WWII Comedy Films...

by LlllPppp | created - 16 Feb 2013 | updated - 3 months ago | Public

WWII related films with comedy and/or humour; in no particular order after 11…

[Thanks for the comment, Kelcey; I did not know that…?]

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1. How I Unleashed World War II (1970)

224 min | Comedy, War

The adventures of unlucky Polish soldier Franek Dolas during world war II. In September he escapes from Stalag and goes to France. After that he fights in Africa and Europe.

Director: Tadeusz Chmielewski | Stars: Marian Kociniak, Janina Boronska, Adam Cyprian, Wirgiliusz Gryn

Votes: 2,342

Polish, comedic epic that [arguably spanning nearly every genre of comedy] follows a Polish soldier across a great portion of the European and North African theatres of war; highly recommended for brilliantly delivered comedic content and original narrative! [available on NF, in three parts, as of 02/13]

2. Mediterraneo (1991)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, War

In WW2, an Italian Army unit of misfits occupies an isolated non-strategic Greek island for the duration of the war.

Director: Gabriele Salvatores | Stars: Diego Abatantuono, Claudio Bigagli, Giuseppe Cederna, Claudio Bisio

Votes: 12,599 | Gross: $4.53M

Italian comedy on greek isle that has its dramatic and romantic moments infused with light, comedic moments; while light on action, it is highly recommended for its rich narrative and beautiful location! [somewhat difficult to find; no longer available on NF as of 02/13]

3. The Cuckoo (2002)

PG-13 | 99 min | Drama, War, Comedy

69 Metascore

The beauty of this movie is that you, as the reader of the subtitles, are the only one who knows what is going on. The woman and the two men all speak different languages. It is a comedy of errors up until the end.

Director: Aleksandr Rogozhkin | Stars: Anni-Kristiina Juuso, Ville Haapasalo, Viktor Bychkov, Mikhail Korobochkin

Votes: 6,980 | Gross: $0.24M

A richly dramatic and romantic Russian film infused with humorous moments, light on action, but beautiful production; very highly recommended! [available on BB as of 03/13; no longer available on NF as of 02/13]

4. Dr. Akagi (1998)

Not Rated | 129 min | Comedy, Drama, History

At the end of WWII, Japanese doctor Akagi searches for the cure for hepatitis in the prisoner-of-war camp.

Director: Shôhei Imamura | Stars: Akira Emoto, Kumiko Asô, Jacques Gamblin, Tomorô Taguchi

Votes: 1,378 | Gross: $0.07M

Heartwarming Japanese drama with comedic moments and good production values, about a doctor's wartime search for hepatitis cure [available on BB as of 03/13; no longer available on NF as of 02/13]

5. Operation Snatch (1962)

83 min | Comedy, War

Legend has it that if the famous Barbary Apes leave the Rock of Gibraltar, it's a sign that the British will lose control of it. During World War II, a British officer is put in charge of ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Day | Stars: Terry-Thomas, George Sanders, Lionel Jeffries, Jocelyn Lane

Votes: 38

Nearly impossible to find, but well worth the effort if you do...

6. Operation Petticoat (1959)

Approved | 124 min | Comedy, Romance, War

During World War II, a commander finds himself stuck with a decrepit (and pink) submarine, a con man executive officer, and a group of army nurses.

Director: Blake Edwards | Stars: Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, Joan O'Brien, Dina Merrill

Votes: 11,273 | Gross: $23.30M

Great cast and script in light action film woven with comedy and romance; highly recommended.

7. La Grande Vadrouille (1966)

G | 132 min | Adventure, Comedy, War

Several ordinary Frenchmen, helping British pilots avoid Nazi captivity, goes on an epic voyage through the occupied country to the Swiss border.

