Top 10 Old American Comedies

A real comedy movie should be at the same time the focus of humor, veiled morality, unpredictable plots and charismatic characters. All these components are present in the old funny American comedies. We bring to your attention a selection of the best films in this category.

Great Dictator (1940)

A wonderful old American comedy of the 40s is a political satire on Hitler’s Nazism, performed by the inimitable Charlie Chaplin. The protagonist of the picture is a Jewish barber. During the war, he fights in the military unit of his homeland, the fictional state of Tomania. In battle, the hero is injured, due to which he loses his memory, and is treated for a long time in the hospital.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

After the end of the war in Tomania, the anti-Semitic dictator Adenoid Hinkel comes to power, who creates uniform chaos. An unsuspecting barber leaves the hospital and tries to return to his former peaceful life. The matter is complicated by the fact that the dictator Hinkel hates the Jews, but outwardly he is very similar to that same Jewish barber…

Original title:
The Great Dictator

Cast:
Charles Chaplin, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 8.5

Age limit:
0+

To be or not to be (1942)

The action of one of the best anti-war and anti-fascist comedies takes place in pre-war Poland and after its occupation by the Nazis. Joseph and his wife Maria serve as actors in the theater. They are forbidden to stage the anti-Hitler play “Gestapo”, and the troupe has to play “Hamlet”. The main role in the play goes to Joseph.

While the hero in the guise of the Prince of Denmark delivers the famous monologue from the stage, the handsome young pilot gets up and leaves the hall. Joseph, offended by this behavior of the viewer, does not know that Hamlet’s speech is a kind of password. It means that Maria’s dressing room is free, and the admirer can privately explain her feelings to her.

Original title:
To Be or Not to Be

Cast:
Carol Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 8.2

Age limit:
16+

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

According to the plot of the good old American comedy, old friends and singers, Dorothy and Lorelei, go on tour in Paris. The girls are actively looking for guys, despite the fact that Lorelei is already engaged to the millionaire Gus. The guy’s father suspects his future daughter-in-law of infidelity and sends the best private detective after the girl.

It doesn’t take long for a sly American detective to get hold of compromising evidence. Now the father of the rich man has a firm belief that the cunning Lorelei swindled Gus for the sole purpose of taking possession of his money. But the story doesn’t end there…

Original title:
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Cast:
Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Coburn

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.2

Age limit:
16+

Only Girls in Jazz (1959)

The 1950s film about two young Chicago musicians, Joe and Jerry, continues the list of the best old American comedies. Having become accidental witnesses of a gangster shootout, the guys rush on the run across the country. To disguise, the characters dress up as women and easily join the girl’s jazz band.

Now they are charming Daphne and Josephine. At first, everything goes well, but soon both heroes of the comedy get entangled in endless dressing up and changing images. Suddenly, mafiosi who know the musicians by sight arrive at the hotel where the jazz band is performing. Now the American mafia begins to hunt for the “beauties”.

Original title:
Some Like It Hot

Cast:
Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.5, IMDb – 8.2

Age limit:
12+

The Producers (1968)

The hero of one of the best comedies of the 60s is the not-so-lucky Broadway musical producer Max Białystok. He frantically searches for a way to bail water out of the leaking and sinking boat of his business.

Max seeks help from an accountant who proposes a dubious transaction. The essence of the scam is to stage a deliberately failed musical, writing off a large amount of money allegedly for its production. However, the play is unexpectedly successful, and the unfortunate producer sees the only way out: to blow up the theater.

Original title:
The Producers

Cast:
Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Kenneth Mars

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.7

Age limit:
12+

Military Field Hospital M.E.Sh. (1969)

Classic old comedy in the style of black humor on the theme of the US war with Korea. Two military surgeons, Captains Pierce and Forrest, arrive on assignment at a tented field hospital. Immediately, young American doctors are immersed in the work of their specialty.

At the same time, both do not forget to recklessly hooligan, flirt with nurses, make fun of each other and even play golf. It seems to newly arrived patients that they are not in a hospital, but in a resort. With the help of inappropriate behavior, the heroes of the comedy expect to escape from the harsh reality and return home in their right mind.

Original title:
MASH

Starring :
Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.6

Age limit:
16+

What’s the matter, doc? (1972)

This old American comedy takes place in one of the best hotels in San Francisco, where there is a mess with suitcases. In one of them are jewelry, in the other – secret documents, in the third – the personal belongings of the cheeky girl Judy, and in the fourth – stones from the excavations.

As a result, the interests of the American intelligence services, the gang, the owner of the stones, Dr. Bannister and Judy intersect. Each of the parties wants to get the contents of the bag of interest to it at any cost. The comical situation is that all four travel bags are indistinguishable in appearance.

Original Title :
What’s Up, Doc?

Cast:
Barbra Streisand, Ryan O’Neill, Madeline Kahn

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.8

Age limit:
0+

Young Frankenstein (1974)

The hero of this comedy, Frederick Frankenstein, is the grandson of the infamous Dr. Frankenstein. He is very ashamed of his kinship and even tries to pronounce his last name as “Frankestine”. However, Fred cannot give up his grandfather’s estate inheritance and travels to Transylvania.

In the dungeons of the castle, he discovers old records and with their help revives the corpse stolen from the cemetery. Problems begin when the monster breaks free – it turns out that he is sexually active and wants love.

Original title:
Young Frankenstein

Cast:
Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 8.0

Age limit:
16+

Overboard (1987)

The main character of this comedy Joanna Staton is a young beautiful millionaire with quirks. The rich woman is resting on a grand scale – she travels the world on her luxury yacht. During the voyage, while in a small American town, the girl hires local carpenter Dean Proffit to do carpentry work on the ship.

Capricious Joanna was not satisfied with the quality of what was done, and the unfortunate Dean was literally thrown overboard. That same night, Staton herself accidentally ended up overboard. She lost her memory, and her beloved yacht sailed away without a mistress. Proffit decides to take revenge on the harmful rich woman and invents a legend that she is his wife and mother of four children.

Original title:
Overboard

Starring :
Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Edward Herrmann

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 6.9

Age limit:
12+

A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

According to the plot of this old American comedy of the 80s, an international team of two Englishmen and two Americans makes a daring robbery on the office of a London jewelry company. Three of the robbers are admirers of Wanda Gershits and consider themselves her lovers.

Alien to sentimentality, Wanda wants to appropriate all the “honestly earned” amount for herself, and immediately surrenders the leader of the gang, George, to the police. However, he manages to hide the loot before the arrest. The tireless Wanda continues to set up love nets in search of prey, but she herself falls into one of them.

Original title:
A Fish Called Wanda

Cast:
John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.6

Age limit:
16+

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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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