Comedies from the 1950s


   

The laughDB database is dedicated to the funniest comedy movies, stand-up comedy and TV series.

This section is for comedies from the 1950s. By default they are presented starting with the ones ranking highest on the laugh-o-meter, but you can also sort them by year, title or IMDB rating.


Movies from the 1950s sorted by Laugh-o-meter (descending)


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Don Camillo DVDDon Camillo (a.k.a The Little World of Don Camillo)
      1952 | Italy | Laughs: 6.9 (Watch Once) | imdb: 7.7
      wikipedia | who was involved?

The priest of a small Italian village battles it out for influence with the newly elected communist mayor. Though they would not admit it, these two rivals are also best friends and usually end up on the same side. A touching movies that packs good humor thanks to Fernandel (the priest), a wonderful comedian. I particularly like his conversations with Jesus—who replies! Few are the movies from 1952 that a modern audience can still find funny and easy to watch. A great surprise. A French-Italian production. (Last viewed: July 2010)

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The Ladykillers DVDThe Ladykillers
      1955 | USA | Laughs: 5.0 (Watch Once) | imdb: 7.8
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

A mild-mannered gangster (Alec Guinness) rents a room from an elderly lady to plot his next robbery. While he and his accomplices hash out details in the room, they pretend to rehearse for a string quintet. A charming movie that made me smile, but not laugh—surprisingly for a comedy that features Peter Sellers: he was grossly underused by the script, an Alec Guinness vehicle. (Last viewed: June 2010)

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Mr. Hulot's Holiday DVDMr. Hulot's Holiday (Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot)
      1953 | France | Laughs: 4.5 (Broken Comedies) | imdb: 7.6
      wikipedia | who was involved?

Classic French movie that follows a single gentleman on his beach holiday. Superb black-and-white photography, interesting soundtrack (you could call this a "quasi-silent" movie as there is no real dialogue). Cute film that draws its humor from simple gags and the small things of life, but doesn't make me laugh. (Last viewed: July 2010)

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The Band of Honest Men posterThe Band of Honest Men (La Banda Degli Onesti)
      1956 | Italy | Laughs: 3.0 (Light-Hearted) | imdb: 7.6
      wikipedia | who was involved?

Three scrupulously honest neighbors, all under great financial strain, somehow come to inherit an authentic plate to print banknotes and reluctantly become forgers. I was worried this old black-and-white movie would feel too long. Although it didn't make me laugh, it was cute and funny—I enjoyed it. (Last viewed: July 2014)

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Don CamilloDon Camillo's Last Round (Don Camillo e l'Onorevole Peppone or La Grande Bagarre)
      1955 | Italy | Laughs: 3.0 (Light-Hearted) | imdb: 7.2
      wikipedia | who was involved?

The village's priest tries to foil the communist mayor's bid to enter parliament. The story is not as strong as that of The Return of Don Camillo, but the funniest moments are funnier—not that the movie is really funny. This installment in the Don Camillo series continues the trend of making Don Camillo the stronger of the two opponents, whereas in the first movie they were equal. (Last viewed: September 2012)

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The Return of Don Camillo DVDThe Return of Don Camillo (Il Ritorno di Don Camillo or Le retour de Don Camillo)
      1953 | Italy | Laughs: 2.0 (Light-Hearted) | imdb: 7.3
      wikipedia | who was involved?

At the end of the first Don Camillo movie, the stubborn but big-hearted priest was forced to leave town. A lot happens in this first sequel, which sees Don Camillo settle in a mountain village, then return, then wade through a number of events with his favorite rival Peppone, the mayor. It's no laughing material, but it's light-hearted, and in many ways it's a better story than the original movie—more fulfilling because more balanced. (Last viewed: September 2012)

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A Hero of Our Times posterA Hero of Our Times (Un Eroe Dei Nostri Tempi)
      1957 | Italy | Laughs: 1.5 (Don't Bother) | imdb: 6.9
      wikipedia | who was involved?

A young man is so anxious that something bad might happen to him that he ends up attracting bad luck. It's not a bad movie, but it's not really funny either—unless you speak Italian, perhaps. You won't miss much if you skip this one. (Last viewed: July 2014)

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I Soliti Ignoti DVDBig Deal on Madonna Street (I Soliti Ignoti)
      1958 | Italy | Laughs: 0.8 (Light-Hearted) | imdb: 8.0
      wikipedia | who was involved?

A motley crew of petty criminals carefully plan a burglary. The movie is still watchable—it has a lot of texture, the plot makes sense and there's no overacting. I don't think the movie will make you laugh, but if you're interested in old films you may enjoy this one for historical or cultural reasons. (Last viewed: July 2014)

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Bienvenido Mister Marshall DVDWelcome, Mr. Marshall (Bienvenido Mister Marshall)
      1953 | Spain | Laughs: 0.1 (Broken Comedies) | imdb: 8.2
      wikipedia | who was involved?

Highly-rated Spanish movie. After the war, a small village prepares for the arrival of American delegates in charge of implementing the Marshall Plan. Cute and probably valuable for several reasons. Lots of irony, no doubt, but I want laughs! Hadn't laughed after thirty minutes, gave up. (Last viewed: July 2010)

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The Mouse that Roared DVDThe Mouse that Roared
      1959 | U.K. | Laughs: N/A (Light-Hearted) | imdb: 7.0
      wikipedia | who was involved?

A tiny wine-producing country declares war on the United States and, by fluke, wins. A cute movie for fans of Peter Sellers, who plays four of the characters. The only funny bit is in the end credits, when the Columbia Pictures statue takes her place on the pedestal.

(Last viewed: February 2009)

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Ohayoo DVDGood Morning (お早よう / Ohayō)
      1959 | Japan | Laughs: N/A (Light-Hearted) | imdb: 7.9
      wikipedia | who was involved?

This movie is more a tender-hearted social study than a comedy, but it might laugh once or twice. As usual, director Yasujiro Ozu opens the door into Japanese homes and tells a story that introduces issues that faced Japanese society in his time. In Ohayoo, two school boys make a vow not to speak until their parents buy them a TV set. You also hear about the plight of the "salary-man" after his company has used him up, and about how hard young adults find it to express romantic feelings. (On the other hand, it's amazingly easy for the youngest boy to say "I love you"—to any woman, and in English!) If you stop and watch it, this movie will earn a soft spot in your heart. (Last viewed: November 2011)

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