Comedies from the 1980s


   

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

This section is for comedies from the 1980s. 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 1980s sorted by Laugh-o-meter (descending) / page 1 of 7


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The Wing and the Thigh DVDThe Wing and the Thigh (L'Aile ou la Cuisse)
      1980 | France | Laughs: 9.5 (Laugh Out Loud) | imdb: 7.3
      wikipedia | who was involved?

Another subtitled comical treasure from the land of camembert. The aging owner of the prestigious Duchemin culinary guide uses all his cunning to foil the plans of a packaged food moghul. With two comic actors at their peak (Louis de Funès and Coluche), this movie makes you laugh without a hint of profanity. It was a real treat to discover this little gem 30 years after it came out. (Last viewed: October 2011)

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Police Academy DVDPolice Academy (a.k.a What an Institution)
      1984 | USA | Laughs: 9.5 (Laugh Out Loud) | imdb: 6.7
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

To avoid being shut down, a Vermont highway patrol unit competes with the local police to impress the Governor. Many of the comic situations develop because these cops say and do things you never see cops say and do in movies. If you're looking for an intellectual brand of humor, Super Troopers may not be for you. The people I watched the movie with called it stupid, but who cares, I laughed hard, and they did too. (Last viewed: September 2009)

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Trading Places DVDTrading Places
      1983 | USA | Laughs: 9.3 (Laugh Out Loud) | imdb: 7.5
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

A social science experiment in which playful millionaires turn a beggar (Eddie Murphy) into a commodities trader. Great script, great cast, great acting. (Last viewed: August 2009)

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Crocodile Dundee DVDCrocodile Dundee
      1986 | Australia | Laughs: 9.2 (Laugh Out Loud) | imdb: 6.5
      wikipedia | who was involved?

Before leaving Australia after she finishes her job, a New York reporter goes to the Northern Territory to write a feature about a tour guide who has survived an attack by a crocodile. To complete the story, the newspaper flies the charming bushman over to the United States to see how he will survive New York. I love this movie: it makes me laugh—a lot—and it shows Australia at its best in the person of Crocodile Dundee, a man who behaves as if all the people he meets are his equal (well, as long as they're men). This trait remains strong in the national self-image, though it has suffered in the years since the movie came out as Australians have had to face the challenge of surviving the globalized world. Crocodile Dundee II is not one tenth as funny. (Last viewed: July 2010)

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Ferris Bueller DVDFerris Bueller's Day Off
      1986 | USA | Laughs: 9.0 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 7.8
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

Ferris decides to take a day off from high school and look at life outside. I love this movie: several endearing characters (Ferris is a treasure), a tale of rule-breaking without guns and cuss words, lots of grins and a few good laughs. (Last viewed: October 2010)

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A Fish Called Wanda DVDA Fish Called Wanda
      1988 | U.K. | Laughs: 8.7 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 7.6
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

Two robbers scheme to discover where their now imprisoned leader has hidden the diamonds. This film is a timeless classic, and not just for fans of John Cleese (the barister): all four lead actors shine on their own, as do some of the supporting cast. You might remember Wanda as a laugh-a-minute movie, but you may find yourself cringing as much as laughing, not least because of the sadistic brand of humor that animates the relationship between Wanda's "brother" Otto and stammer-afflicted Ken. Unlike many comedies, this film has an engaging plot with plenty of dramatic tension. In 1997, its winning foursome was reunited in Fierce Creatures, which deserves to be watched at least once. (Last viewed: April 2012)

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Fletch DVDFletch
      1985 | USA | Laughs: 8.7 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 6.9
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

A reporter goes undercover to break a story about drug dealing on the beach. To do so, he pretends to agree to kill a rich man who says he is dying of cancer, and he adopts a series of disguises and personas, each more successful than the last. A home run role for Chevy Chase. (Last viewed: August 2009)

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Beverly Hills Cop DVDBeverly Hills Cop
      1984 | USA | Laughs: 8.7 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 7.3
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

Despite a brutal murder scene and lots of shootings, this movie packs lots of laughters. A Detroit cop (Eddie Murphy) elopes to Los Angeles to investigate the murder of a childhood friend. There, he must play a cat-and-mouse game with the local police. Bonus: It's 1984, and the clothing styles and theme music are just wonderful. Don't bother watching the sequel. (Last viewed: September 2009)

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The Gods Must be Crazy DVDThe Gods Must be Crazy
      1980 | South Africa | Laughs: 8.6 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 7.3
      wikipedia | who was involved?

