Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Ladykillers (1955)

Comedy is a very under-appreciated genre, as making something funny on film takes a whole lot more than simply writing a joke. You need good jokes, sure, but you're also dependent on good actors who has control over every muscle in their face as well as a perfect sense of timing. Additionally, a well oiled comedy requires tons of rehearsals and re-shoots, which all takes so long to set up and film and film again, that when you've finally got a shot you're happy with, you've seen it so many times that the spontaneity and surprise element is way gone and you're not even sure if it's actually funny at all.

When you're making a black comedy, it gets even more difficult, as you have to constantly balance on the edge of what is funny and what is just vulgar.

The atrocious remake the Coen brothers did of this classic, illustrates perfectly how incredibly lame and unfunny a film can be, if not all the elements are there.

But in this original, the filmmakers got everything just right, and seeing five men plotting to kill a sweet old lady will have you bursting with tears of laughter.


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