film was shot in just 26 days.
  • The film’s original ending was much darker, but it was changed at the last minute to a more hopeful one.

In the Name of the Italian People (1971)

In the Name of the Italian People (1971) is a 1971 Italian comedy-drama film directed by Dino Risi and starring Vittorio Gassman, Ugo Tognazzi, Yvonne Furneaux, Renato Baldini, Ely Galleani, and Michele Cimarosa.

Plot

Mariano Bonifazi (Vittorio Gassman) is an incorruptible magistrate, embittered by the corruption he perceives, primarily in the public administration. One day Bonifazi discovers that the industrialist Lorenzo Santenocito (Ugo Tognazzi), an archetype of the dishonest captain of industry, could be implicated in the death of Silvana Lazzorini, a young drug addict.

A no-holds-barred legal and ideological duel begins between the two. In the course of the investigation, Bonifazi discovers the suspect’s innocence, but he decides to strike through the figure of the entrepreneur at the rottenness of a society that is irredeemably corrupt.

Themes

  • Corruption
  • Justice
  • Italian society

Critical reception

In the Name of the Italian People was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its direction, screenplay, performances, and its social message. It was nominated for four David di Donatello Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actor (Gassman). It won the David di Donatello Award for Best Actor (Gassman).

Legacy

In the Name of the Italian People is considered a classic of Italian cinema. It is a film that marked an era and that helped to change the way Italian cinema represented justice and society.

Awards

  • David di Donatello Award for Best Actor (Vittorio Gassman)

Fun facts

  • The film was shot in Rome and surroundings.
  • The film’s budget was 2 billion lire.
  • The film was a commercial success, grossing over 20 billion lire.
  • The film was a critical success, and it was praised for its direction, screenplay, performances, and its social message.

We All Loved Each Other So Much (1974)

We loved each other so much is a 1974 Italian comedy-drama film directed by Ettore Scola. The film stars Vittorio Gassman, Nino Manfredi, Stefania Sandrelli, Stefano Satta Flores, Giovanna Ralli and Aldo Fabrizi.

Plot

The film tells the story of three friends, Nicola, Giovanni, and Antonio, who meet during the partisan war. After the war, the three friends continue to see each other, but their lives take different paths. Nicola becomes a successful politician, Giovanni a struggling actor, and Antonio a worker.

The film follows the friends over a period of thirty years, as they face the challenges of life and politics. The film is a realistic and moving portrait of friendship, love, and change.

Themes

The film explores themes such as friendship, love, politics, and change. The film is a realistic and moving portrait of Italy in the post-war period and the challenges people faced.

Reception

The film was met with positive reviews from critics, who praised its screenplay, direction, and performances. The film is considered one of Ettore Scola’s best films and a classic of Italian cinema.

Additional details:

  • The film was shot in Italy, between Rome, Milan, and Naples.
  • The film was starred by Vittorio Gassman, who plays Nicola, Nino Manfredi, who plays Giovanni, Stefania Sandrelli, who plays Lina, Stefano Satta Flores, who plays Antonio, Giovanna Ralli, who plays Giuliana, and Aldo Fabrizi, who plays Romolo.
  • The film was a commercial success, grossing over 2 billion Italian lire.
  • The film has won numerous awards, including:
    • Silver Lion for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival
    • David di Donatello for Best Film
    • Nastro d’argento for Best Film
    • Volpi Cup for Best Actor to Vittorio Gassman

A masterpiece by Ettore Scola, this cult comedy follows 3 friends over the course of 30 years. A romantic comedy of cynical characters who are easily corrupted, with a bitter and melancholy taste about the passage of time and how lives change with social pressures and the inability to maintain one’s consistency. It’s one of those comedies that roll over in existential drama and that at a certain point, with the intensity of the emotions it transmits, it can streak your face with tears.

Frankenstein Junior (1974)

Plot

Frederick Frankenstein, a neurochirurgeon and grandson of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein, is invited to Transylvania to inherit his grandfather’s castle. Upon arrival, Frederick discovers his grandfather’s laboratory and his unfinished work on creating a human from parts of corpses. With the help of his hunchbacked assistant Igor and the housekeeper Frau Blücher, Frederick sets out to complete his grandfather’s work. However, Frederick accidentally implants the brain of an abnormal man instead of a genius, leading to hilarious and unexpected consequences.

Themes

The film is a parody of the classic horror genre, particularly the 1931 film Frankenstein, and it pokes fun at the mad scientist trope and the horror film clichés. It also explores themes of ambition, obsession, and the nature of humanity.

Reception

Frankenstein Junior was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its humor, its performances, and its faithful recreation of the Universal Studios horror film aesthetic. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Song for “The Name of the Game.”

Additional details:

  • The film was directed by Mel Brooks and stars Gene Wilder as Frederick Frankenstein, Marty Feldman as Igor, Cloris Leachman as Frau Blücher, and Teri Garr as Inga.
  • The film was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards: Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for Gene Wilder.
  • The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2008 as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Review

Frankenstein Junior is a Mel Brooks film from 1974 is a timeless horror comedy with incredible actors reaching the top of their acting: Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Teri Garr, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman, and Gene Hackman.

Brooks and Wilder’s Oscar-nominated humorous screenplay flawlessly parodies James Whale’s 1931 horror film Frankenstein. Brooks’ direction creates the feel of those timeless monster movies so well that you get the impression that this is a movie that really belongs to the classics like Dracula and The Wolfman. This is Brooks’ best and also craziest film, among the best horror parodies to see absolutely.

Fantozzi (1975)

Fantozzi (1975) is an Italian comedy film directed by Luciano Salce and starring Paolo Villaggio, Liù Bosisio, Gigi Reder, Milena Vukotic, Anna Mazzamauro, Duilio Del Prete, Franco Diogene and Cesare Barbetti.

Plot

The film tells the story of Ugo Fantozzi, a meek, clumsy, and unlucky accountant who works for a large industrial company called Megaditta. Fantozzi is constantly harassed by his superiors and colleagues.

The film follows Fantozzi’s misadventures over the course of a year, from Christmas Eve to the following Christmas. Fantozzi is assigned to perform absurd and dangerous tasks, such as carrying an elephant into the office or participating in a race with his Fiat 500. He is also forced to endure a series of humiliations, such as being forced to eat a cake of shit or wear a penguin suit.

Themes

Fantozzi is a satire of Italian society in the 1970s, and in particular the world of work. The film explores themes such as alienation, oppression, and hopelessness.

Reception

Fantozzi was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its humor, its satire, and Paolo Villaggio’s performance.

Commentary

Fantozzi is a cult classic of Italian comedy. The character of Fantozzi has become an icon of popular culture, and the film is still considered one of the best Italian comedy films of all time.

Additional details:

  • The film was written by Paolo Villaggio and Sergio Amidei.
  • The film was produced by Mario Cecchi Gori and Vittorio Cecchi Gori.
  • The film was shot in Rome and the surrounding area.
  • The film was a commercial success, grossing over 1 billion Italian lire.

Review

Fantozzi’s films are some of the Italian comedy films most important ever and are actually loaded with idioms and words that are currently part of the Italian language. Cult scenes in huge quantities: Fantozzi and his partner Filini playing tennis, Fantozzi who throws himself from the balcony to catch the bus and arrive at the office on time, the projection of Battleship Potemkin

Amici miei (1975)

My Friends (1975) is a 1975 Italian comedy film directed by Mario Monicelli and starring Ugo Tognazzi, Philippe Noiret, Gastone Moschin, Duilio Del Prete, and Adolfo Celi.

Plot

Four Florentine friends, Lello Mascetti (Tognazzi), Rambaldo Melandri (Moschin), Giorgio Perozzi (Noiret), and Guido Necchi (Del Prete), live a quiet life as retirees. To face the midlife crisis, they decide to organize “zingarate,” or escapades based on pranks and bravado.

