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So This Is Washington (1943)

3/5 (1)

“So This Is Washington” is a 1943 comedy film directed by Ray McCarey and starring Chester Lauck, Norris Goff, and Alan Mowbray.

The film follows the misadventures of radio stars Lum and Abner (Lauck and Goff), who travel from their small town of Pine Ridge, Arkansas to Washington D.C. to present a petition to their congressman. Along the way, they get caught up in a series of comical situations, including mistakenly believing they have been recruited as spies, accidentally disrupting a congressional hearing, and accidentally becoming the center of a political scandal.

Despite their bumbling ways, Lum and Abner eventually succeed in presenting their petition and making their voices heard in Washington D.C. Along the way, they also learn valuable lessons about the importance of democracy, civic engagement, and standing up for what they believe in.

The film was released during World War II and served as both a patriotic comedy and a commentary on the importance of grassroots democracy and civic participation. It was well-received by audiences and critics alike and remains a popular classic comedy film today.

Directors:
Ray McCarey

Writer:
Roswell Rogers, Edward James, Leonard Praskins

Stars:
Chester Lauck, Norris Goff, Alan Mowbray

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Utopia (1951)

3/5 (1)

“Atoll K” is a comedy film released in 1951, also known as “Utopia” or “Robinson Crusoeland”. The movie stars the famous comedy duo of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, in their final film together.

The story follows the adventures of Stan and Ollie as they inherit a small island in the Pacific and set sail to claim their new property. Along with them on the journey are a motley crew of characters, including a rich woman, a scientist, and a scheming businessman.

After a series of mishaps and adventures, the group finally arrives on the island, only to find that it is sinking due to volcanic activity. In a hilarious turn of events, they decide to build a new civilization on top of the sinking island, complete with a hotel, a nightclub, and a casino.

Despite their best efforts, things go awry as the island continues to sink, and they are forced to find a way to save themselves and their guests. The film is a lighthearted and entertaining comedy, with plenty of laughs and endearing performances from Laurel and Hardy.

“Atoll K” is a fitting farewell to one of the greatest comedy partnerships in film history, and is sure to delight fans of Laurel and Hardy’s unique brand of humor.

Directors:
Léo Joannon, John Berry, Alfred J. Goulding

Writer:
Monte Collins, Léo Joannon, John D. Klorer

Stars:
Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Suzy Delair

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Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven (1948)

3/5 (1)

“Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven” is a musical comedy film released in 1948. The movie follows the story of Danny (played by Guy Madison), a young man from Texas who dreams of becoming a successful singer in New York City.

Danny arrives in Brooklyn with nothing but his guitar and his cowboy hat and is immediately taken in by a friendly Italian-American family who live above a neighborhood bar. There, he meets and falls in love with Anne (played by Diana Lynn), the daughter of the family.

However, Danny’s dreams of musical success are threatened by a scheming nightclub owner who tries to steal his songs and make them his own. With the help of his new friends, Danny sets out to expose the truth and fulfill his musical dreams.

The film is a lively and fun musical, with plenty of catchy songs and entertaining dance numbers. It also offers a charming portrayal of the diverse communities and cultures that make up Brooklyn, and the way in which they come together to support each other and pursue their dreams.

Overall, “Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven” is a delightful and uplifting film that is sure to delight fans of classic musicals and romantic comedies.

Directors:
William Castle

Writer:
Barry Benefield, Lewis Meltzer

Stars:
Guy Madison, Diana Lynn, James Dunn

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Love Island (1952)

3/5 (1)

“Love Island” is a romantic comedy film released in 1952. The film follows the story of Jim Trevor (played by Peter Lawford), a wealthy American businessman who is on a business trip to England. During his stay, he meets and falls in love with a beautiful young woman named Mae Doyle (played by Eva Bartok) who works as a hotel chambermaid.

Despite their different social backgrounds and the disapproval of Mae’s boss, Jim and Mae embark on a whirlwind romance and decide to get married. However, their plans are complicated by the arrival of Jim’s business associate, who is determined to put a stop to their relationship and has his own designs on Mae.