Director: Gérard Oury | Stars: Bourvil, Louis de Funès, Claudio Brook, Andréa Parisy

Votes: 14,223

Hilarious French-British comedic romp of RAF crew shot down over France and attempting to reach friendly lines; all comedy! [slightly more difficult to find with English subtitles for French and German speech; available on Amzn]

8. Kelly's Heroes (1970)

GP | 144 min | Adventure, Comedy, War

50 Metascore

A group of U.S. soldiers sneaks across enemy lines to get their hands on a secret stash of Nazi treasure.

Director: Brian G. Hutton | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Carroll O'Connor

Votes: 41,652

Originally intended as an antiwar film, 'KH' views as a heist film heavy on action & adventure, but with great, if not light, comedic moments... [sadly, currently available VHS/DVD appear to be heavily cut/edited; original, opening theatrical (roadshow?) cut may be impossible to find]

No WWII genre film beckons an extended/director's-type cut/release more than this film, IMO [if it's even possible?]; particularly, timely for the upcoming 75th anniversary of the end of the war [coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the film (2020)]...

With the passing of Master Director Brian Hutton [2014; RIP...], the much anticipated director's cut will never be...

If Hutton and Eastwood could have had their original release without the studio demanded cuts/edits, this would likely be No. 1 on the list...

9. Only Old Men Are Going to Battle (1974)

92 min | Comedy, Drama, War

During World War II, a Soviet veteran pilot teaches to newcomers that war is transient, and music is eternal.

Director: Leonid Bykov | Stars: Leonid Bykov, Sergei Podgornyj, Sergei Ivanov, Rustam Sagdullaev

Votes: 4,055

Dramatic action film, with comedic moments, following lives of Russian wartime pilots. [available on Amzn as of 02/13]

10. 1941 (1979)

PG | 118 min | Action, Comedy, War

34 Metascore

Hysterical Californians prepare for a Japanese invasion in the days after Pearl Harbor.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Treat Williams, Nancy Allen

Votes: 29,388 | Gross: $31.76M

Christopher Lee, Toshiro Mifune, John Belushi, John Candy, & Slim Pickens!!!, all sharing the screen [particularly Lee, Mifune, Pickens, & Belushi all on the same sub!!!] in a comedic, action romp with moments of romance and drama; largely panned by critics [and sadly, to some extent, by its own director], but with growing cult followings worldwide.

'Jak rozpetalem druga wojne swiatowa' [at the top of this list] is epic in its ambitious approach to its narrative, while '1941' was epic in most every other way [production, cast, etc.]...but its nothing that a smart director's cut couldn't address...

Highly recommended! [impossible to find a good un-cropped, non-laserdisc, print; BluRay someday? If there readily existed a better print, this would easily rate higher...paging Mr. Spielberg!]

11. How I Won the War (1967)

Approved | 109 min | Comedy, War

An inept British WWII commander leads his troops to a series of misadventures in North Africa and Europe.

Director: Richard Lester | Stars: Michael Crawford, John Lennon, Roy Kinnear, Lee Montague

Votes: 2,081

War narrative with British humor/slapstick makes for a challenging, but greatly rewarding/entertaining film. Marked by biting satire, brilliant performances, & excellent cinematography [shot in Andalucia, Spain], it's likely to be a unique film viewing experience without the gritty/gory realism of modern day war genre films, but no less poignant.

An oft maligned film that may have the unique distinction of being both an 'Anti-war Film' film & an 'Anti-war' film, and unfolds in an unconventional plot structure formed by a series of narrated episodes/vignettes that are franticly-paced, dark, stirring, & above all surrealistic. [available on NF instant as of 02/13]

Recommended for the WWII comedy genre fan and fans of "Catch-22", "Closely Watched Trains", "Life is Beautiful", "Devils on the Doorstep", "The Secret of Santa Vittoria", "Dr. Akagi", etc.

12. The Best of 'Allo 'Allo! (1994 TV Movie)

50 min | Comedy, War

Whilst celebrating her birthday, Edith and René reminisce about their adventures during World War II.

Director: John B. Hobbs | Stars: Gorden Kaye, Carmen Silvera, Kenneth Connor, Kirsten Cooke

Votes: 445

This is actually an extended episode/special from the end of British comedy series depicting some highlights from its nine-year run; viewing the developing narrative over the entire series from the beginning is recommended over watching this episodic synopsis that inappropriately places the brilliant genius of its humour out of context.

