Funny Feature Films From '65-'95
June 8, 2007 6:40 PM   Subscribe

My mom is sick & I want to send her some "laugh out loud funny" movies that are a bit older (think 1965-1995). All ratings ok. Any suggestions?

My moms about 56. I'm 23. I don't really know much about what would be the great comedies she'd remember watching when she was younger. I eagerly await all suggestions.
posted by eli_d to Media & Arts (48 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
These are all '70s and '80s:

- Raising Arizona (I have great memories of seeing this with my own mom in the theater when it came out; she and I were literally clutching each other and weeping with laughter)
- Withnail & I
- Annie Hall
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail + Life of Brian
- Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
- The Producers
- Young Frankenstein
- This is Spinal Tap
posted by scody at 6:50 PM on June 8, 2007

Peter Sellers in the Inspector Clouseau/Pink Panther movies
Blazing Saddles
Monty Python & The Holy Grail
A Fish Called Wanda
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Raising Arizona
posted by Argyle at 6:51 PM on June 8, 2007

A Fish Called Wanda? Throw Momma from the Train? It depends some on your mother's sense of humor. What comedies do you know she likes?
posted by dilettante at 6:52 PM on June 8, 2007

"Support your local sheriff" is one of the funniest movies ever.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:59 PM on June 8, 2007

The Jerk
"He hates these cans!"
posted by shinynewnick at 7:04 PM on June 8, 2007

Second Peter Sellers, esp The Party

more than a few of us find the Rock Hudson/Doris Day 1960s comedies to be masterpieces of grace and wit. but she may hate them, it is a hit and miss thing with Day/Hudson. stick to Sellers then.
posted by matteo at 7:17 PM on June 8, 2007

oh, and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? is another winner
posted by matteo at 7:19 PM on June 8, 2007

I'm a huge fan of:

- It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
- Dr. Strangelove

Seconding Life of Brian, Holy Grail, Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 7:22 PM on June 8, 2007

Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Tommy Boy (1995)
Caddy Shack (1980)
Being There (1979)
The Blues Brothers (1980)
National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)
Trading Places (1983)
Ferris Bueler's Day Off (1986)
Spaceballs (1987)
Major League (1989)
Stripes (1981)

Two that are close to your criteria and worthy of inclusion:
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Fargo (1996)
posted by jtfowl0 at 7:39 PM on June 8, 2007

Er... depending upon your mom you may want to go more mainstream (mom friendly) than many of the suggestions above (This is Spinal Tap, Fast Times? Please.)

I'm thinking more along the lines of Trading Places, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, The Great Outdoors, Fletch, etc. Your mom was in her early to mid 30s when these films were out... Again, depends on the mom.
posted by wfrgms at 7:40 PM on June 8, 2007

My grandfather was a pretty serious fellow, and was not a big fan of comedy. One year (after the turkey was eaten and the presents unwrapped) we all decided to watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Let's just say that some of us were honesty worried about his health, given the quantity and fervor of his belly laughs at that one.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:45 PM on June 8, 2007

Gumball Rally
posted by hortense at 7:51 PM on June 8, 2007

It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World.
posted by rmmcclay at 8:02 PM on June 8, 2007

What's Up, Doc?
posted by emyd at 8:12 PM on June 8, 2007

Kind Hearts and Coronets is a worthwhile reason to expand the timeframe to the 50s. From the 60s: What's Up Tiger Lily? And seconding Caddy Shack.
posted by cocoagirl at 8:14 PM on June 8, 2007

Young Frankenstein
The Producers
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
The Muppet Movie
posted by dagnyscott at 8:19 PM on June 8, 2007

Uncle Buck
posted by backwards guitar at 8:33 PM on June 8, 2007

Not sure if these all qualify as "laugh out loud funny," but they're all (billed as) comedies. You're a good son, and I hope your Mom gets better soon.

Victor/Victoria (1982)
When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
Bell, Book and Candle (1959)
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
Moonstruck (1987)
My Favorite Year (1982)
On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970)
Radio Days (1987)
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
posted by davidinmanhattan at 8:35 PM on June 8, 2007

TryTheTilapia and rmmcclay: great choices. Some of my favorites! Heading over to Amazon to pick up a few.

Oh, and eli_d, what about "I Love Lucy" and other TV shows from those time periods? I know you are looking for movies, but who doesn't love Lucille Ball? Just a thought.
posted by davidinmanhattan at 8:41 PM on June 8, 2007

The Gods Must Be Crazy is such a laugh riot that I could barely breathe the first time I watched it. Bonus: The DVD includes the sequel!
posted by phatkitten at 9:03 PM on June 8, 2007

Lost in America
The Frisco Kid
posted by The Deej at 9:18 PM on June 8, 2007

Any of these Woody Allen films are fairly family friendly. My mom loved them.

The Curse of the Jade Scorpion
Small Time Crooks
New York Stories
Manhattan Murder Mystery
Radio Days
Hannah and Her Sisters
The Purple Rose of Cairo
Broadway Danny Rose
Love and Death
Play It Again, Sam
posted by vronsky at 9:57 PM on June 8, 2007

Released in '61, but Billy Wilder's cold war themed One, Two, Three is hilarious.
posted by brujita at 11:37 PM on June 8, 2007

I don't know if your Mom would be into it, but I recently discovered rifftrax (previously) when I was at the local video store. They were playing the Predator one.

