When people hear that I love classic movies, they ask me what my favorite film of all time is. For anyone who is a classic cinema lover, you know that it is not a simple question. A person’s mind begins to reel as they recount which movies have left a lasting impression on them. One then must mull over which genre they must pick from in addition to a specific era. Movies that existed from a pre-code era are drastically different that films created in the 1940s. Even when I have it limited to a specific genre, I always end up having a top three or five. It is impossible for me to pick one quintessential BEST film. One pattern I have come across is that lesser known films can be the greatest gems. Everyone has heard of the film Some Like it Hot, but few have heard of We’re No Angels (1955) and It All Came True (two incredibly well-done comedies). Therefore, I am going to talk about some of my personal favorite classic comedies of all time.
We’re No Angels (1955)
This terrific film features such notable key players as Humphrey Bogart, Ray Aldo, Peter Ustinov and Joan Bennett. It focuses on the activities of three escaped convicts and how they come to be an unlikely source of guidance for a family is disarray.
It All Came True (1940)
This cute comedy stars Ann Sheridan, Humphrey Bogart and Zasu Pitts. See what happens when a gangster in hiding ends up with two new mother figures and tries to help them with their financial crisis.
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957)
Tony Randall, Jayne Mansfield, Betsy Drake, and Joan Blondell star in this fabulous comedy. It plays up how the over night stardom via paparazzi can completely overhaul one’s life.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe star in one of the best comedies of the past century. When two musicians witness the mob murder (Spatz is the murderer) of Toothpick Charlie, the flee to Florida with an all-girl band. Dressing up as women, Curtis and Lemmon get a unique and comical view of how the other sex lives.
My Man Godfrey (1936)
William Powell and Carole Lombard make comedy magic on the screen. Lombard plays a scatter-brained, spoiled socialite who falls in love with Powell, whom she believes is a ‘lost man,’ and hires to be the family butler.
The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)
Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan and Monty Woolley bring to life a comedy of sarcastic proportions. Woolley plays Sheridan Whiteside, an ego-centric writer/speaker whose injury causes him to take up residence with an unsuspecting family.
No film lover will ever have the same favorites as others who share the same passion. However, by sharing our own personal favorites maybe we can help others to expand their horizons and discover new films!