This entire series [1–9] is highly recommended, with series three [the POW camp, etc] likely delivering its best...

13. Situation Hopeless -- But Not Serious (1965)

Not Rated | 97 min | Comedy, War

During World War II, two Americans are forced to bail out and parachute into a small German town. Herr Frick, being equal parts patriotic and lonely, keeps them as prisoners of war in his ... See full summary »

Director: Gottfried Reinhardt | Stars: Alec Guinness, Mike Connors, Robert Redford, Anita Höfer

Votes: 302

Another nearly impossible to find film, but well worth the effort if you do...

14. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

PG-13 | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

59 Metascore

When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor, and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp.

Director: Roberto Benigni | Stars: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini, Giustino Durano

Votes: 558,134 | Gross: $57.60M

Hauntingly beautiful and dramatic, if not tragic, comedy of the Holocaust in Italy; Roberto Benigni at his finest...

15. Closely Watched Trains (1966)

Not Rated | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

An apprentice train dispatcher at a village station seeks his first sexual encounter and becomes despondent when he is unable to perform.

Director: Jirí Menzel | Stars: Václav Neckár, Josef Somr, Jitka Scoffin, Vladimír Valenta

Votes: 10,171

A unique narrative for the WWII comedy genre with a brilliant blend of light comedic, and dramatically poignant moments...highly recommended!

16. Devils on the Doorstep (2000)

139 min | Comedy, Drama, War

70 Metascore

During the Japanese occupation of China, two prisoners are dumped in a peasant's home in a small town. The owner is bullied into keeping the prisoners until the next New Year, at which time... See full summary »

Director: Wen Jiang | Stars: Wen Jiang, Kenya Sawada, Hongbo Jiang, Teruyuki Kagawa

Votes: 6,095 | Gross: $0.02M

Riveting dramedy...highly recommended!

17. The Admiral Was a Lady (1950)

Approved | 87 min | Comedy, Romance

Ex-WAVE encounters four fun-loving, work-hating men, all of whom want to marry her.

Director: Albert S. Rogell | Stars: Edmond O'Brien, Wanda Hendrix, Rudy Vallee, Johnny Sands

Votes: 263

18. The Corporal and Others (1965)

111 min | Comedy, War

PFC Molnár decides his WWII services are over, and with serious money hidden in his hand grenades, he heads to an abandoned mansion where he encounters not only the sour butler but a bunch ... See full summary »

Director: Márton Keleti | Stars: Tamás Major, Imre Sinkovits, Iván Darvas, György Pálos

Votes: 1,882

19. The Raid (1991)

100 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

In WW2 Japanese-occupied Manchuria, a group of Chinese nationalists sets out to destroy a Japanese poison gas factory against a Japanese military officer and his girlfriend, who has built up a false public image as a Chinese glamour girl.

Directors: Siu-Tung Ching, Hark Tsui | Stars: Tony Ka Fai Leung, Jacky Cheung, Dean Shek, Fennie Yuen

Votes: 100

20. What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (1966)

Approved | 116 min | Comedy, War

In World War II, a strategic Italian village agrees to surrender to the Allies only if it's allowed to organize a celebratory festival while giving aerial reconnaissance the false impression of fierce ground fighting.

Director: Blake Edwards | Stars: James Coburn, Dick Shawn, Sergio Fantoni, Giovanna Ralli

Votes: 1,562

A very light, comedic film infused with some action and romance; once difficult to find, but now readily available...highly recommended!

21. Island Rescue (1951)

Approved | 90 min | Comedy, Drama, War

During WW2, British Major Valentine Moreland is tasked with rescuing a prized pedigree cow from the German-occupied Channel Island of Armorel.

