Ten past European golden comedies, to start the new year with optimism

With the arrival of the new year, which promises to be another difficult year, with insecurities that create more anxiety, weighing even more on mood, cinema remains a way out of trouble. Cinemas may have changed shape over time from large theaters to television, video, platforms and the Internet, but the big screen remains the true cinematic enjoyment, even though today many people watch movies on their mobile phones, commute to work …

However, the biggest problem now is movies, as they keep declining in quality, mostly due to the superpower called Hollywood. Romantic or witty comedy is replaced by stoic and exotic adventure and the nobility of heroism is replaced by plastic superheroes.

Therefore, returning to the good cinema of the past is a definitive solution, for authentic entertainment and, at the same time, an opportunity to discover cinematic creations, directors, actors, screenwriters, which perhaps will make us review our vision of cinema. like it even more. After all, cinema, like all art, has no expiration date, very good films never lose their value, on the contrary, over time they earn the respect they deserve. There are many examples, the most typical being Frank Capra’s classic masterpiece “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

For the upcoming celebratory days, this is an opportunity to discover or revisit the ten incredible comedies, the most difficult films of the genre, which have enjoyed such serious success in recent decades. Ten golden films – not very famous – of European cinema, which can cheer us up, look to 2023 with more optimism and remind us of the great creators, the great actors and the stories that make us laugh, take our breath away, out of their troubles.

Monsters (“I am monsters”)

The Italian spin-off comedy Spartan, created by Dino Rizzi in 1963, stars the inimitable Vittorio Gusman and Hugo Toniazzi, as well as numerous comedians in supporting roles. Rizzi satirises bad texts and creates beautiful portraits of key representatives of Italian society, at a time when, on the one hand, the “Italian economic miracle” was developing and, on the other, the “damn it” reality. Cops are worse than their killers, wives cheat on their happy husbands, honest men get fooled by lawyers, priests dress up like stars, and so on. This film also had an equally enjoyable sequel in 1977 (“Modern Monsters”), directed, as well as by Rizzi, by the greatest “Italian comedy” Mario Monicelli and Ettore Scola.

The Nudist Scandal (“I’m Fine Jack”)

From Peter Sellers’ comedy Unknown (1959), who, while not acting, stole all the glory and proved what it means to be a source of talent, long before it was made famous. Directed by John Boulding, it stars Ian Carmichael and co-stars Richard Attenborough and Richard Thomas. An amazing satire, which crushed the industrial elite, but did not leave the attitude of a full union, the leader of which was the inimitable Seller.

Dear Mr. Cell 13 (“Two Way Stretch”)

And since we are in the great chapter of Peter Sellers, let’s remember another of his strongest comedies, made by Robert Day in 1960. Three criminals, imprisoned and in trouble, plan their escape, steal the maharajah’s diamonds and return, safe . a valuable alibi. Great humor, again with the great Peter Sellers, who has an important character next to him.

The Unimaginable Escape (“La Grande Vadrouille”)

The emblematic comedy, about the German occupation of France and Nazism, was created in 1966 by Gérard Uri and enjoyed great commercial success, holding a record for decades, with 17 million tickets! The film was a laugh, critically acclaimed, but above all, with Louis De Fines, who, especially in the beginning, proves in a few minutes that a great comedian needs nothing more than an idea to make you laugh. tears and at the same time makes you think about the vanity of the artist.

The Little World of Don Camillo (“Le Petit Monde de don Camillo”)

A resounding success of French cinema, this is an extraordinary comedy set in 1951 by Julien Divivier and plays Don Camillo, a provincial priest, who opposes the communist mayor Pepone and talks to… God, the wonderful and beloved Fernandel. The caustic text was written by the Italian writer Giovanni Guareschi, while the love of the public produced four more films, the last of which sent Don Camillo to… the “devils” of Moscow.

Epsom man

An excellent parody comedy with the great Jean Gabin shows that he can excel in comic roles as well. In the 1962 film, directed by Gilles Granger, Gabin played a former cavalry officer who is considered an expert in horse racing and successfully extorts money from wealthy gamblers. In a distinctive role, as owner of a traditional restaurateur, is once again the great Louis De Fines.

Pane, Amore e Fantasia (“Pannello, Amore e Fantasia”)

A sweet and dreamy, but also subtly touching, Italian romantic comedy about the poverty and abandonment of the Italian countryside, created by Luigi Comencini in 1953, starring the adored Vittorio De Sica and the sexy Gina Lollobridgeta. In a southern village, a middle-aged and unsophisticated policeman falls in love with a local doll, but everything gets confused when a third person gets in the way. However, the scenes with the villagers who eat sandwiches without filling will remain unforgettable and when asked by the police “what did he eat” he replies “bread and fantasy”.

Fire… Firefighters (“Hori, ma Panenko”)

Crazy Czech comedy from 1967, but mostly a satire on the regime, by Milos Forman, banned in his country. It was the last film by the important director, who emigrated to the United States the following year. The story revolves around a prank that takes place at a town’s firefighters’ festival.

Mimì the blacksmith (“Mimì metalworker wounded in honour”)

Proof that women can make terrible comedies too. Here, the famous Lina Werdmüller, the “bad” girl of Italian cinema, will make a humorous comedy (1972), to talk about the working class, politicians, the cornerstones of Italian society, the mafia, love, the southerners. Starring the brilliant Giancarlo Giannini, with whom she will collaborate on five films, and the polished Mariangela Melato. A perfect sampling of political comedy, where, in addition to the protagonists, a series of extraordinary faces parade in secondary roles.

Lavender Hill Grove

The apotheosis of British humour, in this sly comedy by the great Charles Crichton (“A Fish Called Wanda”) starring the versatile Alec Guinness, Alfie Bass, Stanley Holloway and the brilliant Audrey Hepburn. This Oscar-winning screenplay features a quiet bank clerk who hatches a plan to rob a bank, with the help of an unsuspecting partner. The timeless 70-year comedy proves that diamonds are forever.

Ten past European golden comedies, to start the new year with optimism – MartaGrande.it