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The 100 Greatest Comedies of All-Time, According to BBC’s Critics Poll

After polling critics from around the world for the greatest American films of all-time, BBC has now forged ahead in the attempt to get a consensus on the best comedies of all-time. After polling 253 film critics, including 118 women and 135 men, from 52 countries and six continents a simple, the list of the 100 greatest is now here.

Featuring canonical classics such as Some Like It Hot, Dr. Strangelove, Annie Hall, Duck Soup, Playtime, and more in the top 10, there’s some interesting observations looking at the rest of the list. Toni Erdmann is the most recent inclusion, while the highest Wes Anderson pick is The Royal Tenenbaums. There’s also a healthy dose of Chaplin and Lubitsch with four films each, and the recently departed Jerry Lewis has a pair of inclusions.

Check out the list below (and my ballot) and see more on their official site.

100. (tie) The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Lost in America – The Criterion Collection

Lost In America

Blu-ray

Criterion

1985 / 1:85 / Street Date July 25, 2017

Starring: Albert Brooks, Julie Hagerty

Cinematography: Eric Saarinen

Film Editor: David Finfer

Written by Albert Brooks, Monica Johnson

Produced by Marty Katz and Herb Nanas

Music: Arthur B. Rubinstein

Directed by Albert Brooks

According to a Newsweek cover story published that same year, 1984 was “The Year of the Yuppie”, referring to those ferociously materialistic young professionals whose numbers blossomed during the Reagan administration. The following year director Albert Brooks and his co-writer Monica Johnson delivered Lost In America, an acerbic road movie detailing what happens when one of those upwardly mobile hot-shots decides to get back to nature and “touch Indians”.

The result is one of the great American comedies, a mile-a-minute talk fest worthy of writer-directors like Billy Wilder, Woody Allen and in particular Preston Sturges, whose The Palm Beach Story told a similar tale about two young-marrieds who find
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The Truth About Zardoz, Plus Nine Other Things I Learned At Tcmff 2017

Just back from the 2017 TCM Classic Movie Festival with a few thoughts and thoughts about thoughts. I certainly held my reservations about this year’s edition, and though I ultimately ended up tiring early of flitting about from theater to theater like a mouse in a movie maze (it happens to even the most fanatically devoted of us on occasion, or so I’m told), there were, as always, several things I learned by attending Tcmff 2017 as well.

1) TCM Staffers Are Unfailingly Polite And Helpful

Thankfully I wasn’t witness, as I have been in past years, to any pass holders acting like spoiled children because they had to wait in a long queue or, heaven forbid, because they somehow didn’t get in to one of their preferred screenings. Part of what makes the Tcmff experience as pleasant as it often is can be credited to the tireless work
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Broadway’s delightful — but wickedly accurate — satire of big business was brought to movie screens almost intact, with the story, the stars, the styles and dances kept as they were in the long-running show that won a Pulitzer Prize. This is the place to see Robert Morse and Michele Lee at their best — it’s one of the best, and least appreciated movie musicals of the 1960s.

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Blu-ray

Twilight Time

1967 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 121 min. / Street Date March 14, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95

Starring: Robert Morse, Michele Lee, Rudy Vallee, Anthony Teague, Maureen Arthur, Sammy Smith, Robert Q. Lewis, Carol Worthington, Kathryn Reynolds, Ruth Kobart, George Fennemann, Tucker Smith, David Swift.

Cinematography: Burnett Guffey

Film Editor: Allan Jacobs, Ralph E. Winters

Original Music: Nelson Riddle

Art Direction: Robert Boyle

Visual Gags: Virgil Partch

From the play written by Frank Loesser, Abe Burrows,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

David Reviews Michael Curtiz’s Mildred Pierce [Criterion Collection Blu-Ray Review]

With the new release of Mildred Pierce, the Criterion Collection appears to be solidifying a trend over the past couple years of providing a showcase for some of the greatest female actors from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Since late 2014, stars like Claudette Colbert (It Happened One Night, The Palm Beach Story), Rita Hayworth (Gilda, Only Angels Have Wings) and Rosalind Russell (His Girl Friday) have made their first appearances in the Collection, in what can be considered career-defining roles. These additions seem to be addressing a notable blind spot for Criterion. As impressive as their reach has been in bringing many of the most iconic women from the past hundred years of world cinema to the forefront, the continuing absence of silver screen legends like Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Greta Garbo and Elizabeth Taylor, just to name a few, seems like a lingering oversight, a problem yet to be
See full article at CriterionCast »

Nostalgia Ain’T What It Used To Be

Nostalgia just ain’t what it used to be.

