Greatest Movies Through 1960

Best Movies Compiled From Many Sources

Archive for the ‘Comedy’ Category

The Grass is Greener (1960)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1960

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104 min – view video trailer

Director: Stanley Donen
Starring: Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

IMDB 6.6 / Amazon 3.8 / Tomatometer 100%

Oscars: n/a

Victor and Hillary are down on their luck to the point that they allow tourists to take guided tours of their castle. But Charles Delacro, a millionaire oil tycoon, visits, and takes a liking to more than the house. Soon, Hattie Durant gets involved and they have a good old fashioned love triangle. IMDB 6.6 from over 2,336 users

Cary Grant is the befuddled English earl casually puttering around his tourist attraction of a grand old estate in casual dress while a bull of an American millionaire (Robert Mitchum) crashes into his life and seduces Grant’s sophisticated lady (Deborah Kerr). It’s pure fantasy, of course, with its cool, cultured lovers swapping witty banter with the same calm they swap gunshots in an old-fashioned duel. Have adultery and jealousy ever been so civilized? Stanley Donen never shakes this very British drawing-room comedy of manners free of its talky, stagebound source or its deliberate snail’s pace, but he does manages to bring a lightness that softens the wit with an American lilt. Ultimately, though, it’s all about a crack cast in fine form: Mitchum’s sleepy-eyed insolence, Kerr’s easy elegance, Jean Simmons’s flighty outrageousness, and especially the charm and measured grace that is Cary Grant. Amazon 3.8 stars from over 48 users

A rousing chorus of Noël Coward’s “Stately Homes of England” is heard as the opening titles of The Grass Is Greener fade into several stock shots of those stately homes. One of these mansions is owned by British earl Victor Rhyall (Cary Grant), who opens his home to American tourists in order to make ends meet. One such tourist is wealthy Texan Charles Delacro (Robert Mitchum), who sets his sights upon Victor’s lovely wife, Hilary (Deborah Kerr). In his efforts to win back his wife, Victor presses his former girlfriend Hattie Durant (Jean Simmons) into service.  Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer 100% Audience 64%

MRQE has links to 11 reviews

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBAmg47F_dw]
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The Apartment (1960)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1960

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125 min – PG – view video trailer

Director: Billy Wilder
Starring: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray

Genres: Romance, Comedy, Drama

IMDB 8.4 / Amazon 4.6 / MRQE 83 / Tomatometer 93%

Oscars: nominated for 10, won 5 (Best Picture, Director, Writing, Editing, Art)

Ranked #27 Greatest Movies Through 1960

A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue. IMDB 8.4 rating from over 54,641 users

Romance at its most anti-romantic–that is the Billy Wilder stamp of genius, and this Best Picture Academy Award winner from 1960 is no exception. Set in a decidedly unsavory world of corporate climbing and philandering, the great filmmaker’s trenchant, witty satire-melodrama takes the office politics of a corporation and plays them out in the apartment of lonely clerk C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon). Amazon 4.6 stars from over 158 users

Widely regarded as a comedy in 1960, The Apartment seems more melancholy with each passing year. Jack Lemmon plays C.C. Baxter, a go-getting office worker who loans his tiny apartment to his philandering superiors for their romantic trysts. He runs into trouble when he finds himself sharing a girlfriend (Shirley MacLaine) with his callous boss (Fred MacMurray). Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer 93% Audience 93%

MRQE 83% from over 82 reviews

Madison Public Library

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Some Like It Hot (1959)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1959

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120 min – PG – view video trailer

Director: Billy Wilder
Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon

Genres: Comedy

IMDB 8.4 / Amazon 4.7 / MRQE 87 / BeliefNet Movie Mom A+

Oscars: 6 nominations, 1 win (Best Costume)

Ranked #12 Greatest Movies Through 1960, in 28 of 41 lists of best movies, a Zagat Top Movie

When two musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all female band disguised as women, but further complications set in.  IMDB 8.4 rating from over 94,930 users

Maybe “nobody’s perfect,” as one character in this masterpiece suggests. But some movies are perfect, and Some Like It Hot is one of them. In Chicago, during the Prohibition era, two skirt-chasing musicians, Joe and Jerry (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon), inadvertently witness the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. In order to escape the wrath of gangland chief Spats Colombo (George Raft), the boys, in drag, join an all-woman band headed for Florida. Amazon  4.7 stars from over 310 users

This is one of the wildest farces ever filmed, but it has a lot of heart as well, with brilliant performances by all three stars. BeliefNet Movie Mom A+ with content warnings

MRQE 87% from over 91 reviews

Madison Public Library

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Indiscreet (1958)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1958

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100 min – view video clip

Director: Stanley Donen
Starring: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman

Genres: Comedy, Romance

IMDB 6.8 / Amazon 3.9 / Tomatometer 100%

Oscars: n/a

Anna Kalman is an accomplished actress who has given up hope of finding the man of her dreams. She is in the middle of taking off her face cream, while talking about this subject with her sister, when in walks Philip Adams. She loses her concentration for a moment as she realizes that this is the charming, smart, and handsome man she has been waiting for. They begin a love-at-first-sight relationship, but she finds out that he has been keeping a secret from her. When she learns of his lie, she becomes furious and works out a plan for revenge. IMDB 6.8 from over 4,075 users