Director: Ralph Thomas | Stars: David Niven, Glynis Johns, George Coulouris, Barry Jones

Votes: 199

AKA "Appointment with Venus"; the first of at least four [five & six if you want count the hilarious bull run of "Jak rozpetalem druga wojne swiatowa" (1970), and the bull chase in 'Dad's Army' (2016)!] WWII comedies about a bovine:

"La vache et le prisonnier" [1959] "Venus fra Vestø" [1962] "Cow" [2009]

22. Father Goose (1964)

Approved | 118 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance

During World War II, a man persuaded to live on an isolated island and spot aircraft finds himself responsible for a teacher and several students, all female.

Director: Ralph Nelson | Stars: Cary Grant, Leslie Caron, Trevor Howard, Jack Good

Votes: 8,813 | Gross: $12.50M

Cary Grant classic...

23. Two Men Went to War (2002)

PG | 109 min | Comedy, War, Drama

57 Metascore

Comedy drama based on the true story of two British Army dentists who in 1942, eager to see action, go A.W.O.L. and invade occupied France on their own.

Director: John Henderson | Stars: Kenneth Cranham, Leo Bill, Derek Jacobi, Anthony Valentine

Votes: 812 | Gross: $0.15M

Modern day "Invasion Quartet", but built for two...recommended!

24. Papy fait de la résistance (1983)

102 min | Comedy, Music, War

Bourdelle, a family of musicians, refuse to play for Germans during the war. They would like to liberate France using all possible means.

Director: Jean-Marie Poiré | Stars: Christian Clavier, Michel Galabru, Roland Giraud, Gérard Jugnot

Votes: 2,450

25. Catch-22 (1970)

R | 122 min | Comedy, Drama, War

70 Metascore

A man is trying desperately to be certified insane during World War II, so he can stop flying missions.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Alan Arkin, Martin Balsam, Richard Benjamin, Art Garfunkel

Votes: 20,229 | Gross: $24.91M

A richly dramatic and dark comedy on the ludicrousness of war...[available on NF as of 02/13]

26. Malèna (2000)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

54 Metascore

Amidst the war climate, a teenage boy discovering himself becomes love-stricken by Malèna, a sensual woman living in a small, narrow-minded Italian town.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore | Stars: Monica Bellucci, Giuseppe Sulfaro, Luciano Federico, Matilde Piana

Votes: 80,622 | Gross: $3.43M

Coming of age Italian dramedy with unique narrative...recommended!

27. The Elusive Corporal (1962)

TV-PG | 90 min | Comedy, Drama, War

An upper-class corporal from Paris is captured by the Germans when they invade France in 1940. Assisted and accompanied by characters as diverse as a morose dairy farmer, a waiter, a myopic... See full summary »

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Jean-Pierre Cassel, Claude Brasseur, O.E. Hasse, Claude Rich

Votes: 652

Classic late Renoir...recommended!

28. To Be or Not to Be (1983)

PG | 107 min | Comedy

61 Metascore

At the onset of WW2, a Polish actor's family and the Polish Resistance help the troupe of a theatre escape Poland and the invading Nazis.

Director: Alan Johnson | Stars: Mel Brooks, Anne Bancroft, Ronny Graham, Estelle Reiner

Votes: 9,509 | Gross: $13.03M

MB sticking it to the Nazis in this farcical remake...highly recommended for MB and AB fans!

29. Mrs Henderson Presents (2005)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

71 Metascore

Laura Henderson buys an old London theater and opens it up as the Windmill, a performance hall which goes down in history for, among other things, its all-nude revues.

Director: Stephen Frears | Stars: Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins, Christopher Guest, Will Young

Votes: 14,639 | Gross: $11.03M

Highly recommended film on British homefront...

30. The Secret War of Harry Frigg (1968)

Unrated | 110 min | Comedy, War

In 1943, when 5 captured Allied one-star generals cannot agree on an escape plan, the HQ promotes an escape-savvy private to 2-star general and sends him to coordinate the captive VIPs.

