Greatest Comedy Films #5 &#4

#5 Arsenic & Old Lace

If you think your family is a handful, try being Mortimer Brewster. The insane uncle who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt is the sanest one of the bunch. You’ve got the homicidal brother. And the mass murdering old aunts. And everyone else in the neighborhood also appears to be a bit off.

When most of us think of Cary Grant comedy we usually have Grant in mind as the debonair straight man who plays off the insanity of the rest of the cast. In this case a young Cary Grant, while his character is certainly more mentally stable than everyone else in the movie, the insane troupe is calm and unaffected by their mass insanity while Grant as the sane man in a group of crazies is bouncing off the walls trying to bring order to a situation that has none. As seen by Grant’s facial features here…

Starting with this film I find the rest of this list may cause severe problems to breath from laughing to hard.

#4 Blazing Saddles

“A sheriff! But law and order is the last thing I want. Wait a minute… maybe I could turn this thing into my advantage. If I could find a sheriff who so offends the citizens of Rock Ridge that his very appearance would drive them out of town. But where would I find such a man? Why am I asking you? “

Only Mel Brook could come with lines of racist slurs that only humiliate the racists. “…but we don’t want the Irish!” The sad thing as vicious a critique of racism as this movie is, you could never make it today.  The politically correct mores of modern society would never let the slurs of this film be made, despite the fact that they are being aimed at humiliating those who use such words.

Rivaled only by Young Frankenstein (which I’ve already discussed) this is probably Mel Brook’s funniest film. If this movie has one flaw, it is the ending which, I think we all admit is a little forced. But even that can’t dim the surreal ingenius/ingenious of Kahn’s bizaare/bizarre stage number or Sherriff Bart holding himself hostage. There are few scenes in this film which aren’t hilarious.


…And Methodists! …?

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1 Comment

Filed under Art, Humor, Movies

One response to “Greatest Comedy Films #5 &#4

  1. Cary Grant may be one of the most under appreciated comedic actors of all time!

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