Comedies from the 1970s


   

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

This section is for comedies from the 1970s. 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 1970s sorted by Laugh-o-meter (descending) / page 1 of 5


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Funny People Uys DVDFunny People
      1977 | South Africa | Laughs: 8.5 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 6.3
      who was involved?

South African candid camera classic by Jamie Uys, the director of The Gods Must Be Crazy. When it first came out, I howled in the theatre. On second viewing 23 years later, some of the situations still give me a hard laugh that makes some of the longish bits forgivable. Most of the scenes are obviously dubbed, and some seem to use actors rather than a hidden camera. The slightly patronizing tone of the (often dislikable) crew towards blacks also has interest for historical reasons. Favorite scenes: the dentist, the steak and fries, the camera shop. (Last viewed: Apr 1982 May 2010)

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MASH DVDMASH
      1970 | USA | Laughs: 8.2 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 7.6
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

In a league of its own, this work of art depicts life at a medical camp during the Korea war. What makes Mash so funny is the main characters' imperturbable aloofness through all situations—performing surgery on a dying man, being threatened with punishment by a commanding officer, chatting up female staff, or playing pranks. The soundtrack features fun Japanese songs from the period. (Last viewed: Oct 1992 July 2009)

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Les Malheurs D'Alfred DVDLes Malheurs D'Alfred
      1972 | France | Laughs: 7.7 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 6.1
      wikipedia | who was involved?

A man who is afflicted with pathological bad luck somehow gets hired to compete as part of a team on a series of TV shows opposing Paris to provincial towns. Here we see Pierre Richard cultivating the "unlucky guy" character that would culminate in La Chèvre ten years later. Low expectations, high reward: a charming, sweet, sometimes very funny movie. (Last viewed: April 2013)

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Return of the Pink Panther DVDReturn of the Pink Panther
      1975 | USA | Laughs: 7.7 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 7.1
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

Twelve years later, a new Sir Charles, and an acrobatic theft of the famous diamond somewhere in a country that could be Iran. Clouseau's accent has thickened. Indeed, the character has become a caricature of the original. And the movie is funnier than the original, though not as classy. With his Clouseau-phobic fixation, Dreyfus is way over the top. (Last viewed: September 2009)

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Till Marriage Do Us Part posterTill Marriage Do Us Part (Mio Dio, Come Sono Caduta In Basso)
      1974 | Italy | Laughs: 7.5 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 6.4
      who was involved?

Raised in a convent, married to a man who cannot touch her, a young Sicilian noblewoman is torn between her puritanical upbringing and her awakening flesh. Time and time again, her mouth says no but her body says yes: if only for the chuckles of these comical episodes (which are punctuated by a rousing music), the film is well worth watching. A skilfully-directed farce that is aging surprisingly well. (Last viewed: August 2013)

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La Moutarde me Monte au Nez DVDLa Moutarde me Monte au Nez
      1974 | France | Laughs: 7.5 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 6.4
      who was involved?

Through a series of misunderstandings, a small-town math teacher is reported to be the lover of a foreign movie star. This comedy starts weak but gains momentum and delivers a few good laughs during the second half. I was thrilled to recognize in the headmaster the brilliant Colonel from The Battle of Algiers, an unforgettable documentary. A good surprise from a little-known film. (Last viewed: April 2013)

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Bananas DVDBananas
      1971 | USA | Laughs: 7.5 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 7.1
      wikipedia | who was involved?

Three stars. Even if you're allergic to Woody Allen's output of the last few decades (which I am), I suggest you overcome your reluctance and watch this movie, Allen's best. A New Yorker finds himself embroiled in the power struggles of a South American dictatorship. No mistake about it, in Bananas, Allen emulates the style of New Wave film master Jean-Luc Godard in movies such as Breathless and Pierrot Le Fou. The sad conclusion: Allen was a whole lot better when he was imitating Godard than when he started imitating himself. (Last viewed: August 2009)

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On Aura Tout Vu posterNow We've Seen It All! (On Aura Tout Vu)
      1976 | France | Laughs: 7.2 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 6.3
      who was involved?