Their zingarate will lead them to live hilarious adventures, but also to reflect on life, friendship, and love.

Themes

  • Friendship
  • Midlife crisis
  • Life

Critical reception

My Friends was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its comedy, its freshness, and its ability to tell a modern and relevant story. It was nominated for four David di Donatello Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actor (Tognazzi). It won the David di Donatello Award for Best Film.

Legacy

My Friends is considered a classic of Italian cinema. It is a film that marked an era and that helped to change the way Italian cinema represented friendship and life.

Awards

  • David di Donatello Award for Best Film

Fun facts

  • The film was shot in Florence and surroundings.
  • The film’s budget was 2 billion lire.
  • The film was a commercial success, grossing over 20 billion lire.
  • The film was a critical success, and it was praised for its direction, screenplay, performances, and its comedy.

Ugly, Dirty and Bad (1976)

Ugly, Dirty and Bad is a 1976 Italian comedy-drama film directed by Ettore Scola and starring Nino Manfredi, Marcella Michelangeli, Marcella Battisti, Claudio Botosso, Silvia Ferluga, Zoe Incrocci and Giuliana Calandra.

Plot

The film is set in a slum on the outskirts of Rome. The story follows the life of Giacinto Mazzatella, an alcoholic and violent man who lives with his large family. Giacinto has received a million lire in compensation for losing an eye in a workplace accident, but he does not want to share it with anyone.

Giacinto’s family consists of his wife, ten children, an unspecified number of relatives, and a pig. The family members are all poor and neglected. They live in squalid and dirty conditions, and they are constantly struggling with economic and social problems.

Themes

The film explores themes such as poverty, misery, domestic violence, and social marginalization. It is a ruthless but realistic depiction of the lives of the lower classes in Italy.

Reception

Ugly, Dirty and Bad was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its performance by Nino Manfredi, its direction by Ettore Scola, and its screenplay by Ruggero Maccari.

Additional details:

  • The film was shot in Rome and the surrounding area.
  • The film was produced by Franco Cristaldi.
  • The film won numerous awards, including:
    • David di Donatello for Best Film
    • Nastro d’argento for Best Film
    • Golden Globe for Best Italian Film
    • FIPRESCI Award at the Cannes Film Festival

Review

It is an extraordinary film, not only for its humorous moments, but also for its grotesque style with powerful content and strong language. It is often referred to as a grotesque comedy as it deviates from dramatic comedies that were still in the rollout phase. Like Fantozzi, this one also came out in the second half of the 1970s, developing a new type of Italian comedy, building a plot with comic elements full of meaning.

It is, by far, Nino Manfredi’s toughest role, where he plays a grotesque and rude man with only one eye. “Ugly, Dirty and Bad” makes use of a lot of profanity and sex-related scenes. His daughters are referred to by himself as prostitutes, just as his sons are called pigs, thieves and murderers who only wish to steal his money. The film is a masterpiece that changed the panorama of Italian comedy.

Casotto (1977)

Casotto (1977) is a 1977 Italian comedy film directed by Sergio Citti and starring Jodie Foster, Ugo Tognazzi, Gigi Proietti, Franco Citti, Ninetto Davoli, Catherine Deneuve and Clara Algranti.

Plot

On a hot August Sunday, in a spacious collective cabin, or casetta, on the free beach in Ostia, the stories of a colorful gallery of characters intertwine, showing, with their own stories, the contrast between the rigid official Italian morality of the late 1970s and the sexual revolution.

Among these characters we find:

  • Maria (Jodie Foster), a young American girl on vacation in Italy with her parents, who falls in love with a young and charming man of Roman origin;
  • Ugo (Ugo Tognazzi), a country priest who has lost his faith and who goes to the beach to try to find it again;
  • Gigi (Gigi Proietti) and Franco (Franco Citti), two friends of Ugo who are looking for adventures;
  • Clara (Clara Algranti), a mature woman who falls in love with Ugo;
  • Catherine Deneuve, a famous French actress who is shooting a film in Italy.

Themes

  • The sexual revolution
  • The conflict between official morality and reality
  • Love

Critical reception

Casotto was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its humor, its freshness, and its ability to tell a modern and relevant story. It was nominated for four David di Donatello Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actor (Tognazzi). It won the David di Donatello Award for Best Screenplay.

Legacy

Casotto is considered a classic of Italian cinema. It is a film that marked an era and that helped to change the way Italian cinema represented love and sexuality.

Awards

  • David di Donatello Award for Best Screenplay

Fun facts

  • The film was shot in Ostia and surroundings.
  • The film’s budget was 2 billion lire.
  • The film was a commercial success, grossing over 20 billion lire.
  • The film was a critical success, and it was praised for its direction, screenplay, performances, and humor.

Annie Hall (1977)

Annie Hall (1977) is a romantic comedy film directed by Woody Allen and starring Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, and Paul Simon.

Plot

Alvy Singer is a neurotic and insecure comedian who falls in love with Annie Hall, a girl with artistic aspirations. The two date for about a year, but their relationship is troubled by their personal problems and their differences.

Alvy is a man who has trouble relating to others. Annie is an independent and free woman who doesn’t want to be tied down in a relationship.

In the end, the two break up, but Alvy can’t forget her.

Themes

The film explores themes such as love, loss, communication, and alienation. It is a realistic and touching portrait of a relationship that ends.

Reception

Annie Hall was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its screenplay, performances, and direction.

Additional details:

  • The film was written by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman.
  • The film was produced by Charles H. Joffe.
  • The film was shot in New York City.
  • The film won four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Diane Keaton), and Best Director.

Review

Annie Hall, is a arthouse movie framed in the 1977 rom-com genre. Annie Hall is Woody Allen inside out, from his narrative to his female characters. The film has a particular magic: a sweet nostalgic flavor in its lines that have become famous, a melancholic longing for a less complicated time and for a place where everything seemed possible with love.

Les bronzés (1978)

Les bronzés (1978) is a French comedy film directed by Patrice Leconte and starring Josiane Balasko, Gérard Jugnot, Michel Blanc, Marie-Anne Chazel, and Christian Clavier. The film tells the story of a group of friends who go on vacation to Club Med in the Ivory Coast.

Plot

Bernard Morin (Gérard Jugnot), Jean-Claude Dusse (Michel Blanc), Jérôme (Christian Clavier), and Popeye (Thierry Lhermitte) are four friends who work at an engineering company in Paris. Tired of their daily routine, they decide to go on vacation to Club Med in the Ivory Coast.

At Club Med, the four friends find themselves in a world completely different from the one they are used to. They are surrounded by people of all ages and from all over the world. Together, they live an unforgettable experience, full of fun, laughter, and new friendships.

Themes

Les bronzés is a film that explores several themes, including:

  • Friendship: The story is centered on the friendship between the four protagonists. Together, they overcome challenges and live an unforgettable experience.
  • Self-discovery: The four protagonists find themselves facing themselves and their fears. The vacation at Club Med is an opportunity to grow and to learn to know themselves better.
  • The power of humor: The film is full of humor. Humor is used to relieve tension and to make the story more enjoyable.

Analysis

Les bronzés is a well-made and funny film. It is a film that has made history in French cinema.

The performances of the four protagonists are excellent. Gérard Jugnot is perfect in the role of Bernard, a naive and likable man. Michel Blanc is also excellent in the role of Jean-Claude, a shy and awkward man.

The film is also noteworthy for its comedic scenes, which are well-made and enjoyable. The scene in which the four protagonists are followed by the children of the village is particularly memorable.

Love on the Run (1979)

https://youtu.be/sXHJCKCIqfc

L’amour en fuite (1979) is a comedy-drama film directed by François Truffaut and starring Jean-Pierre Léaud, Marie-France Pisier, Claude Jade, Julien Dubois, and Daniel Mesguich.

Plot

Antoine Doinel, the protagonist of Truffaut’s cinematic saga, is a 35-year-old man who has just divorced Christine. Antoine is an insecure and troubled man who has difficulty finding happiness.

