In May 1943, two American soldiers, Joe and Frank, of Italian descent are searching the North African desert for a German general called Von Kassler, when they are captured by Von Kassler ... See full summary »
An astronaut goes into space with a chimpanzee. When they return to Earth after their orbit, it is discovered that the chimp has the brains of the astronaut, and the astronaut has the brains of the chimp. Complications ensue.
In England, the times are a changing: it's mods and rockers. On the day Nancy gets off the London train, cases in hand, looking for the YWCA, Colin has had enough of missing out on the ... See full summary »
Frankie, on naval-reserve duty in Tahiti, doesn't trust Dee Dee to stay faithful, so he hires Bwana, a witch doctor, to help. Bwana conjures up a floating bikini, "stuffs" it with Cassandra... See full summary »
Set in post-nuclear-holocaust England, where a handful of bizarre characters struggle on with their lives in the ruins, amongst endless heaps of ash, piles of broken crockery and brick, ... See full summary »
Pseudolus is the laziest slave in Rome and has but one wish, to purchase his freedom. When his master and mistress leave for the day he finds out that the young master has fallen in love with a virgin in the house of Lycus, a slave dealer specializing in beautiful women. Pseudolus concocts a deal in which he will be freed if he can procure the girl for young Hero. Of course, it can't be that simple as everything begins to go wrong. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The names of some of the characters, such as Pseudolus and Miles Gloriosus, are actually the titles of ancient Roman plays by Titus Maccius Plautus who was known for his comedies at the turn of the 2nd century BC. See more »
Lycus disguised himself as a woman in a yellow gown, but the gown changes to white during the chase scene and remains white for the remainder of the film. See more »
Pseudolus, people do not go around freeing slaves every day.
Be the first. Start a fashion.
See more »
The end credits depict a Roman orgy; however finally an animated character lifts up the MPAA seal which brings an immediate stop to the orgiastic revelry. See more »
I hadn't seen this in twenty years, and then on TV (with many cuts and commercials), so I jumped at the chance to view a video recently. "Funny Thing" is just as funny as I remembered it to be -- a marvelous opportunity to see the brilliant and hilarious Zero Mostel, plus a dream cast that includes Jack Guilford, Phil Silvers, Michael Crawford (very young), Roy Kinnear, etc.
Zero Mostel was an incredible Broadway comedic genius, but his most famous work was probably in "Fiddler on the Roof", where it only exits as the wonderful Broadway cast album. When they made the film, they inexplicably passed over Mostel to cast the much lower keyed Topol as Tevye. "Funny Thing" is more brilliant vintage Mostel from roughly the same period, but we get the real thing as he reprises his performance. No one can really approach Mostel for his comic timing, ability to not only sing but sing FUNNY and the expressiveness of his face.
Directed by Richard Lester (Hard Days' Night, Three Musketeers), the film is particularly beautiful in its period setting -- Lester had a spectacular eye for detail - and I honestly believe that this is the most realistic film ever done VISUALLY about Ancient Rome. From the credits, I see it was filmed in Madrid, Spain, which must have an incredible treasure trove of Ancient Roman buildings. The sets, costumes, extras etc. are pitch perfect....with one glaring exception. Like a lot of movies, the filmmakers could not bear to show us an attractive young woman in authentic period costume or makeup, so all the courtesans are circa 1967, right down to their blue eye shadow, false eyelashes, push up bras and back-combed hair!!
I understand from reading other comments that nearly 3/4 of the Stephen Sondheim score was cut for the film, which seems like a shame. However, what's left is very funny and well-integrated into the comedy. Many popular sixties film editing techniques are here -- quick cross cuts, Keystone Kops-like action sequences -- and while a bit dated, they fit the broad comedic tone of the story surprisingly well. The ending title sequence is spectacularly done, with wonderful Roman type and fresco's integrated into it.
Comedy styles go in and out of fashion, so this may not be everyone's taste these days. But having a visual record of a brilliant performer is a highlight and a cultural treasure, and that's what this performance by Zero Mostel truly is. I think most people won't be able to help laughing out loud, even at some of the dumbest and corniest of jokes here, and as usual, the Sondheim score (what remains of it) is delightful and witty.
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