Friday, November 12, 2010

The Friday Five

The holiday season is just around the corner. With the stress of cleaning, preparing meals, shopping for the perfect gift, and dealing with in-laws, family and outlaws, sometimes it's tough to keep a sense of humor.  Five movies that crack me up no matter how many times I've seen them:

1. The Russians are Coming, The Russians Are Coming,  A Soviet submarine runs aground off theNew England coast. Misunderstanding and hilarity ensue as the Soviet landing party tries to find a boat to free the sub and the town residents are under the impression they are under a full blow attack. Wonderful cast with Carl Reiner, Alan Arkin, Brian Keith, Theodore Bikel and Paul Ford. The movie is especially funny as there are no subtitles when the Soviets speak to each other, but there are enough cues for the audience to easily follow along.

2. Young Frankenstein. The grandson of the infamous Dr. Frankenstein tries to live down his family's repuation and fulfill his destiny. A Mel Brooks classic. Just looking at Gene Wilder (Frankenstein) is enough to reduce me to fits of giggles. Add Marty Feldman, Madeleine Kahn, and Peter Boyle as The Monster and prepare to laugh until your face hurts.

3.  Coneheads Beldar and Prymatt an alien couple from planet Remulak on an invasion scouting mission to Earth become stranded. In their own way, they try to blend in and settle for a comfortable life on Earth. Until the INS and the invasion force from their home planet catch up with them. Dan Akroyd and Jane Curtin

4. Some Like It Hot. Musicians Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon witness a mob hit. The only way they can escape is to disguise themselves as women and join an All Girl Band. The plan goes well until Tony Curtis falls for Sugar (Marilyn Monroe) and the millionaire (Joe E. Brown) tries to woo Jack Lemmon. Both Curtis and Lemmon are superb as they try to negotiate girdles, high heels, and a feminine walk while trying to maintain their secret.

5. Arsenic and Old Lace Poor newly married Mortimer (Cary Grant) just wants to take his bride and go on the honeymoon. Before any happily ever after, Mortimer must deal with his two dotty aunties who put lonley old gentleman out of their misery, a brother who thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt, and the return of Johnny an evil thug of a brother who resembles Boris Karloff.  The Karloff schtick is a riot as is Grant's performance from sane to nearly being a candidate for The Happy Dale Rest Home.

Do you have a comedy I can add to my list? By the way, these would make great holiday gifts.


  1. I watch Arsenic and Old Lace probably three times a year and it never looses its charm-- hilarious!
    I showed it to a high school group and they really dug it too.

    Other great comedies which hold up to repeat viewings;

    Duck Soup (1933) Marx Bros in top form
    His Girl Friday (1940) Cary Grant
    Bringing Up Baby (1938) Cary Grant--very much in the spirit of Arsenic and Old Lace
    My Favorite Brunette (1947) Bob Hope
    Ghost Breakers (1940) Bob Hope on a haunted island
    Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
    Who Done It? (1942) Abbott & Costello
    Batman (1966) Adam West Feature Film
    The Ghost and Mister Chicken (1966) Don Knotts
    Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985) A boy and his bike from Tim Burton.

  2. A&OL is a favorite. Also, Bringing Up Baby,

  3. How have I never seen A&OL? Must rent it.

    I have a movie that is a total stress reliever for me. It's an old Disney called The North Avenue Irregulars. It's so completely silly that I can escape for 90 mins and come out with a smile.