Xi, a bushman of the Kalahari desert, leaves his family on a mission to the end of the world. On his way, he meets a scientist, a school teacher, a guerilla mob and other inhabitants of southern Africa. This beautiful film with a carefully-crafted plot starts out like a National Geographic program. As the story takes shape, laughs get more and more frequent. In the 1980s, this film was sometimes said to patronize indigenous Africans—perhaps because it was made by a white South African. With a distance of thirty years, I found the movie very gentle. The sequel is nearly as good. In a sense, The Gods Must be Crazy is the South African version of Crocodile Dundee, another southern hemisphere comedy that it predates by six years. (Last viewed: Dec 1980 July 2010)

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The Gods Must be Crazy 2 DVDThe Gods Must be Crazy 2
      1989 | South Africa | Laughs: 8.6 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 6.8
      wikipedia | who was involved?

We meet Xi the bushman again as he goes on another mission—this time, to find his children. The plot is not as complex as that of the original movie (it mostly stays in the tracks of a truck), nor is it as funny, but the movie is cute and pleasant to watch. (Last viewed: Aug 1989 July 2010)

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Spinal Tap DVDThis is Spinal Tap
      1984 | USA | Laughs: 8.3 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 8.0
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

This movie that defined the mockumentary genre pretends to follow British band Spinal Tap as it tours the United States to launch its latest album. The two lead band members feel so real you keep grinning from start to finish. A few things go wrong. You may surprise yourself being fascinated as though you were watching a doco about the Beatles or David Bowie, whose music Spinal Tap's resembles in some of its periods. (Last viewed: Jul 1995 June 2010)

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Knock on Wood (La Chèvre)
      1981 | France | Laughs: 8.1 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 7.4
      wikipedia | who was involved?

Perhaps the second-funniest French comedy ever (after The Dinner Game), starring Pierre Richard and Gérard Depardieu. Pierre Richard plays his trademark character, the clumsy guy. A very cute film with a great number of laughs. Endearing, never nasty. Good English subtitles available online. (Last viewed: Jul 2009 September 2011)

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Airplane DVDAirplane!
      1980 | USA | Laughs: 8.0 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 7.8
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

Many people say that Airplane! is the funniest movie they've ever seen; I wonder if they've watched it lately. When the pilots of a flight to Chicago (and most of the passengers) get food poisoning, the burden of landing the plane falls on the shoulders of a former war pilot still grappling with psychological damage. Very silly. Some laughs. (Last viewed: June 2010)

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Le Coup du ParapluieThe Umbrella Coup (Le Coup du Parapluie)
      1980 | France | Laughs: 7.8 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 6.6
      wikipedia | who was involved?

An unemployed actor on his way to an audition walks into the wrong room and believes he lands a big role, though in fact he has been hired by a mobster to eliminate a rival. A very decent French farce with Pierre Richard, along themes reminiscent of his great role in the Tall Blond series. (Last viewed: April 2013)

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Inspecteur la Bavure DVDInspector Blunder (Inspecteur la Bavure)
      1980 | France | Laughs: 7.6 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 6.2
      wikipedia | who was involved?

A young inspector who entered the force at the bottom of his class finds himself saddled with a journalist who sets up a high-profile scheme to meet a man she fantasizes about, an attention-seeking criminal (Gérard Depardieu). The plot's long set-up (when one gets to know the character) is really funny. As often with this kind of film, when the director decides that it's time for something to happen, the comic value drops near zero, while the action fails to capture your interest. I'll watch it again as the main actor (Coluche) is a delightful comedian. (Last viewed: October 2011)

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(This section: Movies from the 1980s)
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