As Jim and Mae try to navigate their relationship and overcome the obstacles in their way, they are aided by a cast of colorful characters, including a charming hotel manager, a cheeky bellboy, and a wise old bartender.

The film is a delightful and light-hearted romantic comedy, with plenty of laughs and charming performances from the cast. It also offers a glimpse into the social mores and class divides of post-war Britain and America, and the challenges faced by couples from different backgrounds trying to make a life together. Overall, “Love Island” is a fun and enjoyable film that is sure to delight fans of classic romantic comedies.

Directors:
Bud Pollard

Writer:
John E. Godson, Daniel Kusell

Stars:
Paul Valentine, Eva Gabor, Malcolm Lee Beggs

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One Body Too Many (1944)

4/5 (2)

“One Body Too Many” is a comedy-mystery movie released in 1944. The film follows the adventures of a timid insurance salesman named Albert Tuttle (played by Jack Haley) who visits an old mansion to deliver a large insurance policy to a wealthy millionaire named Cyrus J. Rutherford.

However, upon arriving at the mansion, Tuttle discovers that Rutherford has been murdered and his body has gone missing. The butler of the mansion, played by Bela Lugosi, tells Tuttle that he must keep the murder a secret and find the body before the police do.

Tuttle becomes embroiled in a web of mystery as he meets a cast of eccentric characters who may have had motives to kill Rutherford, including his greedy relatives, his beautiful secretary, and a mysterious woman who claims to be a medium.

As Tuttle tries to solve the murder mystery, he gets into all sorts of slapstick situations and comedic misunderstandings. The film culminates in a dramatic and hilarious finale, with Tuttle finally discovering the identity of the killer and saving the day.

Overall, “One Body Too Many” is a charming and entertaining film that blends comedy and mystery in a unique way, and features a strong cast of talented actors.

Directors:
Frank McDonald

Writer:
Winston Miller, Maxwell Shane

Stars:
Jack Haley, Jean Parker, Bela Lugosi

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Miss London Ltd. (1943)

3/5 (1)

“Miss London Ltd.” is a British musical comedy film released in 1943, directed by Val Guest and starring Ronald Shiner, Arthur Askey, and Anne Shelton.

The film is set in wartime London, where the Miss London Ltd. beauty contest is taking place. The contest is being held to raise funds for charity, and the winner will receive a prize of £25,000. The contest is hosted by Arthur Goodbody (Arthur Askey), a radio presenter who is also the master of ceremonies for the contest.

The contestants include a diverse group of young women, each with their own unique backgrounds and personalities. One of them, Peggy (Anne Shelton), is a talented singer who catches the eye of Arthur. However, Peggy’s boyfriend, a soldier named Tommy (Max Bacon), is also in London on leave, and he is not pleased to see her in the contest.

As the contest progresses, a series of mishaps and misunderstandings ensue, leading to chaos both onstage and off. Meanwhile, Arthur and Peggy grow closer, but their budding romance is threatened by the presence of Tommy, as well as by the scheming of a rival contestant, Trixie (Evelyn Dall).

In the end, the winner of the contest is announced, and Arthur and Peggy are able to reconcile and perform a duet together. The film ends on a high note, with the contestants and audience celebrating the success of the contest and the triumph of love over adversity.

Directors:
Val Guest

Writer:
Marriott Edgar, Val Guest

Stars:
Arthur Askey, Evelyn Dall, Anne Shelton

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Affairs of Cappy Ricks (1937)

3/5 (1)

“The Affairs of Cappy Ricks” is a comedy film released in 1937, directed by Ralph Staub and based on a series of stories by Peter B. Kyne. The film tells the story of Cappy Ricks, a wealthy shipbuilder who is forced to take a vacation due to his failing health.

While on vacation, Cappy’s granddaughter, Alice, convinces him to invest in a struggling shipping company run by her boyfriend, Matt Peasley. Cappy reluctantly agrees, but soon finds himself embroiled in a series of misadventures as he tries to help Peasley save his company from bankruptcy.

