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Top 10 War Related 'comedic' Satires

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#1 of 44 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted March 20 2003 - 03:15 PM

#2 of 44 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted March 20 2003 - 03:28 PM

I agree with Dr. Strangelove Stalag 17 MASH Mister Roberts and would add Duck Soup To Be or Not to Be (1942) 1941 The Great Dictator Raiders of the Lost Ark Operation Petticoat Father Goose
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#3 of 44 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted March 20 2003 - 04:22 PM

The Great Dictator is the ultimate war satire. I strongly advise anyone who hasn't seen it to go rent it (buy the July 1st DVD). It's as important as it was in 1940. It's a big cream pie in the face of facism... My quote is sampled from Charlie Chaplin's heart-felt (if just a tad corny) monologue from the end of the film. I'd also look for wartime cartoons such as Russian Rhapsody, Herr Meets Hare, Blitz Wolf, and Scrap Happy Daffy. Sure, they make fun of Hitler, but also the silliness of a dictator. (Of course, you'll see two "heroic" Stalin references...as if he was any nicer than Hitler!)

#4 of 44 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted March 20 2003 - 04:34 PM


I can't believe I forgot about Chaplin's 'The Great Dictator'! Excellent choice. So is the Marxs Brothers' 'Duck Soup'. I'll also add both '1941' and 'Operation Petticoat' to the honarable mentions list.

As for 'Father Goose', while I think its a great movie, and certainly funny, it isn't really a satire. It is more like a situation comedy. Still an excellent film!

I am really not sure why you added 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' to your list. It's a great adventure film but I can't ever see it being referred to as a satire let alone a satire on war.

I have not seen 'To Be or Not to Be', can you give me a synapses on what qualities it has that would qualify it for this particular list?

Excellent suggestions of which most I will put in the list.

I also remembered another great satire on war, 'The Mouse That Roared', so I'll try and find a spot for it as well.

#5 of 44 OFFLINE   Edwin-S



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Posted March 20 2003 - 04:51 PM

The Boys in Company C

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#6 of 44 ONLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted March 20 2003 - 05:33 PM

To Be or Not to Be. At least six films have used this title, but only two fit the parameters of this thread, and they're both based on the same story:

[quote]. Summary by Ken Yousten [quote]

Jack Benny and Carole Lombard starred in the 1942 original, Mel Brooks and real-life wife Anne Bancroft ("Mrs. Robinson") in the 1983 remake.

And, of course, no such list would be complete with The Americanization of Emily (James Garner and Julie Andrews, never better) and King of Hearts (Alan Bates)



#7 of 44 OFFLINE   Wes C

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Posted March 20 2003 - 06:13 PM

Canadian Bacon?

#8 of 44 OFFLINE   Bill J

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Posted March 20 2003 - 06:41 PM

Three Kings - a stylish and exaggerated portrayal of the Gulf War.

#9 of 44 OFFLINE   James Lambert

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Posted March 21 2003 - 12:05 AM

David Attenboroughs musical "Oh What A Lovely War" is a fine film, yet I don't believe it has been released on DVD unfortunately.
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#10 of 44 OFFLINE   Jay E

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Posted March 21 2003 - 12:10 AM

Richard Lester's How I Won the War - It was supposed to come out on DVD by MGM, but for some reason it never materialized.

Also, I always liked Kelly's Heroes, especially Donald Sutherland as a pre-60's hippie.

#11 of 44 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted March 21 2003 - 12:15 AM

As far as To Be or Not to Be, I'm definitely talking about the 1942 film with Jack Benny, and I think you'd really enjoy it, and should put it on your list. It's about a hammy actor who portrays Hitler and...well, if you have any doubts about it being satirical, just note that Mel Brooks redid it in 1983 (not as well as the original, but still pretty good).

As far as Father Goose, I guess it's not really very satirical (except for satire of coast watchers, and the Australian Navy Posted Image), so I guess it doesn't really belong.

And Raiders isn't what you're after either, although the portrayal of the nazis (and the U.S. Govt. at the end) is pretty satirical, which is why I had included it.
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#12 of 44 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted March 21 2003 - 01:33 AM

I nominate Kelly's Heroes also. Great satire and comedy, over the top plot and cynical commentary on the "spoils of war". But the scenes with actual fighting were spot on (Sutherland's Sherman antics aside).

