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Name Your Favorite Movie with Physical Comedy


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Hi, Everyone tonite i'm watching "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad,

Mad World" laughing my head off! My favorite part of

physical comedy is when Jonathan Winters has the big fight with Irwin & Ray the gasoline attendants and

jonathan winters demolishes the whole garage......

comedy at its best without hardly any dialogue.

Can you name your favorite physical comedy in a movie

and why? This should be fun comparing notes on whose

everybody's favorite truly is!.............lolite.

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There's so many it's hard to pick one. I just love slapstick. But one that came to mind (and this is weak) is a scene in The Money Pit starring Tom Hanks where he's at the house and there's plastering going on. It's an involved stunt but it involves scaffolding, a wheel barrow and lots of cement. In fact, this movie has a lot of that type thing in it.

 

I just can't think of any right now, but I'm a sucker for scene where there's a lot of falling down and confusion.

 

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Buster Keaton in either THE GENERAL or SHERLOCK JR. Keaton's physical brand of comedy was so effective, that I could add most of the films from his silent years as favorites. When it comes to physical comedy, I think the many of the silent comedians were excellent. Because of the period, they pretty much had to be. Harold Lloyd and Chaplin also provided some of my favorite moments of physical comedy. Good topic.....

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For me it's "Bringing Up Baby", with all the shenanigans & mischief involving Kate, Cary, both leopards and the small doggie. Second runner up: "My Man Godfrey"...I love when William Powell pushes around Gail Patrick (to the floor) and Carole Lombard (into the shower) or Mischa Auer's imitation of a monkey.

 

Mention apart deserves Charlie Chaplin, the master of physical comedy, since ever.

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I especially enjoy Harold Lloyd in Girl Shy and Charlie Chaplin in The Circus, One A.M. and The Adventurer. Although, when I think about this further, I probably admire animation director Tex Avery most for the funniest, best-timed, best-conceived physical gags I've ever experienced (although that's obviously not an acceptable, qualified answer to this question).

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Lolite - "Mad World" is one of my all time favorites! And I love that scene with Jonathan Winters and the garage. Another good scene in that movie is when Milton Berle and Terry Thomas chase Ethel Merman around, and then turn her upside down to shake the keys out of her bosom. That whole movie is chock full of great comedy scenes, and some great car chases too.

 

I also love any physical comedy that Lou Costello did. Bud Abbott didn't really do any since he was the straight man, but Lou was constantly falling down and tripping over himself, and always hysterically. He was a master at physical comedy.

 

Oliver Hardy was great too - always having something happen to him as a result of some stupid thing Stan Laurel did. A great example is "County Hospital" where Ollie is sick in bed and Stan comes to visit and of course drives Ollie nuts - mentally and physically. Another great one is "Hog Wild" where they're installing an antenna on the roof of Ollie's house, and all the crazy things that happen. I think Ollie falls off the roof at least four or five times.

 

A great movie that features a lot of physical comedy is "George Washington Slept Here" with Jack Benny and Ann Sheridan. She buys an old house in the Pennsylvania countryside that was "supposedly" slept in by Washington, and it's a real run down hole. They proceed to fix it up, and of course a million things go wrong, always at Jack Benny's expense. It's a great movie, and was a real favorite of mine growing up. It also has a great supporting cast, with Hattie McDaniel, Percy Kilbridge, Charles Coburn, and Franklin Pangborn, among others. TCM doesn't play it too often, but they should definitely consider scheduling it again. I would love to see a theme night devoted to movies where people fix up their house - they could show this movie along with "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House," and "The Money Pit," all in the same night.

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This is a great thread, Lolite...thanks for starting it for us!

 

I totally agree about the Jonathan Winter's garage scene, which is truly a Classic now, and always will be. When I watch my tape of "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World", I re-wind it several times right at that scene just to catch everything that he put in to it...all in one take!

 

I will always love the physical comedy that the Silent Comedians gave the world...especially Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Keaton, and Laurel & Hardy....even the Keystone Kops. And, I would be completely remiss if I didn't mention Marie Dressler in "Emma". :)ML

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Since this discussion started with IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (I hope I have the right number of MADs), I'll mention another "modern" comedy that had it's share of physical gags THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING (it seems like I'm repeating myself). I remember seeing this in the movies when it first came out and I thought it was hilarious. The all-star cast was absolutely perfect. Alan Arkin, Carl Reiner, Brian Keith, Paul Ford and Jonathon Winters (again). TCM has shown it a few times, and I've always enjoyed rewatching it.

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I always get a laugh when Jerry Lewis is on the screen! Especially Geisha Boy, when his rabbit Harry keeps popping up in unexpected places, and the way he says " Oh, Harry!" - the faces he makes. Also when that HUGE Japanese baseball player is after him, it is hilarious. A great funny man.

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Shainabluegirl, I agree with you!... Harry the rabbit is

the star of the movie ha-ha, other Jerry Lewis movies

that are my favorite for physical comedy are:

The Family Jewels, The Big Mouth...hilarious right down to your funny bone and beyond!.....lolite.

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