Romance is in the air when a dashing diplomat (Cary Grant) is introduced to a beautiful and famous actress (Ingrid Bergman). The fact that he’s married doesn’t stop the love-struck pair from falling into a passionate affair. But it turns out that the actress isn’t the only one with a talent for role-playing — her married lover is actually a single playboy with no intentions of settling down. When his secret is revealed she decides to give her Romeo a taste of his own medicine and discovers it’s just what the love doctor ordered. Amazon 3.9 stars from over 69 users

Adapted by Norman Krasna from his play Kind Sir, Indiscreet stars Ingrid Bergman as a wealthy actress and Cary Grant as an international financial wizard. While Grant is visiting London, Bergman’s sister Phyllis Calvert and brother-in-law Cecil Parker introduce Grant to Bergman. Because he feels he has no time for marriage, Grant pretends to be married to avoid romantic tangles. Bergman, however, finds the prospect of an affair with a married man to be quite exhilarating. When she discovers the truth, Bergman gets even with the now-smitten Grant by faking a romance with an ex-boy friend–ordering luckless chauffeur David Kossoff to pose as her beau. Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer 100% Audience 70%

MRQE has links to 16 reviews

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Gigi (1958)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1958

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115  min – view video trailer

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Starring: Leslie Caron, Maurice chevalier, Louis Jordan

Genres: Comedy, Musical, Romance

IMDB 6.9 / Amazon 4.2 / MRQE 69% / Tomatometer 74%

Oscars: nominated for 9, won 9 (Best Picture, Director, Art, Cinematography, Costume, Editing, Music Song, Music Scoring, Writing)

Ranked #145 Greatest Movies Through 1960

Weary of the conventions of Parisian society, a rich playboy and a youthful courtesan-in-training enjoy a platonic friendship, but it may not stay platonic for long. IMDB 6.9 rating from over 8,308 users

Winner of nine Academy Awards including Best Picture, this charming musical stars Leslie Caron as a young woman in early 1900s Paris whose grandmother and aunt groom her for the family tradition of being a well-cared-for courtesan. Caron upsets their plans when she and intended paramour Louis Jourdan fall in love.  Amazon 4.2 stars from over 168 users

Weaving in and out of the story is Maurice Chevalier as an aging boulevardier who, years earlier, had been in love with Gingold’s character. Chevalier gets most of the best Lerner & Loewe tunes, including Thank Heaven for Little Girls, I’m Glad I’m Not Young Any More, and his matchless duet with Gingold, I Remember it Well. Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer 74% Audience 74%

MRQE  69% from over 44 reviews

Madison Public Library

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Funny Face (1957)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1957

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103 min – view video trailer

Director: Stanley Donen
Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Kay Thompson

Genres: Comedy, Musical, Romance

IMDB 7.0 / Amazon 4.3 / Tomatometer 84%

Oscars: nominated for 4, Won 0

Ranked #184 Greatest Movies Through 1960

An impromptu fashion shoot at a book store brings about a new fashion model discovery in the shop clerk. IMDB 7.0 rating from over 12,970 users

This filmed version of the 1927 George Gershwin Broadway musical Funny Face utilizes the play’s original star, Fred Astaire, and several of the original tunes, then goes merrily off on its own. Astaire is cast as as fashion photographer Dick Avery who is sent out by his female boss Maggie Prescott (Kay Thompson) to find a “new face”. Amazon 4.3 stars from over 223 users

It doesn’t take Dick long to discover Jo (Audrey Hepburn, who does her own singing), an owlish Greenwich Village bookstore clerk. Acting as Pygmalion to Jo’s Galatea, Dick whisks the wide-eyed girl off to Paris and transforms her into the fashion world’s hottest model. Along the way, he falls in love with Jo, and works overtime to wean her away from such phony-baloney intellectuals as Professor Emile Flostre. Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer 84% Audience 82%

MRQE 54% from over 53 reviews – Madison Public Library

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6VLdVrVQGQ]

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The Court Jester (1956)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1956

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101 min – view video clip (no trailer found)

Director: Melvin Frank, Norman Panama
Starring: Danny Kaye, Glynis Johns, Basil Rathbone, Angela Lansbury

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family

IMDB 7.7 / Amazon 4.8/ Decent Films A+

Oscars: none

Ranked #70 Greatest Movies Through 1960

A hapless carnival performer masquerades as the court jester as part of a plot against an evil ruler who has overthrown the rightful king. IMDB 7.7 rating from over 6,475 users

Danny Kaye spoofs Robin Hood and Scaramouche in this inventive slapstick swashbuckler. Portraying the clownish but good-hearted entertainer Hawkins, he infiltrates the court of the corrupt Basil Rathbone (up to his usual brand of cruel villainy) disguised as the legendary king of jesters, Giacomo… this is Danny Kaye at his comic best. Amazon 4.8 stars from over 214 users

See Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood — and then see Danny Kaye in The Court Jester. As the former is the ultimate Hollywood swashbuckler classic, the latter is the ultimate swashbuckler spoof, and one of Kaye’s finest, funniest hours. Not only does it terrifically succeed where movies like Mel Brooks’s Robin Hood: Men in Tights miserably fail, The Court Jester also as merry, high-spirited, and wholesome as the adventures it parodies, with none of the cynical, anarchic spirit (or content issues) of the likes of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Decent Films A+ with superior artistic/entertainment value

MRQE over 16 reviews linked

Madison Public Library – my grade: A

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Monkey Business (1952)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1952

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97 min – view video trailer

Director: Howard Hawks
Starring: Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, Charles Coburn, Marilyn Monroe

Genres: Comedy, Sci-Fi

IMDB 7.0 / Amazon 4.2 / Tomatometer 87%

Oscars: n/a

A chemist finds his personal and professional life turned upside down when one of his chimpanzees finds the fountain of youth. IMDB 7.0 from over 6,838 users

Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers star in this classic comedy about a chemist who discovers the secret of eternal youth. For years, Dr. Barnaby Fulton (Grant) has been working on a youth-restoring serum with little success – until the day a chimpanzee gets loose in the lab and accidentally concocts the exact formula Fulton has been searching for. The hilarity begins when, unbeknownst to anyone, the chimpanzee pours it into the office water cooler. For with each successive drink, everyone gets younger and younger. When Fulton’s stunning secretary (Marilyn Monroe) and lovely wife get a taste of the potion, the chemical reaction is explosive and hilarious fun! Amazon 4.2 stars from over 59 users

Howard Hawks hoped to capture the screwball comic fervor of his 1938 film Bringing Up Baby with his 1952 comedy Monkey Business. As in the earlier film, Cary Grant stars as an absent-minded professor involved in a research project. This time he’s a chemist seeking a “fountain of youth” formula that will revitalize middle-agers both mentally and physically. Though Grant’s own laboratory experiments yield little fruit, a lab monkey, let loose from its cage, mixes a few random chemicals and comes up with just the formula Grant is looking for.  Rotten Tomatoes tomatometer 87% Audience 67%

MRQE has links to 35 reviews

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59CQ-K2JILo]

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Singin’ In The Rain (1952)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1952

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103 min – G – view video trailer

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Starring: Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds

Genres: Comedy, Musical, Romance

IMDB 8.4 / Amazon 4.6 / MRQE 94% / Decent Films A+

Oscars won 0 of 2: nominated: Best Supporting Actress (Jean Hagen), Best Music (Lennie Hayton)

Ranked #9 Greatest Movies Through 1960, in 32 of 41 best movies lists, a Zagat Top Movie

A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound. IMDB 8.4 from over 76,611 users

It’s not only a great song-and-dance piece starring Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and a sprightly Debbie Reynolds; it’s also an affectionately funny insider spoof about the film industry’s uneasy transition from silent pictures to “talkies. Amazon 4.6 stars from over 402 users

People who say they don’t like musicals should watch Singin’ in the Rain, and find out how sweet eating one’s words can be. People who say they do like musicals already know and love Singin’ in the Rain — otherwise they have no business saying they love musicals. Sure, Fred and Ginger did more technically proficient dancing in Top Hat and Swing Time; and the Busby Berkeley extravaganzas, like Footlight Parade, had more spectacular set pieces. But Singin’ in the Rain is quite simply the greatest musical of all time, and more: It transcends its genre, becoming one of the most joyous, delightful, satisfying, feel-good motion picture experiences ever… Bottom line: If you like movies, Singin’ in the Rain is for you. Read full Decent Films review (rated A+, Superior artistic-entertainment for Kids & Up)

MRQE 94% with over 81 review links

Madison Public Library

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Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1951

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81 min – view video trailer

Director: Charles Crichton
Starring: Alec Guiness

IMDB 7.8 / Amazon 4.2 / Decent Films A-

Genre: Comedy, Crime

Oscars: nominated for 1 won 1

A meek bank clerk who oversees the shipment of bullion joins with an eccentric neighbor to steal gold bars and smuggle them out of the country as miniature Eifel Towers. IMDB 7.8 rating from over 7,674 users

According to Entertainment Weekly, “one of the greatest comedies ever made!” Sir Alec Guinness received his first Oscar nomination as Best Actor for his delightful performance as Henry Holland, a meek clerk who devises an ingenious plan to rob a fortune in gold bullion from his own bank. But when Henry and his odd accomplice melt the gold into souvenir Eiffel Towers to smuggle to France, their perfect crime becomes a disastrous caper of Cockney crooks, customs chaos and an ill-timed group of British schoolgirls, all leading to some of the most hilarious and unexpected surprises in criminal history.  Amazon 4.2 stars from over 43 users

On the Vatican’s 1995 list of 15 selected important files. While the caper-gone-wrong comedy genre has been done to death in recent decades, The Lavender Hill Mob avoids most of what became the clichés of the genre. In fact, up to a point things actually go quite a bit more smoothly than the characters fear they are going, and more than once the perpetrators almost give themselves away because they think the jig is already up. Decent Films A-

MRQE 89% from over 32 reviews – Madison Public Library

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nccqW6Y4O4]

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