Donna's Cool Movies
Classic Comedy Movies


Bob Hope The Tribute Collection

Bob Hope - The Tribute Collection: The Road Show Series (The Road to Morocco/The Road to Singapore/The Road to Utopia/The Road to Zanzibar)

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4 Disc set. The Road to Morocco, The Road to Singapore, The Road to Utopia, The Road to Zanzibar

-from Amazon.com website


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High Society

High Society (1956)
Starring: Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly
Director: Charles Walters

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MGM's bold idea to remake George Cukor's Oscar-winning upperclass romantic farce, The Philadelphia Story, into a star-studded, Technicolor musical with Cole Porter tunes somehow works splendidly and remains an underrated gem. Even the plot and character names--and some bits of dialogue--all remain the same as the original. Crooning Bing Crosby replaces Cary Grant as the wealthy ex-husband trying to win back his soon-to-be-remarried ex-wife, spoiled ice queen Tracy Lord (Grace Kelly, stunning and aloof in her last film role, originated in the earlier comedy by Katherine Hepburn). Unlike Grant, however, Crosby has jazz great Louis Armstrong, playing himself, in his corner for quixotic persuasion. Frank Sinatra (cocky in James Stewart's former role) and Celeste Holm add support as the nosy reporters covering, and subsequently complicating, the upcoming wedding. Sure, High Society lacks the original's witty satire, sarcasm, and character complexity; but it's assuredly paced and wonderfully acted, and contains enough romantic chemistry to keep the plot engaging. And then there's the music. Unlike the grandiose production numbers of many '40s and '50s musicals, High Society's musical sequences are considerably low-key and intimate, focusing on Porter's lyrical content, and the style in which it's delivered by the charismatic performers. Armstrong kicks the film off in telling style: he sings the title track, a calypso tune outlining the plot like a Greek chorus, not as an elaborately choreographed song-and-dance number, but instead stuffed claustrophobically in the back of a limousine with his jazz band. Other musical standouts include Sinatra and Crosby playfully tossing barbs during "Well, Did You Evah?"; Crosby and Armstrong teaming up for an energetic clash of styles in "Now You Has Jazz"; the two soaring, archetypal ballads by the leads--Crosby's "I Love You, Samantha" and Sinatra's superior "You're Sensational"; and, finally, the satirical Sinatra/Holm duet, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?," the closest High Society ever comes to social or class commentary.
-from Amazon.com website


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The Ghost and Mrs Muir

The Ghost and Mrs Muir (1947)
Starring: Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

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Joseph Mankiewicz's moody classic is less ghost story than romantic fantasy, a handsome 1947 drama of impossible love set on the picturesque turn-of-the-century New England coast. Independent young widow Lucy Muir (the luminous Gene Tierney), desperate to escape her uptight in-laws, falls in love with a grand seaside house and moves in, only to discover the cantankerous ghost of the hot-tempered Captain Gregg (a histrionically flamboyant performance by Rex Harrison). Lucy refuses to let the bombastic captain frighten her away, earning his respect, his friendship, and later his love. They team up to turn the captain's salty memoirs into a bestseller, but as his affection grows he fades away, leaving Lucy free to undertake a more worldly suitor, notably a charismatic children's author (George Sanders at his smarmy smoothest) with his own guarded secret. Charles Lang's melancholy black-and-white photography and Bernard Herrmann's haunting score set the tone for this sublime adult drama, and Tierney delivers one of her most understated performances as the resolute Mrs. Muir. Mankiewicz turns this ghost story into a refreshingly mature and down-to-earth romance.
-from Amazon.com website


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Send Me No Flowers

Send Me No Flowers (1964)
Starring: Rock Hudson, Doris Day
Director: Norman Jewison

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George Kimball (Rock Hudson) is a hopeless hypochondriac who, after overhearing his doctor speaking with a specialist about another of his patients, believes he 'could go at any minute'. He convinces his best friend and neighbor Arnold Nash(Tony Randall) of his impending demise causing Arnold to immediately immerse himself in a drunken stupor. Deciding to keep his coming death from his wife Judy (Doris Day), George and Arnold set out to find a new husband for her. Enter Burt Powers (Clint Walker). George is trying to convince Judy that her old school flame is the best thing in the world. When Judy sees George being kissed by a newly divorced woman she immediately jumps to the wrong conclusion. To calm her down George is forced to tell her of his condition. The fun of this movie is watching Rock dig deeper and deeper into trouble. Doris Day's character completely belives her beloved is near death and will go to any length to help him. That is, until she learns the truth! Paul Lynde who appears as a well-meaning funeral director is a hoot! He brings a whole new element of funny into the film.
-from Amazon.com website


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Walk Don't Run

Walk Don't Run (1966)
Starring: Cary Grant, Samantha Eggar
Director: Charles Walters

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This extraordinarily sweet--but thankfully not sappy--film proves once and for all that Cary Grant was devastating, period. Young, mature, or in his golden years. The reason Ian Fleming modeled James Bond after Grant is startlingly clear. Grant was 62 when this film, set during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, was made. Grant plays Sir William Rutland, who is caught in the crowded rush--without a place to stay. He finds himself subletting an apartment along with Christine Easton (Samantha Eggar), who's in town to be near her fiancÚ, a British diplomat. Also sharing their tight quarters is Olympic competitor Steve Davis (Jim Hutton), who's evasive about his sport. Soon Sir William, a distinguished businessman, finds himself playing Cupid to his young housemates. The movie is a comedy of clever words, of misunderstandings, and, surprisingly, of physical humor. Grant, stripping down to boxers and a T-shirt, takes to the Tokyo streets, participating in "the event" to the incredulity of those around him and to the amusement of the audience. It's a priceless and very funny scene--and the film is full of such joys. Grant lived another 20 years, but this was his final film and a fine cheerio it is indeed.
-from Amazon.com website


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American Grafitti Collectors Edition

American Grafitti Collectors Edition (1973)
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard
Director: George Lucas

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Here's how critic Roger Ebert described the unique and lasting value of George Lucas's 1973 box-office hit, American Graffiti: "[It's] not only a great movie but a brilliant work of historical fiction; no sociological treatise could duplicate the movie's success in remembering exactly how it was to be alive at that cultural instant." The time to which Ebert and the film refers is the summer of 1962, and American Graffiti captures the look, feel, and sound of that era by chronicling one memorable night in the lives of several young Californians on the cusp of adulthood. (In essence, Lucas was making a semiautobiographical tribute to his own days as a hot-rod cruiser, and the film's phenomenal success paved the way for Star Wars.) The action is propelled by the music of Wolfman Jack's rock & roll radio show--a soundtrack of pop hits that would become as popular as the film itself. As Lucas develops several character subplots, American Graffiti becomes a flawless time capsule of meticulously re-created memory, as authentic as a documentary and vividly realized through innovative use of cinematography and sound. The once-in-a-lifetime ensemble cast members inhabit their roles so fully that they don't seem like actors at all, comprising a who's who of performers--some of whom went on to stellar careers--including Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams, Mackenzie Phillips, Charles Martin Smith, Candy Clark, and Paul Le Mat. A true American classic, the film ranks No. 77 on the American Film Institute's list of all-time greatest American movies.
-from Amazon.com website


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