After the divorce, Antoine begins a relationship with Sabine, a young clerk. The relationship is initially happy, but it soon proves to be problematic. Antoine is still in love with Christine, and Sabine is an insecure and possessive woman.

In the end, Antoine and Sabine break up, and Antoine finds himself alone and dejected.

Themes

The film explores themes such as love, loss, maturity, and loneliness. It is a realistic and touching portrait of a man who is trying to find happiness.

Reception

L’amour en fuite was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its direction, performances, and screenplay.

Additional details:

  • The film was written by François Truffaut and Jean-Pierre Léaud.
  • The film was produced by Claude Berri.
  • The film was shot in Paris and the surrounding area.
  • The film won the award for Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival.

Review

Truffaut closes the series dedicated to Antoine Doinel with Love escapes. A sentimental comedy to watch absolutely. Cheerful and melancholy, passionate and detached at the same time, the film proposes the unique style of Truffaut. One of the directors who has been able to best describe love on the big screen of cinemas.

Watch Love on the Run

Blues Brothers (1980)

Blues Brothers (1980) is an American musical action comedy film directed by John Landis and starring John Belushi as “Joliet” Jake Blues and Dan Aykroyd as his brother Elwood Blues. The characters, developed from the recurring musical sketch “The Blues Brothers” on NBC’s variety series Saturday Night Live, are released on a mission from God to reunite their old R&B band to perform at a charity fundraiser in order to save the orphanage where they were raised.

Plot

Jake and Elwood Blues are released from prison on a mission from God to reunite their old R&B band and perform at a Chicago bar and grill to pay off a $5,000 bond placed on them by their orphanage, which is facing foreclosure. Along the way, they are pursued by the police, the Illinois Militia, and a band of Nazis, all of whom are determined to stop them.

Themes

The film is a celebration of blues music and American culture. It is also a story about family, redemption, and the power of music to bring people together.

Reception

Blues Brothers was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its humor, its action, and its music. It was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Song for “The Name of the Game.”

Additional details:

  • The film was written by Dan Aykroyd and John Landis.
  • The film was produced by Robert K. Weiss.
  • The film was filmed on location in Chicago and Los Angeles.
  • The film’s soundtrack was a commercial success, reaching number two on the Billboard 200 chart.

Review

The Blues Brothers it’s a Funny movie with a wonderfully paced story, hard-hitting screenplay and a riot of cars to keep you occupied whenever Belushi and Aykroyd’s heists are a little too much. Of course, the heart of the film remains in its music: Cab Calloway, Ray Charles and James Brown. It’s Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” that makes you shake in your seat.

Tootsie (1982)

Tootsie (1982) is an American comedy-drama film diretto da Sidney Pollack, written by Larry Gelbart, Barry Levinson (uncredited), Elaine May (uncredited), and Murray Schisgal from a story by Gelbart and Don McGuire. The film stars Dustin Hoffman as Michael Dorsey, a talented but difficult actor who adopts the persona of a woman named Dorothy Michaels to land a role in a soap opera. The film also features Jessica Lange, Charles Durning, Bill Murray, George Segal, and Teri Garr.

Plot

Michael Dorsey is an actor who is known for his talent but also for being difficult to work with. He is so hard to please that he has been blacklisted by most casting directors.

Desperate for work, Michael comes up with a crazy idea: he will disguise himself as a woman and audition for a role on a soap opera. He creates the persona of Dorothy Michaels, a middle-aged widow who is kind, compassionate, and eager to please.

Michael lands the role of Dorothy and quickly becomes a popular figure on the soap opera. He is also successful in his personal life, falling in love with Julie, a fellow actress who plays his character’s love interest.

However, Michael’s double life is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain. He is constantly worried about being discovered, and he is struggling to keep up with the demands of playing two different characters.

Critical Reception and Legacy

“Tootsie” was a critical and commercial success upon its release in 1982. The film was praised for its humor, its performances, and its exploration of complex social issues. It was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress for Jessica Lange. It won the awards for Best Supporting Actor for George Segal and Best Original Screenplay.

Curiosities

  • The film’s title is a reference to the character of Dorothy Gale from “The Wizard of Oz”.
  • Dustin Hoffman spent hours with a dialect coach to perfect his female voice.
  • Jessica Lange was originally cast as Michael Dorsey’s love interest, but she was so convincing as a man that she was switched to the role of Julie.
  • The film’s director, Sydney Pollack, also directed “Some Like It Hot”, another classic film about a man who disguises himself as a woman.

The King of Comedy (1982)

Plot

Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro) is an aspiring stand-up comedian with an unhealthy obsession with Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis), a successful talk show host. Rupert believes that if he can just get on Jerry’s show, he will finally be recognized as the great comedian he believes he is.

Rupert starts stalking Jerry, and eventually manages to get into his dressing room after a show. He begs Jerry to give him a chance on his show, but Jerry refuses. Rupert is heartbroken, but he doesn’t give up.

Rupert comes up with a plan to kidnap Jerry and force him to give him a spot on his show. He enlists the help of his friend Masha (Sandra Bernhard), and together they kidnap Jerry and take him to Rupert’s mother’s basement.

Jerry is initially terrified, but he eventually starts to see Rupert as a pathetic loser who is desperate for attention. Jerry tries to appeal to Rupert’s better nature, but Rupert is too far gone.

Rupert forces Jerry to write him a monologue for his talk show debut. Jerry writes a monologue about how Rupert is a crazy loser, but Rupert doesn’t get it. He thinks that Jerry is praising him.

Rupert takes Jerry to his talk show debut, but the audience quickly turns on him. Jerry exposes Rupert for the crazy stalker he is, and Rupert is arrested.

Themes

  • Obsession
  • Fame
  • The dark side of comedy

Critical Reception and Legacy

“The King of Comedy” was a critical and commercial success upon its release in 1982. The film was praised for its dark humor, its performances, and its exploration of complex social issues. It was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards: Best Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actor – Musical or Comedy for De Niro.

“The King of Comedy” has remained popular for decades and is considered one of Martin Scorsese’s best films. It is a disturbing and thought-provoking film that raises important questions about the nature of fame and celebrity.

Broadway Danny Rose (1984)

Broadway Danny Rose is a 1984 film directed by Woody Allen.

Plot

Broadway Danny Rose is a hapless talent agent who, by helping his client, a lounge singer, with his mistress, gets dragged into a love triangle involving the mob.

Themes

The film is a parody of the classic gangster genre, and it pokes fun at the tough-guy stereotype and the gangster film clichés. It also explores themes of ambition, obsession, and the nature of loyalty.

Reception

Broadway Danny Rose was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its humor, its performances, and its faithful recreation of the Universal Studios gangster film aesthetic. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Song for “The Name of the Game.”

Additional details:

  • The film was written and directed by Woody Allen.
  • The film stars Woody Allen as the titular character, as well as Mia Farrow and Nick Apollo Forte.
  • The film was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards: Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for Gene Wilder.
  • The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2008 as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Review

The film is a light-hearted comedy set in the world of New York vaudeville and cabaret in the 1950s. Broadway Danny Rose has been highly appreciated by critics for his irony, ability to grasp the comic side of the most dramatic situations and Woody Allen’s performance.

Woody Allen takes care to both bury and praise his hero Danny Rose in this lyrical portrait of the Great White Way. A perceptive optimist as well as a lifelong dreamer, naïve stage rep Danny dotes on his sad stable of blind xylophonists, professional tap dancers, ice-skating penguins dressed, usually, as Hasidic rabbis.

Yet it is so clear to everyone else that an age is passing quickly. While he’s certainly a mere comic character, Allen gives him a compassionate, grief-stricken, loving look.