Director: Jack Smight | Stars: Paul Newman, Sylva Koscina, Andrew Duggan, Tom Bosley

Votes: 1,241

'Stalag 17', 'Hogan's Heroes', 'What Did you Do During the War, Daddy' -esque amalgamation, highlighting PN's lighter [& rom-com] side...

Slightly difficult to find, but highly recommended!

31. All the Queen's Men (2001)

PG-13 | 99 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

19 Metascore

A mismatched team of British Special Services agents led by an American must infiltrate, in disguise, a female-run Enigma factory in Berlin and bring back the decoding device that will end the war.

Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky | Stars: Eddie Izzard, Matt LeBlanc, Udo Kier, James Cosmo

Votes: 2,380 | Gross: $0.02M

Haven't been totally crazy about MLb on film [although, I thoroughly enjoyed 'Lost in Space'!], but he's at his finest here with a great cast and original narrative delivering blended doses of action, comedy, romance, and drama...recommended [particularly, if you like the 'hand-picked group on a mission behind enemy lines' sub-genre]!

32. The Roses of the Desert (2006)

Not Rated | 102 min | Comedy, War

A sanitary battalion of Italian Army is sent to Sorman oasis in Lybia during the Africa campaign in 1940. Soon an Italian missionary, living nearby, succeed to transform the occupation by ... See full summary »

Director: Mario Monicelli | Stars: Michele Placido, Giorgio Pasotti, Alessandro Haber, Fulvio Falzarano

Votes: 349

Description says, "sanitary battalion", but don't be deterred, as this is an WWII Italian "MASH" unit...

Beautifully shot comedic film woven with poignant moments, that is [up 'til now] only available on a brilliant Italian language only [and Italian subtitle only] DVD, but is highly recommended for those who may have enjoyed "Mediterraneo", "Life is Beautiful", "Seven Beauties", "The Secret of Santa Vittoria", or "Night of the Shooting Stars"...

33. Dad's Army (2016)

Not Rated | 100 min | Comedy, War

38 Metascore

The Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard platoon deal with a visiting female journalist and a German spy as World War II draws to its conclusion.

Director: Oliver Parker | Stars: Mark Tandy, Russell Balogh, Andrew Havill, Heinz

Votes: 6,714

Thoroughly enjoyable... Yet another [one of six!] WWII comedy with a bovine bit...

34. Atlantic Wall (1970)

107 min | War, Comedy

A gentle restaurant owner inadvertently got involved in World War II after delivering a confidential document to an English pilot.

Director: Marcel Camus | Stars: Bourvil, Peter McEnery, Sophie Desmarets, Jean Poiret

Votes: 652

Narratively unrelated follow-up to "La Grande Vadrouille"; largely European DVD production nearly impossible to find with English subtitles, but highly recommended if you can find it!

35. Don't Go Near the Water (1957)

Approved | 107 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance

On a small South Pacific island during WW2, various US Navy P.R. personnel pass the time romancing the nurses and the native girls while trying to avoid front line Sea Duty.

Director: Charles Walters | Stars: Glenn Ford, Gia Scala, Earl Holliman, Anne Francis

Votes: 551

36. The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969)

PG-13 | 139 min | Comedy, Drama, War

During WWII in Italy, a wine producing village hide a million bottles from the Germans

Director: Stanley Kramer | Stars: Anthony Quinn, Anna Magnani, Virna Lisi, Hardy Krüger

Votes: 2,856

Highly recommended for "Life is Beautiful" and/or "Seven Beauties" fans!

37. Seven Beauties (1975)

R | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, War

The defense of honor, a strong value in Neapolitan society, and his effects on the life of everyman Pasquale Frafuso.

Director: Lina Wertmüller | Stars: Giancarlo Giannini, Fernando Rey, Shirley Stoler, Elena Fiore

Votes: 4,397 | Gross: $0.01M

Highly recommended for "Life is Beautiful" fans!

38. The Cow and I (1959)

TV-PG | 118 min | Comedy

In 1942, a French prisoner of war in Germany decides to escape to France using a cow held by a lunge as a decoy. He crosses all Germany in this way.