Two friends have written a script for a pure-hearted romantic film. One of them, who shoots commercials and wants to further his career, reluctantly agrees to sell the script to a producer of adult films. There are many of laughs in the series of shocks and misunderstandings that ensue. As usual, the second half of the film is less funny, but it still works.

This is not an adult comedy film—such as those pathetically unfunny movies that seem to have been so popular at one time in Italy and Australia. Rather, it is a very funny comedy that happens to deal with the pre-production phase of an adult film.

Given the circumstances, the amount of nudity is minimal (although for my taste there was still too much.) In contrast to a great number of comedies that come out of Hollywood these days, this one is never really vulgar—largely because the characters do not speak of adult themes gratuitously. In this age of trashy movies, that such a movie was made with such a delicate touch seems extraordinary: pulling it off was a high-class balancing act. Highly recommended if you can handle a small dose of adult themes. (Last viewed: July 2014)

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Le Magnifique DVDThe Magnificient Secret Agent (Le Magnifique)
      1973 | France | Laughs: 7.2 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 7.3
      wikipedia | who was involved?

A writer of cheesy adventure novels writes people from his mudane Paris life into his exotic novels. Sarring Jean-Paul Belmondo (Breathless, Pierrot le Fou), this cute movie was a good surprise with its share of laughs. (Last viewed: September 2011)

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The Policeman posterThe Policeman (השוטר אזולאי / Ha-Shoter Azulai)
      1971 | Israel | Laughs: 7.0 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 7.6
      wikipedia | who was involved?

This is a charming movie with a gentle and innocent humor much like French comedies of the same era. It comes from a time when Israel was still a true Middle Eastern melting pot. An incompetent but big-hearted policeman worries that his contract will not be renewed, which would leave him to survive on a small pension. While his superiors conspire to give him the boot, he keeps getting into situations that help delay the big conversation. The movie is very funny but also very humane, taking an interest in characters from all walks of life. It's well worth a watch, either just for the laughs, for cultural reasons or for both. (Last viewed: March 2014)

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Meatballs DVDMeatballs
      1979 | Canada | Laughs: 6.8 (Watch Once) | imdb: 6.2
      wikipedia | who was involved?

Bill Murray is the head counselor at a summer camp. It's 1979, so it's not as raunchy as it sounds. Not very funny either, but cute, and you want to watch it once because it's Bill Murray. Made in Canada.

In the Summer camp theme, Wet Hot American Summer is better value. (Last viewed: June 2010)

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The Tall Blond with a Black Shoe DVDThe Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe (Le Grand Blond avec une Chaussure Noire)
      1972 | France | Laughs: 6.6 (Watch Once) | imdb: 7.3
      wikipedia | who was involved?

A rogue section of the French secret service is made to believe that an innocent violinist (Pierre Richard) is a dangerous super-spy. Can be watched more than once, but not for the laughs, as the movie is more sweet than it is funny. (Last viewed: Nov 1997 September 2011)

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The Return of the Tall Blond DVDThe Return of the Tall Blond Man (Le Retour du Grand Blond)
      1974 | France | Laughs: 6.6 (Watch Once) | imdb: 6.8
      wikipedia | who was involved?

The tall blond is now hired by the secret service and asked to play the role of super-spy to foil the efforts of a nosy cop. Perhaps funnier than the original, though not as strong a movie overall. (Last viewed: September 2011)

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Les Bronzes Font du Ski DVDFrench Fried Vacation 2 (Les Bronzés font du Ski)
      1979 | France | Laughs: 6.5 (Watch Once) | imdb: 7.5
      wikipedia | who was involved?

Not high art but definitely worth a watch because it works, and you will laugh. The original Les Bronzés (literally, The Tanned Ones) may be a better movie, but it has fewer laughs. (Last viewed: July 2009)

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The Adventures of Rabbi Jacob DVDThe Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob (Les Aventures de Rabbi Jacob)
      1973 | France | Laughs: 6.2 (Watch Once) | imdb: 7.5
      wikipedia | who was involved?

French. Original, funny, but too much going on. Will leave you feeling tired. (Last viewed: July 2009)

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