Nothing Left to Do But Cry (1984) 

Nothing Left to Do But Cry (1984) is a 1984 Italian science fiction comedy film directed by Massimo Troisi and Roberto Benigni. The film stars the two actors themselves, who play two friends, Saverio and Mario, who find themselves in 1492, in Palos de la Frontera, Spain.

Plot

Saverio is an elementary school teacher, while Mario is a janitor. The two have been friends forever and share a passion for science fiction.

One day, while they are crossing the Tuscan countryside, the two friends encounter a strange storm. When the storm subsides, they find themselves in 1492, in Palos de la Frontera, Spain.

Saverio and Mario are initially frightened and disoriented. They do not know how to return to their time and they do not know how to behave in an era so different from theirs.

Over the course of the film, the two friends will meet historical figures such as Christopher Columbus, Isabella of Castile, and Ferdinand II of Aragon. They will live hair-raising adventures and learn to know a completely new world.

Reception

Non ci resta che piangere was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its humor, its freshness, and the performance of the two leads.

Analysis

Nothing Left to Do But Cry is a film that explores themes such as friendship, time travel, and cultural difference. The film is a hilarious comedy, but it is also a film that makes you think.

The film shows how friendship can overcome cultural and temporal differences. Saverio and Mario are two very different men, but their friendship is strong and unbreakable.

The film also explores the theme of time travel. Saverio and Mario find themselves in a completely new world and must learn to adapt. The film shows how time travel can be a fascinating experience, but also dangerous.

Finally, the film highlights the cultural difference between the present and the past. Saverio and Mario are used to living in a modern and technological world. When they find themselves in 1492, they must come to terms with a completely different world. The film shows how cultural difference can be a source of misunderstanding and conflict.

Review

Nothing Left to Do But Cry is a classic of Italian cinema that has stood the test of time. It is a film that continues to be enjoyed by audiences today.

The film is well-made and features masterful performances from the two leads. Saverio and Mario are hilarious and likable characters. Their adventures are hair-raising and entertaining.

The film is also a film that makes you think. It shows how friendship can overcome cultural and temporal differences. It also highlights the cultural difference between the present and the past.

The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)

The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) is a 1985 fantasy romantic comedy film directed by Woody Allen and starring Mia Farrow and Jeff Daniels. The film tells the story of Cecilia, a frustrated and disillusioned housewife who, while watching a silent film from 1930, sees the protagonist, Tom Baxter, leave the screen and enter her life.

Plot

Cecilia is a frustrated and disillusioned housewife in New Jersey who, while watching a 1930s silent film, “The Purple Rose of Cairo,” sees the protagonist, Tom Baxter, step out of the screen and into her life. Tom is a charming romantic hero who is everything Cecilia has ever wanted.

Cecilia and Tom fall in love and begin a secret relationship. However, their relationship is complicated by the knowledge that Tom is a fictional character. Tom is forced to return to the film, but Cecilia is not willing to let him go.

Themes

The film explores themes such as reality and fiction, love and illusion, and the power of cinema. It is a romantic and touching story that explores the human desire for escape and love.

Reception

The Purple Rose of Cairo was a critical and commercial success. It was praised for its screenplay, performances, and direction. The film won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Additional details:

  • The film was written by Woody Allen.
  • The film was produced by Robert Greenhut.
  • The film was shot in New York City.
  • The film was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Actress in a Leading Role (Mia Farrow).

Review

Woody Allen he has said several times that The Purple Rose of Cairo is among his favorite films he has directed, and it is no surprise: it is his most creative and compassionate film. Delivering her best performance of the 13 films she has made with the director, Mia Farrow plays a lonely woman who goes to the cinema to live out her dreams through her favorite stars.

Even as hasty Tom Baxter (a young Jeff Daniels) walks off the screen and into her life, he keeps his feelings and expectations in check. The film whimsically builds towards a heartbreaking and elegiac last act that suggests, as extraordinary as it sounds, why we go to the movies.

She’s Gotta Have It (1986)

She’s Gotta Have It is a 1986 American black-and-white comedy-drama film written, directed, produced, and edited by Spike Lee.

Plot

Lola Darling, a strong-willed and independent Brooklyn woman, juggles three lovers: Greer Childs, a rich and arrogant businessman; Jamie Overstreet, a stable and protective carpenter; and Mars Blackmon, a shy and nerdy aspiring filmmaker. Nola is unable to choose between her three suitors, and she enjoys the freedom of having three different men in her life.

Themes

The film explores themes of female empowerment, sexual freedom, and the difficulty of making choices. It is a celebration of black womanhood and a portrait of a woman who is determined to live her life on her own terms.

Reception

She’s Gotta Have It was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its humor, its performances, and its unique style. The film was a major breakthrough for Spike Lee, who became a prominent filmmaker in the 1990s.

Additional details:

  • The film was written, directed, produced, and edited by Spike Lee.
  • The film stars Tracy Camilla Johns, Tommy Redmond Hicks, John Canada Terrell, and Spike Lee.
  • The film was filmed on a shoestring budget of $175,000.
  • The film was a commercial success, grossing over $7 million at the box office.

Review

Spike Lee makes his directorial debut with this one independent film low-budget, black-and-white, which ended up being among the most crucial films of the 80s to encourage indie production. Lee brings a never-before-seen voice and likelihood to the screen in a film that’s wise, adventurous, and entertaining. The main theme of women’s freedoms is still relevant 30 years later.

The Big Lebowski (1998)

The Big Lebowski (1998) is a cult classic American black comedy crime film written, produced, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, and starring Jeff Bridges as Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski, a middle-aged, unemployed slacker who is mistaken for a millionaire of the same name. The film also features John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, David Thewlis, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Plot

The Dude is an aging stoner who leads a carefree life in Los Angeles. His routine is disrupted when two thugs break into his apartment, believing him to be the millionaire Jeff Lebowski. They urinate on his rug, a prized possession, and demand that he pay a debt owed by the millionaire’s wife, Bunny.

The Dude goes to the millionaire’s mansion to seek compensation for his ruined rug. The millionaire’s wife, Maude (Moore), tells him that her husband has gone missing and demands that he find him. The Dude reluctantly agrees and soon finds himself entangled in a kidnapping plot, mistaken identities, and a ransom demand.

Along the way, the Dude encounters a cast of eccentric characters, including his bowling buddy Walter Sobchak (Goodman), a Vietnam veteran with a penchant for violence; Bunny’s German nihilist boyfriend, Jesus Quintana (Buscemi); and the millionaire’s lawyer, Barry Sonnenfeld (Thewlis), who is secretly in love with Maude.

The Dude’s quest to find the missing millionaire takes him from bowling alleys to mansions to seedy bars, and he finds himself in over his head as he tries to navigate the complex world of the wealthy and the criminal.

Critical reception

The Big Lebowski was met with mixed reviews upon its release. Some critics praised its humor and characters, while others found it rambling and incoherent. However, the film has grown in popularity over the years and is now considered a cult classic.

Themes

The Big Lebowski is a film about identity, mistaken identity, and the absurdity of life. It is also a film about bowling, as the Dude and his bowling buddies are constantly seen at the bowling alley.

Additional details

  • The film was shot on location in Los Angeles.
  • The film is full of references to bowling, including the Dude’s signature bowling ball, which is engraved with the words “the dude abides.”
  • The film’s soundtrack was composed by Carter Burwell and features music by Bob Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and The Eagles.
  • The film was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards: Best Director and Best Supporting Male Actor for Goodman.

Mortacci (1989)

Mortacci is a 1989 Italian comedy-drama film directed by Sergio Citti. The film is set in a small Italian town, where the deceased gather every night in a cemetery.

Plot

In a small Italian town cemetery, the deceased gather every night for a meeting. They are doomed to not enter the next stage of the afterlife until the last living human who remembers them passes away.

The narration is interrupted by the arrival of Lucillo (Sergio Rubini), a soldier who was presumed dead in a military mission in Lebanon and who is forced by his fellow villagers to die for real, as they built a huge business on his hero status and fame.