Director: Henri Verneuil | Stars: Fernandel, Pierre-Louis, Ellen Schwiers, Ingeborg Schöner

Votes: 1,207

Based on English film, "Island Rescue" [1951]...

One of at least four [five & six if you want count the hilarious bull run of "Jak rozpetalem druga wojne swiatowa" (1970), and the bull chase in 'Dad's Army' (2016)!] WWII 'bovine' comedies...

39. Biloxi Blues (1988)

PG-13 | 106 min | Comedy, Drama

61 Metascore

A group of young recruits go through boot camp during the Second World War in Biloxi, Mississippi. From the play by Neil Simon.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Christopher Walken, Matt Mulhern, Corey Parker

Votes: 13,458 | Gross: $43.18M

Wartime basic training and coming of age film [no action]...highly recommended!

40. The Americanization of Emily (1964)

Approved | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, War

68 Metascore

An American naval officer's talent for living the good life in wartime is challenged when he falls in love and is sent on a dangerous mission.

Director: Arthur Hiller | Stars: James Garner, Julie Andrews, Melvyn Douglas, James Coburn

Votes: 4,407

Highly recommended, light on action, with poignant moments, rom-com; particularly, for JA or JG fans!

41. For All: Springboard to Victory (1997)

95 min | Comedy, Romance, War

During the Second World War, the U.S.A. established a military base in Natal, Brazil, changing in many ways people's lives and behavior.

Directors: Buza Ferraz, Luiz Carlos Lacerda | Stars: Betty Faria, José Wilker, Paulo Gorgulho, Caio Junqueira

Votes: 225

Unique narrative and perspective...recommended!

42. Now Where Did the Seventh Company Get to? (1973)

95 min | War, Action, Comedy

1940: During the chaotic running fights of the French army the 7th company disappears - nobody knows they've been taken captive. Only their scouting patrol, three witty but lazy guys, can ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Lamoureux | Stars: Jean Lefebvre, Pierre Mondy, Aldo Maccione, Robert Lamoureux

Votes: 1,598

Part one of epic French action and comedic farce trilogy [somewhat difficult to find; had a short, R1-DVD run (no Eng subtitles) on Amzn]...

43. The Fascist (1961)

102 min | Comedy

The quest of a fascist soldier whose mission is to catch a political enemy during the end of the WWII.

Director: Luciano Salce | Stars: Ugo Tognazzi, Georges Wilson, Mireille Granelli, Stefania Sandrelli

Votes: 531

44. On the Double (1961)

Approved | 92 min | Adventure, Comedy, War

At the time of the Invasion of Normandy, an American soldier is asked to impersonate a British General in order to confuse the Nazi spies and assassins in London.

Director: Melville Shavelson | Stars: Danny Kaye, Dana Wynter, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Margaret Rutherford

Votes: 566

Highly recommended light on action, spy rom-com; particularly, for DK fans!

45. Deserter's Gold (1998)

123 min | Action, Comedy, War

During World War II a group of safe-crackers sets off on a mission to steal gold from a Nazi bank.

Director: Janusz Majewski | Stars: Marek Kondrat, Boguslaw Linda, Wiktor Zborowski, Katarzyna Figura

Votes: 377

Light comedy and WWII sequel to "CK Dezerterzy" (1986, comedy about WWI; recommend viewing it first!); once available on NF, but no longer as of 02/13); makes a great double feature! Only sequel is available on NF as of 02/13...

46. Jakob the Liar (1999)

PG-13 | 120 min | Drama, War

40 Metascore

During World War II, an ordinary inhabitant of a ghetto fakes news about Allied offensives to inspire hope for other victims of the Nazi regime.

Director: Peter Kassovitz | Stars: Robin Williams, Hannah Taylor Gordon, Éva Igó, István Bálint

Votes: 14,253 | Gross: $4.96M

Highly recommended for "Life is Beautiful" and RW fans!

47. Dad's Army (1971)

G | 95 min | Comedy, War