The film features a talented cast, including Walter Brennan as Cappy Ricks, Mary Brian as Alice, and Lyle Talbot as Matt Peasley. It also includes several comedic set pieces, such as a wild boat race and a hilarious scene in which Cappy accidentally starts a fire in a hotel.

Overall, “The Affairs of Cappy Ricks” is a lighthearted and entertaining comedy that explores themes of family, loyalty, and the importance of hard work. Its blend of humor, drama, and romance make it a classic of the genre.

Directors:
Ralph Staub

Writer:
Peter B. Kyne, Lester Cole

Stars:
Walter Brennan, Mary Brian, Lyle Talbot

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The Gorilla (1939)

3/5 (1)

“The Gorilla” is a horror-comedy film released in 1939, directed by Allan Dwan and based on a play by Ralph Spence. The film tells the story of a wealthy family that hires a detective to investigate a series of mysterious events in their mansion.

The family is convinced that a notorious killer known as “The Gorilla” is on the loose and is planning to strike at their home. The detective, played by the popular comedian The Ritz Brothers, arrives to investigate and discovers a cast of eccentric characters, including a butler with a dark past, a creepy doctor, and a mysterious woman with a hidden agenda.

As the detective and the family try to solve the mystery of the gorilla, they are also plagued by other strange occurrences, including disappearing money and eerie noises in the night. The film builds to a suspenseful climax, as the detective tries to outsmart the gorilla and save the family from danger.

The film features a talented cast, including Bela Lugosi as the creepy butler, Lionel Atwill as the doctor, and Patsy Kelly as a bumbling maid. The Ritz Brothers provide the film’s comedic moments with their trademark slapstick humor.

Overall, “The Gorilla” is a fun and entertaining film that combines elements of horror, mystery, and comedy. Its mix of suspenseful moments and comedic hijinks make it a classic of the genre.

Directors:
Allan Dwan

Writer:
Ralph Spence, Rian James, Sid Silvers

Stars:
The Ritz Brothers, Jimmy Ritz, Harry Ritz

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Li’l Abner (1940)

3/5 (1)

“Li’l Abner” is a musical comedy film released in 1940, directed by Albert S. Rogell and based on the popular comic strip of the same name by Al Capp. The film tells the story of Abner Yokum, a lazy but lovable hillbilly who lives in the small town of Dogpatch, USA.

The plot centers around the town’s efforts to attract a government contract for a new atomic bomb testing site, which will bring in much-needed jobs and money. However, the corrupt General Bullmoose and his assistant, Appassionata Von Climax, are also vying for the contract and will stop at nothing to get it.

Meanwhile, Abner falls in love with Daisy Mae Scragg, a beautiful young woman who is also being pursued by the wealthy and arrogant Stupefyin’ Jones. The two men engage in a hilarious battle for Daisy Mae’s affections, culminating in a climactic chase scene through the streets of Dogpatch.

The film features a talented cast, including Granville Owen as Li’l Abner, Martha O’Driscoll as Daisy Mae, and Mona Ray as Stupefyin’ Jones. It also includes several memorable musical numbers, including the classic “Jubilation T. Cornpone.”

Overall, “Li’l Abner” is a fun and entertaining comedy that captures the humor and charm of the beloved comic strip. Its combination of slapstick humor, catchy songs, and colorful characters make it a classic of the genre.

Directors:
Albert S. Rogell

Writer:
Charles Kerr, Tyler Johnson, Al Capp

Stars:
Jeff York, Martha O’Driscoll, Mona Ray

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Misbehaving Husbands (1940)

3/5 (1)

“Misbehaving Husbands” is a classic comedy film released in 1940, directed by William Beaudine and produced by Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC). The film tells the story of two friends, George and Bill, who are both tired of their nagging wives and decide to take a vacation in Reno, Nevada to get a quick divorce.

However, their plan is complicated by a number of mishaps and misunderstandings, as they both end up falling for a beautiful singer named Rosita. In the end, they realize that their wives are not so bad after all and decide to reconcile with them.