Themes

The film explores themes such as life, death, memory, and the human need for connection. It is a humorous and poignant look at the afterlife and the ways in which we remember the dead.

Reception

Mortacci was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its humor, its performances, and its unique perspective on death.

Additional details:

  • The film was directed by Sergio Citti.
  • The film stars Sergio Rubini, Angela Betti, Franco Citti, and Maurizio Mattioli.
  • The film was nominated for two David di Donatello awards: Best Director and Best Supporting Actor (Franco Citti).

Drunken Master (1994)

Drunken Master (1994) is a Hong Kong action comedy film written and directed by Jackie Chan and Lau Kar-leung. It is a sequel to the 1978 film Drunken Master and stars Chan as Wong Fei-hung, a legendary Chinese martial artist.

Plot

Wong Fei-hung is a young and talented martial artist who is also known for his love of wine. He is expelled from his father’s school and sent to live with his uncle, a master of the Drunken Fist style. Fei-hung is initially reluctant to learn this unorthodox style, but he eventually comes to master it and uses it to defeat his enemies.

Themes

The film is a celebration of Chinese culture and martial arts. It also explores themes of self-discipline, redemption, and the importance of family.

Reception

Drunken Master was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its action sequences, its humor, and Chan’s performance. The film was a major breakthrough for Chan in the international market and helped to establish him as a star.

Additional details:

  • The film was produced by Golden Harvest.
  • The film was filmed on location in China.
  • The film was nominated for three Hong Kong Film Awards: Best Film, Best Action Choreography, and Best Actor (Jackie Chan).

Review

A jaw-dropping action-packed film that sets something of a standard: a better battle scene could not be filmed. 6 years after its release in Asia, and over twenty years after the initial Drunken Master made Jackie Chan a star in Hong Kong, The Legend of Drunken Master may be the most jaw-dropping kung fu action comedy yet.

The film showcases Chan in his effortless magnificence, jaw-dropping in his ability to make complex duels look entertaining. Jackie starred in and directed a number of action films in her pre-Hollywood days. This may be his masterpiece.

City of Fear (1994)

La Cité de la peur (City of Fear) is a 1994 French comedy film directed by Alain Berberian. The film is a satirical crime thriller that follows the story of Odile Deray, the publicist for a B-movie horror film called “Red is Dead”. The film is set during the Cannes Film Festival and follows Odile as she tries to protect the film and its cast from a mysterious killer who uses a sickle and hammer as weapons.

Plot

The film begins with a screening of the final scenes of “Red is Dead”, a B-movie horror film in which a communist serial killer kills his victims with a sickle and hammer. The film is a flop and is withdrawn from the Cannes Film Festival. Odile Deray, the film’s publicist, is determined to save her career and that of the film.

Odile meets Serge Karamazov, a former policeman who has been hired to protect the film’s cast. Serge is an eccentric and incompetent character, but Odile is forced to rely on him.

Meanwhile, a mysterious killer begins to terrorize the cast of the film. The killer uses the same sickle and hammer as the serial killer in “Red is Dead”. Odile and Serge must find a way to stop the killer before it’s too late.

Themes

La Cité de la peur is a satirical film that explores themes such as cinema, fame, and violence. The film is a parody of B-movie horror films and the Cannes Film Festival. The film is also a critique of French society.

Reception

La Cité de la peur was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its humor, its satire, and its portrayal of French society.

Additional details:

  • The film was directed by Alain Berberian.
  • The film stars Chantal Lauby, Alain Chabat, and Dominique Farrugia.
  • The film was shot in Cannes, France.
  • The film was nominated for two César Awards: Best Film and Best Original Screenplay.

Review

It is now a film cult timeless that needs no introduction in the field of French comedy. Its many cult scenes that haven’t aged since its 1994 release are served up by the band of Dummies who find themselves in the company of a killer of projectionists in the middle of the Cannes film festival. Among the funniest roles that Gérard Darmon has ever performed.

The RoyaI Tenenbaum (2001)

It is a 2001 American comedy film directed by Wes Anderson. The film is a comedy-drama that follows the story of the Tenenbaum family, a family of intellectuals and eccentrics in New York City.

Plot

The film revolves around Royal Tenenbaum (played by Gene Hackman), a father who betrayed and abandoned his family years ago, and who now tries to reconcile with his children, Chas (played by Ben Stiller), Margot (played by Gwyneth Paltrow) and Richie (played by Luke Wilson).

Review

The film was critically acclaimed for its brilliant writing, top-notch acting and visionary direction by Anderson. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. The film is considered one of Wes Anderson’s best films and a modern classic of the independent cinema American.

Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson and Ben Stiller play the brothers, who move in a setting typically by Anderson, with hyper-stylized features and pastel shades. The screenplay contains so many good ideas, however it is the unfortunate narrative about love and dissatisfaction that gives the film its magic.

Festival in Cannes (2001)

Plot

Cannes, 1999. Alice, an actress, wants to direct an independent film, and is looking for financiers. She meets Kaz, a talkative businessman, who promises her $ 3 million if she uses Millie, a French star who has passed her youth and no longer finds interesting roles.

Review

The popular independent filmmaker Henry Jaglom, little known in Europe, shoots a sentimental comedy with great stylistic freedom, which looks like a documentary and focuses on the performances of the actors with a spontaneous and fluid improvisation method, inspired by the cinema of Cassavetes.

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Amélie (2001)

Amélie (2001) is a 2001 film written and directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. The film stars Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Dominique Pinon, Rufus, Jamel Debbouze, Lorella Cravotta, Serge Merlin, Clotilde Mollet, Claire Maurier, Isabelle Nanty, Artus de Penguern, Yolande Moreau, Urbain Cancelier, Maurice Bénichou, Michel Robin, André Dussollier.

Plot

Amélie Poulain is a young woman living in Montmartre, Paris. She is a dreamer and a romantic, with a unique view of the world. Amélie spends her days observing the people around her and imagining how she could improve their lives.

One day, Amélie discovers a box in the attic. The box is full of childhood memories of a child who died many years ago. Amélie decides to find the child and return the box to him. This action inspires her to start helping others more concretely.

Amélie begins performing small acts of kindness for the people she encounters. For example, she helps a blind man find his favorite seat at the cinema, assists a man in rediscovering his lost love, and helps a group of seniors fulfill their dream of seeing the sea.

Through these actions, Amélie starts to change the lives of those around her, and her own life begins to change as well.

Reception

Amélie was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its originality, freshness, and direction.

Analysis

Amélie is a film that explores themes such as kindness, love, and the power of dreams. The movie is a romantic comedy but also a thought-provoking film.

The film shows how kindness can have a positive impact on people and the world. Amélie is a character who embodies kindness. She is always ready to help others, even if she doesn’t know them.

The movie also illustrates how love can be a powerful force. Amélie is on a quest for love, and she eventually finds it in an unexpected way.

The film is also a celebration of the power of dreams. Amélie is a dreamer, and her dreams drive her to change the world.

Review

Amélie is a modern cinema classic. It is a film that continues to be appreciated by today’s audience.

The film is well-crafted and features masterful performances from the cast. Audrey Tautou is perfect in the role of Amélie, and her performance is one of the film’s strengths.

The movie is also thought-provoking, demonstrating how kindness, love, and dreams can have a positive impact on people’s lives.

Kolja (1996)

Kolja (Czech: Kolja) is a 1996 Czech drama film written and directed by Jan Svěrák, based on a story by Pavel Taussig. The film stars the director’s father, Zdeněk Svěrák, in the title role as a middle-aged bachelor who is forced to take care of a five-year-old boy named Kolja. The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 70th Academy Awards in 1998.

Plot

František Louka, a middle-aged Czech man dedicated to bachelorhood and the pursuit of women, is a concert cellist struggling to eke out a living by playing funerals at the Prague crematoriums. One day, he is approached by a woman who claims to be the mother of a five-year-old boy named Kolja. She asks František to pose as Kolja’s father in order to obtain a visa to immigrate to Germany. In exchange, she promises to pay him a large sum of money.