When the poster for American Graffiti (1973) asked the question “Where were you in ’62?” it was marketing a trend, spiked by the increasing popularity of the theatrical musical Grease, for audiences of a certain age to look backward to a time when life wasn’t ostensibly so complicated, when your life was still out there waiting to be lived, to a time when America hadn’t yet “lost its innocence.” The demarcation point for that alleged loss is often assigned to the upheaval of grief and national confusion experienced in the wake of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963, so it was no accident that the setting for American Graffiti’s night of cruising, romancing and soul-searching was placed a little over a year before that cataclysmic event. The interesting thing about Graffiti was the aggressiveness with which that
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Stanley & Iris

Stanley & Iris

Blu-ray

Twilight Time

1990 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 104 min. / Street Date January 17, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95

Starring: Jane Fonda, Robert De Niro, Swoosie Kurtz, Martha Plimpton, Harley Cross, Jamey Sheridan, Feodor Chaliapin.

Cinematography: Donald McAlpine

Original Music: John Williams

Written by: Irving Ravetch, Harriet Frank, Jr. based on a novel Union Street by Pat Barker

Produced by: Arlene Sellers, Alex Winitsky

Directed by Martin Ritt

There ought to be a place on a screen for every kind of film story. True, old movies fronted a mostly false consensus picture of the world, claiming that there was a ‘normal’ baseline for our lives. The reality of most social issues was ignored in favor of pleasant fairy tales where all conflicts could be solved on a personal level. After all, movies were considered entertainment first, and carriers of vital social truths maybe about 97th. But then and now, there
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

25 great movie comedies that run for 90 minutes or less

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Need a good laugh, but only got an hour and a half? Might we recommend this little lot...

I’m of the firm belief that films work most effectively when their runtime is 90 minutes or less. It forces an economy of story and dialogue which propels the film into its best self. No bloated middle, extended ending, or wasted stories here. This goes double for comedies. They should never outstay their welcome. But they seem to be getting longer, as we recently pointed out here.

So to refresh your movie comedy palette, here are 25 films that are 90 minutes or under. I’ve tried to avoid the more obvious ones, and shine a light on those comedies which might have gone a bit unappreciated over the years, but are well worth a hour and a half of your time. This lean runtime isn’t a guarantee of greatness of course,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Preston Sturges: how a master of daftness conquered Hollywood

Sturges’s screwball comedies play with big ideas and serious themes. So what makes them some of the funniest films ever made?

It was a sprint worthy of his greatest farces: between 1937 and 1944, Preston Sturges made some of the funniest films Hollywood ever produced, including The Great McGinty, The Lady Eve, Sullivan’s Travels, The Palm Beach Story, The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, and Hail the Conquering Hero. Then suddenly, as if his frantic, frenzied comedies had exhausted not only himself but his form, Sturges ran out of steam. Blending the comical and serious, farcical and cerebral, high and low, Sturges found catalytic energy in mixing formulas like a madcap scientist; as if he had released actual kinetic energy, he went ricocheting through Hollywood cinema, until he fell to earth with a thud. Happily, the BFI season celebrating Sturges offers audiences the chance to rediscover golden-era Hollywood’s minister of misrule.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

This week’s new film events

Let All The Children Boogie | Unfaithfully Yours: The Comedies Of Preston Surges

Few directors wrote their own material in the 1940s, but Preston Sturges was an exception in every way. He sold his script for The Great McGinty for $10 in exchange for the chance to direct it, and he clearly knew what he wanted, which is about the same things audiences today want: polished repartee, energetic screwball comedy, cheese-free romance and sharp social satire. This season showcases his work, from his masterpiece, Sullivan’s Travels – as fine a film about film-making as has ever been made – to those that tested the boundaries of the era audaciously. In The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek, a woman can’t remember who she’s married (and she’s pregnant). In The Palm Beach Story, a woman marries someone richer in order to bankroll her first husband; and in McGinty itself, a homeless
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The WGA Names the 101 Funniest Screenplays of All Time

  • Cinelinx
Let’s end the year with a celebration of the funniest comedy scripts ever written. The Writer’s Guild of America has chosen the 101 best laugh-getting screenplays. Keep in mind that this is all about the writing, not the cast or the director.