I rented The Matrix and 5th Element, bought/downloaded those rifftrax and I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 11:53 PM on June 8, 2007

Well, ya, if she'd be into riffing, get some MST3K DVDs. Space Mutiny, Time Chasers, Phantom Planet... actually all of them are funny.
posted by The Deej at 12:18 AM on June 9, 2007

This is probably too old, but Duck Soup is the only movie that I've ever seen that made me laugh so hard I literally was afraid I might not be able to catch my breath again. Granted, I was in the midst of serious allergies, but it was hi-fucking-larious. And I'm 22 years old. I was probably 17 when this occurred. Man, I love the freaking Marx Brothers.
posted by crinklebat at 12:47 AM on June 9, 2007

Oh, also Woody Allen's Sleeper. Full of slapstick. It's the only movie I saw my grandfather laugh out loud at. He was in his 80s, and it was on television. Being hard of hearing, subtle verbal humor was lost on him. Sleeper cracked him right up.
posted by The Deej at 12:59 AM on June 9, 2007

Two laugh out loud British comedies that she might not have seen but is (99.9%) guaranteed to enjoy:

Shirley Valentine (1989)
Educating Rita (1983)

Hope she gets better soon.
posted by ceri richard at 2:07 AM on June 9, 2007

Oh, also:
Paper Moon (1973)
The Full Monty (1997)
City Slickers (1991)
Crocodile Dundee (1986)
Mrs Doubtfire (1993)
Soapdish (1991)

Outside the time frame but very funny and great for when you're sick:
Chicken Run
Shrek 1 and 2

You could also get boxed sets of her favourite tv comedies, Ally McBeal for example.
posted by ceri richard at 2:18 AM on June 9, 2007

My mom's the same age as yours, and I've never seen her laugh harder at any movie than Noises Off.

My parents are also a big fan of many of the movies already mentioned, especially A Fish Called Wanda, the Blues Brothers, and the Mel Brooks movies. Wizard of Oz? Doesn't really make them laugh that much.

Also see Gene Wilder/Richard Pryor pairings and of course Fawlty Towers. I can't imagine a Boomer who wouldn't bust a gut at Fawlty Towers.
posted by lampoil at 5:08 AM on June 9, 2007

Vacation and European Vacation for sure. Parenthood. As others have said: Trading Places, Young Frankenstein, This is Spinal Tap. I am a big fan of Clue, but some people don't find it at all funny.
posted by sneakin at 5:18 AM on June 9, 2007

A New Leaf (1971). IMDB review. Warm as well as funny.
posted by paduasoy at 5:47 AM on June 9, 2007

PS This is one of the ones my mother remembered as a favourite from when she was younger - she's about the same age as yours.
posted by paduasoy at 5:48 AM on June 9, 2007

The Princess Bride is simply the greatest movie ever made. It has been out for about 20 years. It has everything: humor, romance, sword fights, monsters and tongue firmly planted in cheek. If you have never seen it, you should check it out yourself.
posted by mlbphd at 6:49 AM on June 9, 2007

Seconding A New Leaf. Much overlooked, but hysterical.
posted by The Deej at 7:19 AM on June 9, 2007

Agree with above, especially Princess Bride - funny quips, exciting, humourous.

Also would suggest a DVD of Red Skelton. If you have never seen this man, you simply must. Brilliant vaudevillian, with some incredibly touching moments.

My family and I loved the Gods Must be Crazy, but a lot of people just don't get the humour.

Its a mad, Mad, Mad world was a great movie. Not the re-do which is trashy.

Oh, and any Mel Brooks.
posted by fox_terrier_guy at 8:23 AM on June 9, 2007

posted by FergieBelle at 9:33 AM on June 9, 2007

Where's Poppa?
posted by doctorschlock at 12:47 PM on June 9, 2007

The Groove Tube
Kentucky Fried Movie
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Police Squad
posted by doctorschlock at 12:50 PM on June 9, 2007

High Anxiety
Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex (but Were Afraid to Ask)
A Fish Called Wanda
The Meaning of Life
Top Secret!

Older, but I found these hilarious:
The Man in the White Suit
Kind Hearts and Coronets
posted by plinth at 1:23 PM on June 9, 2007

The Inlaws (the original with peter falk, not the lame remake) was a lot of fun....

Any pink panther with Peter Sellers?

Being there was good, but maybe a bit depressing if you're sick...
posted by jenkinsEar at 2:46 PM on June 9, 2007

posted by misozaki at 2:49 PM on June 9, 2007

Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot (1959) and The Apartment (1960). Some Like It Hot is #1 on the AFI's list of the top 100 American comedies. (The Apartment, at #20, is more tragicomic, but excellent.)

The Odd Couple (1968), 9 to 5 (1980), Ghostbusters (1984), Beverly Hills Cop (1984), Bull Durham (1988).
posted by kirkaracha at 4:40 PM on June 9, 2007

Also, maybe The Longest Yard (1971).
posted by kirkaracha at 4:46 PM on June 9, 2007

From way back, W. C. Fields and Buster Keaton. Miracle of (or at?) Morgan's Creek almost gave me hiccups. The Lady Eve. Cary Grant and Roz Russell in His Girl Friday. All are classics. Your mom will marvel at the hats women used to wear.
posted by sevenstars at 8:59 AM on June 10, 2007

A little bit older, but fantastic:

The Thin Man! Seriously, it's wonderful.

Bringing Up Baby

It Happened One Night

Love me Tonight (really, really get this one!)

If she had no problems with subtitles, get À Nous La Liberté (Freedom For Us) as well.

Hope she feels better soon!
posted by Andorinha at 10:43 AM on June 10, 2007

Wow! More than 120 recommendations... Thanks, Hive Mind :-)

Depending on availability, it looks like mom might be getting a netflix account for the summer. It'll take me awhile to sort through the list, but I'll probably post a follow-up, when I do.

Thanks, everyone.
posted by eli_d at 11:29 AM on June 10, 2007

His Girl Friday (1940)
Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
The Ladykillers (1955)

I know these predate your timeframe, but they are classics and hilarious. And, well, my mom loves 'em...
posted by slimepuppy at 6:17 AM on June 11, 2007

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