František reluctantly agrees to the arrangement, and Kolja is soon living with him in his cramped Prague apartment. František is initially overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for a child, but he gradually begins to develop a bond with Kolja. He learns to enjoy Kolja’s company and takes pleasure in teaching him about the world.

Themes

  • The film explores the themes of fatherhood, family, and love.
  • It also examines the social and political changes that were taking place in the Czech Republic in the 1990s.

Critical Reception

Kolja was a critical and commercial success. It won numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film was praised for its heartwarming story, its performances, and its direction.

Awards

  • Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (1998)
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film (1998)
  • European Film Award for Best Actor (Zdeněk Svěrák) (1997)
  • Czech Film Award for Best Film (1996)

Trivia

  • The film was shot in Prague, Czech Republic.
  • The film was originally titled Život s Koljou (Life with Kolja).
  • The film was a box office success, grossing over $20 million worldwide.

Day of the Wacko (2002)

https://youtu.be/QKFv8fEdBOI?si=flWQ6aoPi0UlTSgT

Day of the Wacko (Polish: Dzień świra) is a 2002 Polish comedy-drama film written and directed by Marek Koterski. The film stars Marek Kondrat as Adaś Miauczyński, a middle-aged teacher who is frustrated with his life. The film follows Miauczyński as he goes through a day of his life, dealing with his various obsessions and neuroses.

Day of the Wacko was a critical and commercial success in Poland. It was praised for its realistic portrayal of everyday life and its dark humor. The film was also a success in several other countries, including Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

Awards and Nominations

  • Polish Film Festival: Best Actor (Marek Kondrat), Best Screenplay (Marek Koterski), Best Director (Marek Koterski), Best Film (Marek Koterski)
  • Camerimage: Best Cinematography (Piotr Wojcik)
  • Hungarian Film Festival: Best Foreign Film

Legacy

Day of the Wacko is considered to be one of the most important Polish films of the 2000s. It has been praised for its honest and unflinching portrayal of human nature. The film has also been credited with helping to popularize Polish cinema in other countries.

Trivia

  • The film is based on Koterski’s own experiences as a teacher.
  • The film was shot in just 26 days.
  • The film was a box office success, grossing over $1 million in Poland.
  • The film has been remade in several other countries, including Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

God Forbid a Worse Thing Should Happen (2002)

God Forbid a Worse Thing Should Happen is a 2002 Croatian film directed by Snježana Tribuson and starring Luka Dragić, Mirjana Rogina, Ivo Gregurević, Goran Navojec, Semka Sokolović-Bertok, Bojan Navojec, Borko Perić, and Dora Fišter. It is a coming-of-age story about a young boy named Frula who lives in a small town in Croatia in the 1960s.

Plot

Frula is a curious and imaginative boy who is fascinated by the world around him. He is also a bit of a troublemaker, and he often gets into mischief with his friends.

As Frula grows up, he begins to experience the first pangs of love. He falls in love with a girl named Hana, and he is determined to win her heart.

However, Frula’s life is not without its challenges. He comes from a poor family, and he struggles to fit in with the other kids at school. He is also bullied by a group of older boys.

Despite the challenges he faces, Frula never loses his sense of hope and optimism. He is always looking for the good in the world, and he believes that anything is possible.

God Forbid a Worse Thing Should Happen is a heartwarming and nostalgic film about the joys and challenges of growing up. It is a film that will stay with you long after you have seen it.

Awards and Nominations

  • Pula Film Festival: Best Director (Snježana Tribuson), Best Actor (Luka Dragić), Best Supporting Actress (Mirjana Rogina), Best Cinematography (Goran Trbuljak), Best Music (Darko Rundek)
  • Tokyo International Film Festival: Grand Prize

First Bite (2006)

Plot

Gus is a handsome man who works as a cook in an oriental restaurant in Montreal. His boss sends him to a remote island in Thailand to meet a master of Zen cuisine and improve the quality of his dishes. There he meets a mysterious woman named Lake who lives in a cave and informs him that the Zen cooking master is dead.

Review

First Bite is a very original Canadian independent film that crosses different film genres in its narration, suddenly passing from romanticism to suspense to horror. Between mysticism, black magic, love stories and tropical islands, Primo bite is the odyssey of a man who remains prisoner in a trap from which he can no longer escape, lost between passions and exotic foods.

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Hollywood Dreams (2007)

Plot

Margie Chizek (Tanna Frederick), an aspiring actress from Iowa, moves to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of making it in Hollywood. She quickly finds out that the industry is tough and that she is just one of many talented actors struggling to get noticed.

Margie meets Robin Mack (Justin Kirk), a promising young actor who is also struggling to make a name for himself. They fall in love, but their relationship is complicated by the pressures of their careers.

Margie eventually gets her big break when she is cast in a major film. However, the success she has always dreamed of comes with a price. She is forced to make compromises that she is not comfortable with, and she begins to question whether she wants to be a part of Hollywood at all.

Themes

Hollywood Dreams explores themes such as the pursuit of dreams, the price of fame, and the importance of staying true to oneself. It is a cautionary tale about the dark side of Hollywood, but it also celebrates the power of dreams and the resilience of the human spirit.

Reception

Hollywood Dreams was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its performances, its screenplay, and its direction. The film was also praised for its honest and realistic portrayal of the Hollywood experience.

Additional details:

  • The film was written and directed by Henry Jaglom.
  • The film stars Tanna Frederick, Justin Kirk, David Proval, Karen Black, Eric Roberts, and Seymour Cassel.
  • The film was filmed on location in Los Angeles, California.
  • The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

Review

Hollywood Dreams is a well-made and insightful film that is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever dreamed of making it big in Hollywood. It is a must-see for fans of independent cinema and those who are interested in the dark side of the entertainment industry. Hollywood Dreams engages audiences with Tanna Frederick’s extraordinary performance and her character as a tormented and mentally unstable actress.

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The Magic Hour (2008)

Plot

Noboru Bingo, a small-time gangster, gets into trouble with his boss and is forced to find a legendary hitman named Della Togashi. However, Della Togashi is actually a myth, and Bingo is desperate to find someone to play the role. He recruits Taiki Murata, a struggling actor, and convinces him that he is being given the opportunity of a lifetime to star in a major gangster film.

Taiki travels to the port town of Sucago, where he is supposed to meet with Della Togashi. However, he soon realizes that he has been caught up in a real-life gang war. As he tries to navigate the dangerous world of gangsters and assassins, Taiki must also deal with his own self-doubt and insecurities.

Themes

  • Identity
  • Purpose
  • The power of storytelling

Critical reception

The Magic Hour was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its humor, its sharp social commentary, and its performances, particularly from Satoshi Tsumabuki and Koichi Sato.

Awards

  • Japanese Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (Koichi Sato)

Additional information

  • Director: Kōki Mitani
  • Screenplay: Kōki Mitani, Minami Ichikawa, Kenji Shimizu
  • Cast: Satoshi Tsumabuki, Koichi Sato, Eri Fukatsu, Toshiyuki Nishida
  • Running time: 126 minutes
  • Release date: June 7, 2008 (Japan)

Chasing Butterflies (2009)

Chasing Butterflies is a 2009 independent comedy-drama film written and directed by Rod Bingaman.

Plot

Nina (Amy Brienes), a young woman on the verge of getting married, decides to abandon her wedding and drive away. She ends up meeting and befriending Thomas (Matt Loney), a troubled teenager who is also on the run from his life. Together, they embark on a cross-country road trip, searching for themselves and their place in the world.

Themes

Chasing Butterflies explores themes of self-discovery, freedom, and the importance of human connection. It is a story about two people who are lost and trying to find their way, and it ultimately celebrates the transformative power of friendship and love.