1.Annie Hall (1977)

2. Some Like it Hot (1959)

3. Groundhog Day (1993)

4. Airplane! (1980)

5. Tootsie (1982)

6. Young Frankenstein (1974)

7. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

8. Blazing Saddles (1974)

9. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

10. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)

11. This is Spinal Tap (1984)

12. The Producers (1967)

13. The Big Lebowski (1998)

14. Ghostbusters (1984)

15. When Harry Met Sally (1989)

16. Bridesmaids (2011)

17. Duck Soup (1933)

18. There’s Something About Mary (1998)

19. The Jerk (1979)

20. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

21. His Girl Friday (1940)

22. The Princess Bride (1987)

23. Raising Arizona (1987)

24. Bringing Up Baby (1938)

25. Caddyshack (1980)

26. Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)

27. The Graduate (1967)

28. The Apartment (1960)

29. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)

30. The Hangover (2009)

31. The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)

32. The Lady Eve
See full article at Cinelinx »

The 101 Funniest Screenplays of All-Time, According to the WGA

Perhaps the most subjective genre in cinema, the same comedy can cause one viewer to have tears of laughter and another to not crack a smile. So, while knowing there can be no definitive list of the finest in the genre, the Writers Guild of America attempted to narrow down the 101 funniest screenplays. Noting the distinction from the best in the genre, these 101 films should simply produce the most laughs.

Topping the list is Woody Allen‘s Best Picture-winning Annie Hall, a choice difficult to argue with. Rounding out the top five were Some Like it Hot, Groundhog Day, Airplane! and Tootsie, while films from the Coens, Stanley Kubrick, Wes Anderson, and Edgar Wright were also mentioned. There are also some genuine head-scratching inclusions, including The Hangover at 30, and, as much as I enjoy the film, Bridesmaids nearly making the top 15, but overall, if one is looking to brighten their mood,
See full article at The Film Stage »

‘Annie Hall’ Named Funniest Screenplay by WGA Members

‘Annie Hall’ Named Funniest Screenplay by WGA Members
Annie Hall” has been named the funniest screenplay in voting by the members of the Writers Guild of America.

The script by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman topped “Some Like it Hot,” “Groundhog Day,” “Airplane!” and “Tootsie,” which make up the rest of the top five. “Young Frankenstein,” “Dr. Strangelove,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “National Lampoon’s Animal House” rounded out the top 10.

The awards for the 101 funniest screenplays were announced at the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood at the conclusion of two hours of panel discussions and clips, hosted by Rob Reiner. He noted that his “This Is Spinal Tap” script had finished at the No. 11 spot — a coincidence that recalled the “go to 11” amplifier joke in the film.

The “Annie Hall” screenplay won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 1977. Allen had six other scripts on the list — “Sleeper,” “Bananas,” “Take the Money and Run,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Diary of a Lost Girl

G.W. Pabst's silent German classic is intact, restored and looking great. Louise Brooks is the virginal innocent betrayed on every level of the sexual double standard. Brooks is nothing less than amazing, with a performance that doesn't date, and Pabst only has to show how things are to make a statement about societal hypocrisy. German cinema doesn't get better. Diary of a Lost Girl Blu-ray Kino Lorber Classics 1929 / B&W / 1:33 flat / 112 min. / Tagebuch einer Verlorenen / Street Date October 20, 2015 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Louise Brooks, Fritz Rasp, Valeska Gert, Franziska Kinz, Edith Meinhard, Andrews Engelmann, Kurt Gerron, Siegfried Arno, Sybille Schmitz, André Roanne. Cinematography Sepp Allgeier, Fritz Arno Wagner Art Directors Erno Metzner and Emil Hasler Original Music Javier Perez de Azpeitia (Piano) Written by Rudolf Leonhardt from the novel by Margarethe Böhme Produced by Directed by G.W. Pabst  

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

The universally revered Louise Brooks
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

75 Years Later, ‘The Great McGinty’ is still as relevant as any political satire since

When we think about the “writer/director” we often think about the works of Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Paul Thomas Anderson, Jean-Luc Godard or Lars Von Trier. The auteurs who charge into the uphill battle of putting their own story to film. It’s more than a credit, it’s a type of filmmaker – one that more often than not starts outside of the studio system, one that more often than not considers themselves a writer first and a director second, one that falls in love with their own dialog. It’s very common now but it didn’t used to be.

