Here’s the third set of movies in my onging Patrick’s 100 list. These comedies aren’t the only comedies on my list, but these are definitely worth a look.
So we’re up to the third set of films in my Patrick’s 100 Movies list.
As before, these are in no particular order. I invite you to come up with your own list of 100 movies!
21. ‘Clue’ (1985)
I distinctly remember being bummed out when I learned a movie was being made about the classic board game. I was even more annoyed when I found out it was going to be a comedy. Then I saw the movie, and realized that it was so outrageously funny that I must have been crazy to doubt the grand plan. And it was an interesting little trick they played on movie-goers: the film was shot with three different endings that rotated. The home video version has an option that allows you to choose one random ending, as you would have seen at the theater, or to see all three solutions back to back. Leave it to the late Madeline Khan to steal the show with the “flames” speech toward the end.
From the look on Martin Mull’s face, I’m convinced it was a blooper that was deemed funny enough to keep in.
22. ‘Murder By Death’ (1976)
Before Clue, Murder by Death might have been the greatest whodunit spoof. It was written by Neil Simon, which is pretty much all I need to say, but I won’t stop there: it featured a cast of oddballs, from David Niven to Peter Falk to Truman Capote, in a parody of all of the famous detectives trying to solve a murder that makes no sense at all. When you find out who really “done” it, it makes even less sense, but getting there is all the fun.
23. ‘9 to 5’ (1980)
If you’ve ever worked for an idiot boss, you can find something in this movie to relate to. My favorite line comes when Lily Tomlin’s character thinks she has killed her supervisor. Her partners in the alleged crime, Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda try desperately to calm her down, when she blurts out, “Don’t be a fool, I’ve killed the boss! Don’t you think they’re not going to fire me for a thing like that!”
24. ‘Airplane’ (1980)
This movie is so full of sight gags and puns that you have to watch it a few times before you begin to get them all. And even then, you miss things. You gotta love the captain’s odd questions and Barbara Billingsley’s stint as a “jive” translator. But Johnny, the screwball air traffic controller steals this show every time you think things can’t get more outrageous.
25. ‘The Thrill of It All’ (1963)
You may well have never heard of this little gem. It’s not one of the most well-known comedies, but I remembered it from having seen it when I was little and it still makes me laugh. James Garner is an OB-GYN and Doris Day is his wife, who happens to be chosen to become a television commercial spokeswoman. Her success begins to overshadow his, and their entire household is turned upside down. And then there’s that business with the car, the swimming pool and lots and lots of suds. If you see it in a rental store, I recommend it.
26. ‘My Cousin Vinnie’ (1992)
When two young men are arrested for a murder they didn’t commit in rural Alabama, they end up with only one real option for a defense attorney: Vinny, the cousin of one of the defendants.
Joe Pesci and Fred Gwynne should have made more movies together. My favorite line from Gwynne comes in the middle of Pesci’s questioning of a witness about two juveniles in a strong Brooklyn accent: “What is a ‘yoot?’”
27. ‘O’Hara’s Wife’ (1982)
This is far from a five-star film, and it is actually the first movie I’ve ever purchased on DVD in which the dub quality is so bad that I am actually geeky enough to go off about it. The levels are horrible: the video level is too high, the setup is too low, the sound isn’t great, either. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?
So why did a movie with such a bad DVD make the Patrick’s 100 Movies list? Though campy, it’s a cute story.
Yeah, yeah, back to the story: just when overworked attorney Ed Asner finally takes time for a vacation with wife Mariette Hartley, she suddenly dies. But she’s back in a flash, as a ghost, making sure he sticks to the plan. It has some funny moments, including a line from Asner to some lazy colleagues that I’ll admit to having stolen a few times in real life: “All it takes is a willingness to just get up off your lazy asses and just do it.”
I did not follow that with throwing a stack of papers into the air, but believe me, I was tempted.
28. ‘Ruthless People’ (1986)
This movie is just hilarious. Danny DeVito is planning to kill his annoying wife, Bette Midler, just as kidnappers come along and take her away. They demand ransom or she’s dead. Problem solved, right? Nope. The kidnappers realize she’s more than they can handle, prompting them to drop the price, and prompting DeVito to dare them to kill her.
One of my all-time favorite movie lines comes when Middler learns she’s been “marked down:” weeping, she says, “I’ve been kidnapped by K Mart.”
29. ‘Seems Like Old Times’ (1980)
Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase already appeared together in another title on the Patrick’s 100 Movies list, Foul Play, and they’re together again in this film, written by Neil Simon. Chase is Hawn’s ex, Hawn is a defense attorney, her new husband is about to be appointed attorney general, and Chase is forced to rob a bank at gunpoint by kidnappers. This movie is full of Simon’s snappy dialog and lots of goofiness, but it’s great fun.
30. ‘Dr. Strangelove (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)’ (1964)
Ironically, two movies about World War III made their debut in 1964. The other was Fail-Safe, which I like a lot better than this one. But when you have Peter Sellers playing multiple roles including a president who admonishes colleagues by saying, “You can’t fight in here, this is a war room!” and none other than Slim Pickens riding a bomb to the ground like he’s on a bucking bronco, it has to place somewhere on the list.
That’s my latest 10 from the Patrick’s 100 Movies list.