Reception

Chasing Butterflies was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its performances, its screenplay, and its direction. The film was also praised for its honest and realistic portrayal of young adulthood.

Commentary

Chasing Butterflies is a well-made and insightful film that is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever felt lost or alone. It is a must-see for fans of independent cinema and those who are interested in stories about coming of age.

Additional details:

The film was written and directed by Rod Bingaman. The film stars Amy Brienes, Matt Loney, Maria Cellario, and Eric Walton. The film was filmed on location in the United States. The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Slamdance Film Festival.

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Queen of The Lot (2010)

Plot

An electronic ankle bracelet and house arrest aren’t enough to stop aspiring actress Maggie Chase (Tanna Frederick) from pursuing her goals: become famous in the world of cinema and find a romantic relationship. Maggie wants to get to star in films of the highest quality and leave the world of B movies.

Review

Director Henry Jaglom seems to have experienced firsthand the frustrations and absurdities of the mainstream Los Angeles film industry and how it vampirizes the souls of the people within it. Another of Jaglom’s qualities as a writer and director is his ability to tell a dramatic story and at the same time love his characters without sentimentality.

Queen of the Lot is an independent film with a clearly recognizable style of an author outside the box and banality of commercial films. Tanna Frederick is again a passionate and talented actress in Jaglom’s service.

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Tournee (2010)

Comedies-movies-to-watch

Tournee is a 2010 film directed by Mathieu Amalric. The film tells the story of Joachim, a former Parisian television producer who moves to the United States to realize a youthful dream: to create a burlesque group.

Plot

Joachim is a disillusioned former television producer who moves to the United States to pursue his childhood dream of creating a burlesque troupe.

One day, Joachim meets a group of women performing a burlesque show. He is immediately captivated by burlesque and decides to create his own troupe.

Joachim begins recruiting dancers for his troupe. The women come from all over the world and have different stories, but they are all united by their passion for burlesque.

Joachim and the dancers embark on a tour of the United States. During the tour, the dancers perform in various shows and meet people from all walks of life.

Themes

Tournee explores themes of self-discovery, passion, and the power of art. The film is a celebration of the beauty and sensuality of burlesque.

Reception

Tournee was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its performances, its screenplay, and its direction.

Additional details:

  • The film was directed by Mathieu Amalric.
  • The film stars Mathieu Amalric, Lola Dueñas, Mélanie Bernier, and Laetitia Casta.
  • The film was filmed in various locations in the United States.

Review

Inspired by John Cassavetes‘ 70s American independent cinema. The main character is played by the director himself, who proves to be a high-level actor. Presented at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Fipresci award and the award for best director. Very interesting film, not to be missed.

Chinese Take-Away (2011)

Chinese Take-Away (2011) is an Argentine film directed by Sebastián Borensztein. It stars Ricardo Darín as Roberto, a grumpy and misanthropic hardware store owner who lives in Buenos Aires. One day, Roberto’s life is turned upside down when he meets Jun, a Chinese man who has arrived in Argentina in search of his uncle. Jun does not speak Spanish, but Roberto agrees to let him stay with him.

The film explores the themes of friendship, acceptance, and the power of love. It is a heartwarming and funny story about two unlikely friends who learn to see the world in a new way.

Plot

Roberto is a 50-year-old man who has been living alone in Buenos Aires for many years. He is a grumpy and misanthropic man who has given up on love and friendship. One day, Roberto is reading the newspaper when he sees a news story about a cow that fell from the sky in China and killed a young woman. Roberto is intrigued by the story, and he begins to wonder what else might fall from the sky.

The next day, Roberto is working in his hardware store when he sees a man standing outside. The man is Chinese, and he does not speak Spanish. Roberto tries to communicate with him, but the man cannot understand him. Roberto is about to give up when he realizes that the man is looking for his uncle.

Roberto agrees to let the man stay with him until he finds his uncle. The man, whose name is Jun, is a kind and gentle man. He is also very curious about Argentina and its culture. Roberto is initially reluctant to let Jun stay with him, but he eventually warms up to him.

Reception

Chinese Take-Away was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its humor, its heartwarming story, and its performances. It was nominated for several awards, including the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Review

Chinese Take-Away is a heartwarming and funny film that will stay with you long after you have seen it. It is a story about the power of friendship, acceptance, and the importance of seeing the world through someone else’s eyes.

The film is well-made and well-acted. Ricardo Darín is excellent as Roberto, and Ignacio Huang is charming as Jun. The film is also beautifully shot, with a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Curiosities

  • The film was shot in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • The film premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2011.
  • The film won the award for Best Film at the San Sebastián International Film Festival in 2011.

Thelma, Louise et Chantal (2012)

Comedies-movies-to-watch

Plot

Chantal (Catherine Jacob), Gabrielle (Caroline Cellier), and Nelly (Jane Birkin) are three friends who are all going through different stages of their lives. Chantal is a housewife who is tired of her routine, Gabrielle is a lawyer who is struggling with her career, and Nelly is a widow who is trying to find her place in the world.

The three women decide to take a road trip to La Rochelle to attend the wedding of an ex-boyfriend of Gabrielle’s. Along the way, they have a series of misadventures that force them to confront their own lives and make some difficult decisions.

Themes

Thelma, Louise et Chantal explores themes of friendship, love, and self-discovery. The film is a lighthearted and humorous look at the lives of three women who are trying to find their way in the world.

Reception

Thelma, Louise et Chantal was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its performances, its screenplay, and its direction. The film was also praised for its honest and realistic portrayal of middle-aged women.

Commentary

Thelma, Louise et Chantal is a well-made and entertaining film that is sure to resonate with audiences of all ages. The film is a must-see for fans of French cinema and those who are interested in stories about female friendship.

Additional details

  • The film was written and directed by Claude Pinoteau.
  • The film stars Catherine Jacob, Caroline Cellier, and Jane Birkin.
  • The film was filmed on location in France.
  • The film was nominated for two César Awards: Best Actress (Catherine Jacob) and Best Supporting Actress (Caroline Cellier).

Storie pazzesche (2014)

Wild Tales (2014) is an Argentine film directed by Damián Szifrón and co-produced by Agustín Almodóvar and Pedro Almodóvar. It was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards.

The film is composed of six different stories, each of which explores the theme of violence and revenge. The stories are interconnected by a single thread: a man who is hit by a car and killed.

The first story, titled “The Enforcer,” tells the story of a man who is hit by a car driven by a boy from a wealthy family. The boy’s father offers a large sum of money to the family’s gardener to take the blame for the accident. The gardener agrees, but he begins to be haunted by the ghost of the man he killed.

The second story, titled “The Bride’s Revenge,” tells the story of a woman who is left at the altar by her husband. The woman decides to get revenge on her husband by getting him fired from his job and ruining his reputation.

The third story, titled “The Robbery,” tells the story of a man who is robbed by a group of criminals. The man decides to get revenge on the criminals by killing them one by one.

The fourth story, titled “The Soccer Match,” tells the story of a man who is attacked by a group of soccer fans. The man decides to get revenge on the fans by killing them during a soccer match.

The fifth story, titled “The Scam,” tells the story of a man who is scammed by a group of criminals. The man decides to get revenge on the criminals by raping their daughter.

The sixth story, titled “The Ghost,” tells the story of a man who is killed by a group of criminals. The man’s ghost begins to haunt the criminals, forcing them to confess to their crime.

Reception

Wild Tales was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its screenplay, direction, and performances. It was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards.

Review

Wild Tales is a satirical and ironic film that explores the theme of violence in an original and provocative way. The film shows how violence can lead to tragic and irreversible consequences, but it does so in a funny and engaging way.

Curiosities

  • The film was shot in Argentina in just 22 days.
  • Director Damián Szifrón has said that the film was inspired by a true story.
  • The film had a U.S. remake in 2019, titled “6 Underground.”