75 years ago this week a film was released with the first “Written and Directed by” credit, making official something that had been going on in movie making since the evolution of narrative filmmaking and giving birth to the modern day writer/director. The first credited writer/director: playwright Preston Sturges,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

11 movies you can't afford to miss the start of: Trainspotting, Reservoir Dogs and more

11 movies you can't afford to miss the start of: Trainspotting, Reservoir Dogs and more
We've all been there - waiting impatiently at the ticket office queue, glancing up anxiously at the clock and hoping that the trailers are playing for even longer than usual, because otherwise you've got no chance of making it for the start of the film.

In most cases you can piece together what you missed in the first few minutes; but sometimes it's essential to catch the film from the very start, whether for crucial plot details, later call-backs, or simply because it's the best part.

Here's our pick of 11 films you can't afford to miss the start of.

Up

It takes a hardened soul not to well up watching Carl Fredricksen lose his beloved wife Ellie to a sudden illness in the opening montage of Up.

Not only is it probably the best sequence in the film, but it makes the crotchety Carl immediately sympathetic by showing his softer
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

The Conversation: Drew Morton and Landon Palmer Discuss ‘The Straight Story’

The Conversation is a feature at Sound on Sight bringing together Drew Morton and Landon Palmer in a passionate debate about cinema new and old. For their fourth piece, they will discuss David Lynch’s film The Straight Story (1999).

Drew’s Take

I am in the midst of my 1999 class and I assigned two films I had yet to see from the acclaimed year – the year that Entertainment Weekly claimed to “change movies” – Kimberly Pierce’s Boys Don’t Cry and David Lynch’s The Straight Story. I like doing this as a Professor, because it varies the class and keeps me from getting too settled into a comfort zone. It challenges me to be more spontaneous and in the moment, a zone I typically find stimulating and energizing. Needless to say, the sixteen year old legacy of Lynch’s The Straight Story created a certain predisposition. Having seen all of Lynch’s other films,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Criterion Blu-ray Reviews: The Palm Beach Story, The Sword Of Doom, and Watership Down

The latest batch of Criterion films offers Preston Sturges screwball romp The Palm Beach Story, Kihachi Okamoto’s The Sword of Doom, and Martin Rosen’s animated adaptation of Watership Down and it seems there’s little connective tissue between them. So let’s start with The Palm Beach Story. Preston Sturges was in the middle of his incredible run at Paramount when he made 1942’s The Palm Beach Story (a run that includes Christmas in July, The Lady Eve, Sullivan’s Travels and The Miracle at Morgan’s Creek), but as the supplements note, it was the beginning of the end. The film didn’t do that well at the box office, and Sturges - one of the first writer/directors - was no longer in favor on the lot. None of that is reflected in the finished product as the film itself is great, but that said, Sturges
See full article at Collider.com »

The Noteworthy: Pan & Scan, Panahi on Freedom, "Smog Journeys", Women in Hollywood

  • MUBI
Above: David Bordwell drops science on that horrific and longstanding practice we know as "Pan & Scan." Joining President Darren Aronofsky on the International Jury at the Berlinale next month are the following: Daniel Brühl, Bong Joon-ho, Martha De Laurentiis, Claudia Llosa, Audrey Tautou, and Matthew Weiner. For Grantland, Steven Hyden has written a wonderful article on Gene Hackman:

"He couldn’t have planned it this way, but Hackman had aged into a screen persona — he looked like he had spent years driving a truck or working as a doorman before lucking into the movies, because that’s basically what had happened. Hackman might’ve studied the Method under Lee Strasberg (“He played with people’s heads a lot,” he recalled derisively of Strasberg in 2001), but he could just be and be authentic onscreen."

Jafar Panahi's Taxi, the third film of his to premiere since he was banned from directing in Iran,
See full article at MUBI »

Daily | Jump Cut, Filmmaker, Vogel

A new issue of Jump Cut is always a thumper and #56 is no exception: Mike Budd on Disney "in the era of corporate personhood," Douglas Kellner on 12 Years a Slave and Amistad, Heather Ashley Hayes and Gilbert Rodman on Django Unchained, Milo Sweedler on class warfare in the Robocop movies and Robert Alpert on the "artificial intelligence of Her." And more. Also in today's roundup of news and views: Richard Brody on Amos Vogel, James Schamus's speech "23 Fragments on the Future of Cinema," Stephanie Zacharek on The Palm Beach Story, an exhibition of work by James Benning and Peter Hutton, early word on future projects from Don Hertzfeldt and Jesse Eisenberg and more. » - David Hudson
See full article at Fandor: Keyframe »
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