The film features a talented cast, including Harry Langdon as George, Joe Sawyer as Bill, and Betty Blythe as George’s wife. It also includes several comedic set pieces, such as the two men disguising themselves as women to avoid being recognized by their wives, and a hilarious scene in which they accidentally set fire to their hotel room.

Overall, “Misbehaving Husbands” is a lighthearted and entertaining comedy that explores the timeless themes of love, marriage, and the importance of communication and understanding in relationships.

Directors:
William Beaudine

Writer:
Cea Sabin, Vernon Smith, Claire Parrish

Stars:
Harry Langdon, Betty Blythe, Esther Muir

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The Ruggles – Christmas Eve (1949)

4/5 (1)

“Christmas Eve” is a 1949 short film directed by James Sibley Watson and Melville Webber, featuring the Ruggles family on Christmas Eve.

The film begins with the Ruggles family preparing for Christmas Eve. The father, a printer, is working on printing a Christmas story while his wife and children decorate the tree and prepare the meal. As the family gathers around the tree, the father reads the story he has printed, “The Night Before Christmas.”

After the story, the family sings Christmas carols together. Suddenly, they hear a knock on the door. It is a poor woman with a baby, seeking shelter from the cold. The Ruggles family welcomes her in and offers her food and a place to rest. As the night goes on, more people arrive seeking shelter, including a group of carolers and a homeless man.

The Ruggles family continues to welcome each person with open arms, sharing what little they have and spreading the joy of Christmas. As the night comes to a close, the father reflects on the true meaning of Christmas and the importance of kindness and generosity.

The film ends with the family gathered around the tree once again, singing “Silent Night” and sharing the love and warmth of the holiday season.

Writer:
Howard Wright, Irving Phillips

Stars:
Charles Ruggles, Erin O’Brien-Moore, Margaret Kerry

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Killer Diller (1948)

3/5 (1)

“Killer Diller” is a 1948 musical film directed by Josh Binney and starring Nat King Cole and Sheila Guyse.

The story follows “Killer” Diller (Cole), a talented pianist who is falsely accused of a crime and sent to prison. While in jail, he meets a young woman named Georgia (Guyse), who is also a musician. Together, they form a band with other inmates, performing for the rest of the prison population and gaining popularity.

After being released from prison, Diller and Georgia attempt to make a living as musicians, facing numerous obstacles and setbacks along the way. They encounter a ruthless nightclub owner named Harry (Jester Hairston), who tries to exploit their talent for his own gain. However, Diller and Georgia are determined to succeed on their own terms, refusing to compromise their music or integrity.

As they continue to perform and gain recognition, Diller and Georgia also develop a romantic relationship. However, their success is threatened when Diller is accused of another crime and must clear his name.

In the end, Diller and Georgia are able to prove his innocence and are welcomed back into the music scene with open arms. They perform a final, triumphant concert together, showcasing their love for each other and their music.

“Killer Diller” is notable for featuring an all-black cast and for its representation of the post-war jazz scene. It also tackles issues of injustice and perseverance, highlighting the power of music as a means of overcoming adversity.

Directors:
Josh Binney

Writer:
Hal Seeger

Stars:
Dusty Fletcher, George Wiltshire, Butterfly McQueen

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Paradise in Harlem (1939)

3/5 (1)

“Paradise in Harlem” is a 1939 musical film directed by Joseph Seiden and starring Mamie Smith and Norman Astwood.

The story follows Billie Williams (Smith), a young singer from Harlem who dreams of making it big in the music industry. She meets a wealthy businessman named Bradley (Astwood), who offers to help her achieve her dreams. However, Billie soon discovers that Bradley is a con artist who is using her talent to make money for himself.

Meanwhile, a group of neighborhood kids, known as the “Harlem Tuff Kids,” are causing trouble around the neighborhood, stealing and causing mischief. Billie takes an interest in the kids and tries to steer them in a more positive direction by organizing a community center for them to participate in music and dance classes.

