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Classic Comedy Films on DVD
What characteristics define the Comedy movie? Visit the “Film Genres” page on the American Movie Classics (AMC) web site to find out!
The General by
Call Number: PN 1995.75 .G46 2008
Publication Date: Produced 1926; DVD released 2008
Rejected by the Confederate army and taken for a coward by his beloved Annabelle Lee, young Johnny Gray is given a chance to redeem himself when Yankee spies steal his cherished locomotive. Johnny wages a one-man war against hijackers, an errant cannon, and the unpredictable hand of fate, while roaring along the iron rails in this early silent film featuring Buster Keaton's death-defying stunts.
Night at the Opera by
Call Number: PN 1995.9 .C55 N53 2004
Publication Date: Produced 1935; DVD released 2004
In this Marx Brothers classic, Mr. Driftwood tries to introduce Mrs. Claypool into society by arranging for her to donate money to the New York Opera Company. The company's director decides to use the dough to sign Rudolf Lassparri, one of Italy's best tenors. Trying to keep his finger in the pie, Driftwood sets out to sign Lassparri himself, only to wind up signing another man by mistake. Add Rosa, the mutual love interest of the two singers, and you have a thoroughly entertaining film. This movie contains the now-infamous "stateroom" scene.
Modern Times by
Call Number: PN 1995.9 .C55 M63 2003
Publication Date: Produced 1936; DVD released 2003
Subjected to the infernal production rate of the factory, a model worker suddenly has a nervous breakdown and goes mad. From hospital, to prison, to unemployment, the Little Tramp gets caught up in the sprockets and cogs of modern industrialization. That is, until he comes across a beautiful orphaned young woman, whom he helps to escape from the police.
Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Love the Bomb by
Call Number: PN 1997 .A23 D7275 2001
Publication Date: Produced 1963; DVD released 2001
In this darkly satirical and absurdist film, the U.S. president and his military advisors struggle ineptly to avert a holocaust after a psychotic Air Force general launches a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, because he fears the Russians are poisoning the American water supply. Peter Sellers portrays three characters, and George C. Scott turns in a comic performance that goes against every other type he played throughout his career.
The Graduate by
Call Number: PN 1997 .G73 1999
Publication Date: Produced 1967; DVD released 1999
A recent college graduate from an affluent family comes of age, and finds himself being led into an affair with both the wife -- and the daughter -- of his father's business partner. Simon & Garfunkel's music provides the soundtrack.
The Odd Couple by
Call Number: PS 3537 .I663 O33 2006
Publication Date: Produced 1967; DVD released 2006
When fussy Felix becomes suicidal over his impending divorce, he accepts an offer to move in with his best friend, messy Oscar. To try to get Felix out of his funk, Oscar arranges a double date with two wacky neighbors. Naturally the plan backfires. Will their friendship survive?
The Producers by
Call Number: PN 1997 .P76 B7 2003
Publication Date: Produced 1968; DVD released 2003
Max Bialystock, a seedy, has-been Broadway producer, ekes out a living by charming little old ladies into investing in his disastrous productions. When neurotic accountant Leo Bloom arrives to check the books on Max's latest fiasco, he finds a $2,000 discrepancy and naively mentions that a producer could make a killing by finding a sure-fire flop, over-financing it, and then pocketing the remainder of the investors' money after the show closes. Max becomes wildly excited and cons the reluctant Bloom into becoming his partner in producing the worst play in theatrical history. What could go wrong?
Blazing Saddles by
Call Number: PN 1997 .B6714 2004
Publication Date: Produced 1974; DVD released 2004
This satirical spoof of Western movies is loaded with inside jokes, anachronisms, toilet humor, and the director's favorite actors performing the broadest form of burlesque comedy. To drive away the residents of Rock Ridge, a frontier town located where a proposed railroad will be built, the evil land speculator hires a Black man to serve as sheriff. Although the racist people are resistant at first, they realize that the sheriff and his drunken gunslinger buddy are the only thing standing between them and the gang of thugs coming to chase them off of their land.
Monty Python & the Holy Grail by
Call Number: PN 1995.9 .C55 M66 2005
Publication Date: Produced 1974; DVD released 2005
This hilarious send-up of the grim reality of the Middle Ages is told through the story of King Arthur by the Monty Python comedy troupe. When the mythical king of the Britons leads his knights on a quest for the Holy Grail, they face an array of horrors, including a persistent Black Knight, a three-headed giant, a cadre of shrubbery-challenged soldiers, the perilous Castle Anthrax, a killer rabbit, a house of virgins, and, of course, rude Frenchmen.
The Gods Must Be Crazy by
Call Number: PN 1997.9 .A43 G72 2004
Publication Date: Produced 1980; DVD released 2004
An African tribesman discovers an empty Coke bottle in the middle of the desert, which he believes is a gift from the gods. The "gift" proves to be more of a curse than a blessing when his village begins to fight over it and eventually uses it as a weapon. To keep the peace, the tribesman decides to take the bottle to "the end of the earth" and throw it back to the gods.
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Big Screen Comedies of Mel Brooks by
Call Number: PN 2287 .B695 C75 2002
Publication Date: 2002
Mel Brooks is celebrated as one of Hollywood's funniest men. His films do have a tendency to turn out much like the jokes that comprise them: hit-or-miss, one minute shoot-the-moon brilliant and the next minute well short of laughs. This book provides a thorough synopsis and thematic analysis for each of these 12 films, along with complete cast and production credits: The Producers, The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety, History of the World: Part 1, To Be or Not to Be, Spaceballs, Life Stinks, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and Dracula: Dead and Loving It.
Comedy Is a Man in Trouble: Slapstick in American Movies by
Call Number: PN 1995.9 .C55 D35 2000
Publication Date: 2000
This book presents a lively, accessible, and lavishly illustrated look at a form of comedy that has been expanded and refashioned in film by everyone from W. C. Fields and Marion Davies to Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. Here is not only an amusing look at film comedy history, but an insight into the human condition and what causes us to laugh.
Early Charlie Chaplin: The Artist as Apprentice at Keystone Studios by
Call Number: PN 2287 .C5 N455 2012
Publication Date: 2012
Charlie Chaplin produced some of the greatest films of all time, but before making a name for himself, he first developed his acting, writing, and directing skills at Keystone Studios. Mack Sennett, who attended one of Chaplin's music hall shows, thought the entertainer would be a good fit at his newly established studio, where they specialized in the roughhouse slapstick Chaplin performed on stage. Intrigued with the idea of preserving comedy on film, Chaplin began working for Sennett in 1913. While some of the first efforts were crudely filmed, they allowed Chaplin to understand the rudiments of performing for the camera.
Reeling With Laughter: American Film Comedies From Anarchy to Mockumentary by
Call Number: PN 1995.9 .C55 T83 2012
Publication Date: 2012
Film comedy has been around as long as cinema itself. Over the years, particular forms of the genre have emerged, evolved, and spawned other branches of comedy. While these subgenres may vary in their approach to humor, all of them have the same goal: amusing audiences. In this book, the author examines some of the most enjoyable comic movies of all time, exploring each subgenre through a representative film.