The Distinguished Citizen (2016)

The Distinguished Citizen (2016) is an Argentine-Spanish film directed by Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn. It stars Oscar Martínez as Daniel Mantovani, a Nobel Prize-winning novelist who returns to his hometown in Argentina after decades of living abroad.

Plot

The film tells the story of Daniel Mantovani, a Nobel Prize-winning novelist who lives in Europe for decades. Mantovani returns to his hometown, Salas, in Argentina, to receive an award.

Mantovani is a complex and contradictory man. He is a great writer, but he is also arrogant and self-absorbed. He is also out of touch with his hometown and its people.

The film is a portrait of the difficult relationship between Mantovani and his hometown. Mantovani is constantly challenged and criticized by the people he meets. He is forced to confront his own prejudices and assumptions.

Reception

The Distinguished Citizen was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its performances, direction, and screenplay. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and a BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Review

The Distinguished Citizen is a well-made and thought-provoking film. It is a complex and nuanced portrait of a man who is trying to find his place in the world.

The film is praised for its performances, especially that of Oscar Martínez, who plays Mantovani with great skill. Martínez manages to make the character of Mantovani both charming and repulsive, both intelligent and arrogant.

The direction of Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn is impeccable. The film is shot with great care and attention to detail. The screenplay, written by Andrés Duprat, is intelligent and insightful.

Curiosities

  • The film was shot in Argentina in just 22 days.
  • Director Gastón Duprat has said that the film was inspired by a true story.

The Most Beautiful Day (2017)

comedies-movies-to-watch

Plot

Andi is a pianist admitted to a pulmonary fibrosis clinic, waiting for a donor for a transplant that may not arrive in time. Benno is a thief hospitalized in the same clinic for brain tumor and the diagnosis leaves him little time to live. Benno manages to convince the shy Andi to follow him in the crazy idea of ​​him: they run away from the clinic where they are hospitalized and find some money to take a trip to Africa to live the best day of their lives.

Review

An on the road aboard a camper that crosses Southern Africa, from Mombasa to Cape Town. A journey that becomes a metaphor for the meaning of life. The most beautiful day chooses the tone of the comedy to tell a dramatic theme such as that of death and terminal illness, finding balance in the interpretation of the two protagonists that never ends in patheticism.

The Astronot (2018)

Plot

The Astronot follows the journey of Daniel McKovsky, a wandering and lost soul who has spent the past 30 years of his life alone, gazing at the stars through his trusty brass telescope. Memories of his father’s disappearance during World War II haunt Daniel’s mind as he continues to search for purpose in life. Growing up without his mother and left to fend for himself in the woods of central Oregon, Daniel dreams of becoming an astronaut and exploring the vast unknown reaches of space. However, the irony of his situation is not lost on him, as he remains trapped in his isolated world.

Review

The Astronot is a romantic comedy with a vintage aesthetic that takes place in a remote rural area of the United States. Despite its lighthearted tone, the film explores the challenges that life can bring and the impact they have on Daniel’s journey. His tragic experiences create a deep empathy with the audience, as they witness a funny and endearing character struggling to find his place in the world. With its mix of humor and drama, The Astronot is a unique and captivating film that will leave viewers rooting for Daniel’s success.

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Slow Life (2021)

Plot

Lino Stella (Alessandro Macaluso) is an unfulfilled employee at the city library who dreams of a more relaxed and creative life. After a series of stressful events, Lino decides to take a period of leave from his job and pursue his passion for drawing comics. However, his plans for a peaceful retreat are disrupted by a series of annoying interruptions from his neighbors, the building administrator, the postman, a security guard, a real estate agent, and the cat lady downstairs.

Themes

Slow Life explores themes of escapism, the pursuit of happiness, and the challenges of finding balance in a fast-paced world. The film humorously depicts Lino’s struggle to maintain his newfound tranquility amidst the chaos of everyday life.

Additional details

  • The film was directed by Fabio Del Greco.
  • The film stars Fabio Del Greco, Rimi Beqiri, Chiara Pavoni, Mariagrazia Casagrande, and Roberto Pensa.
  • The film was filmed in Ostia, Italy.

A very black and surreal comedy by the director Fabio del Greco, that takes on the tones of thriller and horror at the end. The theme is that experienced by citizens every day on their own skin: the persecution by the state, taxes, condominium rules, the bureaucracy that crushes us as individuals.

An anarchic and ambitious independent film that leads us to reflect on how the human being is reduced to the wheel of a cog. A cog that is not interested in his happiness or his dignity. To watch absolutely.

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The Palace (2023)

The Palace is a 2023 black comedy film directed by Roman Polanski, who co-wrote the screenplay with Jerzy Skolimowski and Ewa Piaskowska. The film is set on New Year’s Eve 1999 in a luxurious Swiss hotel, where the lives of hotel workers and various guests get intertwined.

The satire of the upper class

The film is a satire of the upper class, which is portrayed as a world of luxury, frivolity, and hypocrisy. The hotel guests are portrayed as superficial and selfish people who are more interested in their own well-being than in the well-being of others. Their existence is one of excess and ostentation, which is contrasted with the violence and brutality of the group of armed men.

The relationship between the protagonist and her daughter

The film also explores the relationship between the protagonist, an anonymous woman who works as a maid in the hotel, and her daughter, who is one of the guests. The relationship between the two is difficult and conflicted, but the hostage situation will force them to come closer.

The surprise ending

The film ends with a surprise ending, which leaves the viewer with a reflection on human nature. The film suggests that even the most fragile and vulnerable people can be capable of acts of courage and resilience.

Here are some additional details that I have added to the description:

  • The historical context: The film is set on New Year’s Eve 1999, a time of great hope and anticipation for the future. However, the arrival of the group of armed men symbolizes the violence and uncertainty that characterize the real world.
  • The themes: The film explores themes such as the absurdity of the upper class, human nature, the end of the millennium, and violence.
  • The direction: Roman Polanski directs the film with mastery, creating an atmosphere of suspense and tension. The hostage scenes are particularly well-made, and they manage to convey a sense of claustrophobia and danger.
  • The performances: The film’s cast is solid, with an excellent performance by Oliver Masucci as the leader of the group of armed men.

Conclusion

The Palace is a complex and meaningful film. It is a film that can be interpreted in different ways, and that can leave a mark on the viewer.

The Book of Solutions is a 2022 French comedy-drama film written and directed by Michel Gondry. It stars Pierre Niney, Blanche Gardin, and André Dussollier. The film tells the story of Marc, a young independent filmmaker who is frustrated with his career. After having an argument with his producer, Marc decides to flee to the countryside with the footage of his latest film to finish the work independently.

Plot

Marc is an independent filmmaker who has always had difficulty making a name for himself in the film world. His films are often critically acclaimed, but they fail to find an audience. Marc is frustrated with his work and the film industry.

One day, Marc has an idea: he decides to flee to the countryside with the footage of his latest film to finish the work independently. Marc hopes that, being free from the pressures of the producer, he can finally make the film he has always dreamed of.

In the countryside, Marc meets a young woman named Alice. Alice is a musician and has a small recording studio. Marc and Alice fall in love and begin working together on the film.

With Alice’s help, Marc begins to see his film in a new light. He begins to understand that the film is not just a commercial product, but also an expression of his creativity.

Critical reception

The Book of Solutions was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its original story, performances, and Gondry’s direction.

Trivia

  • The film was shot in France, specifically in the Luberon region.
  • The original title of the film is Le livre des solutions.
  • The film was produced by Luc Besson.

Additional thoughts

The Book of Solutions is a personal film for Gondry, who has spoken about his own struggles as an independent filmmaker. The film is also a reflection of Gondry’s unique visual style, which is on full display in the film’s whimsical and fantastical imagery.

The film’s message of creative freedom is particularly resonant in today’s world, where artists are often faced with the pressures of commercialism and conformity. The Book of Solutions is a reminder that art is most powerful when it is created from a place of authenticity and passion.

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