As Billie’s career takes off, she becomes increasingly aware of Bradley’s shady dealings and tries to break away from him. However, Bradley is not willing to let her go and schemes to keep her under his control.

In the end, the Harlem Tuff Kids come to Billie’s rescue, helping her to expose Bradley’s true intentions and saving her from his clutches. Billie is then able to focus on her music and her community center, creating a better life for herself and those around her.

“Paradise in Harlem” is notable for featuring an all-black cast and for its representation of Harlem’s vibrant music and culture. The film also tackles issues of exploitation and empowerment, highlighting the importance of self-determination and community support.

Directors:
Joseph Seiden

Writer:
Frank H. Wilson, Vincent Valentini

Stars:
Frank H. Wilson, Mamie Smith, Norman Astwood

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Pot o’ Gold (1941)

3/5 (1)

“Pot o’ Gold” is a 1941 American musical comedy film directed by George Marshall and starring James Stewart and Paulette Goddard.

The story follows Jimmy Haskell (Stewart), a young man who has just been fired from his job and is struggling to make ends meet. He discovers that his grandfather has left him a deed to a run-down music store, which he decides to sell. However, when he meets Molly McCorkle (Goddard), the daughter of the owner of a rival music store, he decides to keep the store and compete with her father.

Jimmy soon learns that his store has a unique feature – a hidden safe containing a large sum of money, known as the “pot o’ gold”. However, he must keep the safe a secret from Molly and her father, who are determined to put him out of business.

As the competition between the two music stores heats up, Jimmy and Molly begin to fall in love. But when Molly discovers the existence of the pot o’ gold, she uses it to her advantage, threatening to reveal its location unless Jimmy agrees to sell his store to her father.

In the end, Jimmy and Molly team up to perform a successful benefit concert, using the money raised to pay off both their debts and to improve their stores. They also discover a shared passion for music, and decide to join forces in both business and love.

“Pot o’ Gold” is known for its upbeat musical numbers, including the title song “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” and for its charismatic performances by Stewart and Goddard. It is also notable for its portrayal of Irish-American culture, featuring traditional Irish music and dance.

Directors:
George Marshall

Writer:
Walter DeLeon, Andrew Bennison, Monte Brice

Stars:
James Stewart, Paulette Goddard, Horace Heidt

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As You Like It (1936)

3/5 (1)

“As You Like It” is a film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play of the same name, directed by Paul Czinner and released in 1936. The film stars Laurence Olivier as Orlando and Elisabeth Bergner as Rosalind.

The story follows Rosalind, the daughter of the banished Duke Senior, who falls in love with Orlando at a wrestling match. However, after Orlando is forced to flee the court of Duke Frederick, Rosalind is banished as well, and disguises herself as a man named Ganymede in order to travel with her cousin Celia to the Forest of Arden, where her father and other exiles live.

In the forest, Rosalind/Ganymede meets Orlando again and decides to test his love by pretending to be a woman and counseling him on how to win Rosalind’s heart. Meanwhile, a shepherd named Silvius is hopelessly in love with a shepherdess named Phebe, who in turn falls for Ganymede (Rosalind in disguise). And Touchstone, a court jester, falls in love with a simple country girl named Audrey.

As the various love stories unfold, Duke Frederick arrives in the forest in search of Rosalind and Orlando, but is converted to a more peaceful way of life by Duke Senior. Eventually, all of the characters gather for a happy ending, with Orlando and Rosalind marrying, Silvius and Phebe pairing off, Touchstone and Audrey tying the knot, and Duke Senior and Duke Frederick reconciling.

The film is notable for its faithful adaptation of Shakespeare’s original play, with much of the dialogue taken directly from the text. It was also praised for its performances, particularly Bergner’s portrayal of Rosalind/Ganymede.

Directors:
Paul Czinner

Writer:
J.M. Barrie, Robert Cullen, Carl Mayer

Stars:
Elisabeth Bergner, Laurence Olivier, Sophie Stewart

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