This is when I wish I would have seen Kind Hearts and Coronets with Alec Guinness but I haven’t.....yet, so I have gone with 3 films I have seen that I really love and showcases some great acting in comedy roles. Wandering Through The Shelves picked a good theme this week. Here are my 3...
1. THE MOUSE THAT ROARED-1959
This stars Peter Sellers in 3 roles as Tully, a military leader, a Count and a Duchess, The leader of the tiniest country in the Alps whose whole country rely on the export of their wine. When they find out there is a knock off version being sold, crippling their tiny nation, it is decided they will go to war with the U.S. They come up with a foolproof (HA!) plan invade the States, lose and the States will give them money in war reparations. They head off, in chain mail, bows and arrows on a ship to invade the States. This is farce at its finest and ahead of its time considering it is about war and what is it good for. ( you know that song:)). It’s a great under-rated film worth watching and having a laugh way before Monty Python came into our lives.
2. ON THE DOUBLE-1961
Danny Kaye is the star of this film and, frankly, he often played more than one role in his films but I always had a soft spot for this movie and Danny Kaye who was a master of tongue twisters done to music. He is best known for his role in White Christmas but he created many fun roles often playing anxiety ridden, nervous nellies who adore being cowards even though, in the end, they are anything but. In this film he plays General Sir Lawrence MacKenzie Smith who is on the hit list of the dreaded Nazis. In England is cowardly, American Ernie Williams who bears an uncanny resemblance to the General. Ernie is a great mimic and before you can say, Holy Nervous Tick Batman, Ernie is asked to impersonate the General. He does not realize he is more than just a decoy until he gets in over his head, ends up in Berlin and must escape but not before becoming more than one character including a Marlene Dietrich Blue Angel Gal. I think this is quite funny and it truly does showcase Danny Kaye’s brilliance in comedy and mimicry.
3. CAT BALLOU-1965
You think "Everybody Loves Mary" was the first film to have 2 men sing in between scenes to link the story? Think again! This film has the Greek Chorus of Stubby Kaye and Nat King Cole who appear throughout the film singing the ballad of Cat Ballou. Cat is played by Jane Fonda who hires Kid Shelleen to protect her dad’s homestead from the evil men who want his homestead. Her dad is killed by the evil Tim Strawn who wears a fake nose that was shot off. The town refuses to help so she creates her outlaw gang and they create hell. The best is Lee Marvin who won an Oscar playing the drunken Kid and the evil Tim who had a great time playing along side his equally drunken horse. This is another great comedy where Fonda is almost outdone by her gang members and no one does a drunken cowboy better than Marvin. When he won the Oscar, he also thanked the horse:)
Which 3 films would you pick?