#13 of 44 OFFLINE   Jesse Blacklow

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Posted March 21 2003 - 02:01 AM

I'm surprised only one other person has mentioned The Mouse that Roared. Along with Dr. Strangelove it's one of the finest examples of both Peter Sellers and satire of war. Very funny. Kelly's Heroes also got a couple of laughs from me.

I don't know if I'd count Three Kings as satire, although I like it because it illustrates the difference between what we said we would do in Iraq, and what actually happened.

EDIT: Took out some politicizing. Fixed some spelling. Back to work Posted Image.
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#14 of 44 OFFLINE   JamieD


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Posted March 21 2003 - 02:25 AM

I think this is a great thread, so I had asked that no one use Jesse's thread to get off on a political tangent, which isn't a problem, since he changed it a bit. Posted Image Thanks Jesse!

Hope no one minds. Great list!
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#15 of 44 OFFLINE   Marty M

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Posted March 21 2003 - 02:28 AM

This is a great list, but I would also include The Americanization of Emily. By the way, when is this great movie going to be released on DVD?
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#16 of 44 OFFLINE   Martin Ramanzini Sims

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Posted March 21 2003 - 05:13 AM

What about the monthy pythons The meaning of life? Is a satire about many things, but it includes one or two segment for the war that I found really funny.

#17 of 44 OFFLINE   Mark_vdH



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Posted March 21 2003 - 06:01 AM

Although it isn't my favorite film, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned La Vita é Bella (AKA Life is Beautiful) yet.

Dr Strangelove rules, though. Posted Image
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#18 of 44 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted March 21 2003 - 08:03 AM

Wow! Excellent responses folks! I can already see several that will have to get on the list ASAP.

First of all, it sounds to me as if 'To Be or Not to Be' is deserving to be included what with the additional recommendations it is receiving, so I will do as such.

I had never heard of 'The Americanization of Emily' before, but what I have read so far leads me to support its addition to the list. 'Le Roi de Coeur' (King of Hearts) is a fantastic film and also deserves to be on the list.

Wes C,
Yes 'Canadian Bacon' does fit the criteria, but admittedly not a great film, but let's put it in the honorable mentions list just as we did for '1941'.

'Three Kings' is an entertaining movie if nothing more than for its 'style', but I have to agree with the others and say that it doesn't satirize war.

In fact for the same reason, as much as I really like the movie, 'Kelly's Heroes' also doesn't satirize war. Like 'Three Kings', its about a bunch of soldiers chasing after gold. Granted the characters are humorous, but the war itself isn't being made fun of. But if I am way off base, by all means help me better understand why it might be included in the list.

On the other hand, your other submission, 'How I Won the War' is quite appropriate and I kick myself for not remembering it.

'Monty Python's The Meaning of Life' does include a couple excellent satires on war (a favorite target by this magnificent comedy group), but two skits I don't think qualify it to make it on the list - still a great recommendation.

'La Vita é Bella' (AKA Life is Beautiful) while magnificent, does not in any way satirize war, but rather is about a Father's desire to hide the realities of war from his delicate son.

OK, some great submissions that I'll put in the list this evening. In the meantime here are a few others I had forgot to list:

Woody Allen's 'Bananas' has to find a spot on the top 10 list! What a great farce!

'Love and Death' is another Woody Allen film that may deserve to make it in the honorable mentions list. What do you all think?

'Start the Revolution Without Me' should certainly get in the honorable mentions list. Gene Wilder and Donald Sutherland were fantastic in this amusing satire of the French Revolution.

#19 of 44 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted March 21 2003 - 08:19 AM

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp ought to be on the list.
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#20 of 44 OFFLINE   Larry P

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Posted March 21 2003 - 08:27 AM

[quote] Starship Troopers. OK, before you commit me for adding this film to the list, let me just say this. As a satire on neo fascism and war, it's actually a bloody darn good film. I think those that disliked the film often disliked it for the wrong reason as they didn't realize it was meant as a satire, and was not meant to be taken seriously. [quote]

Starship Troopers obviously was a serious film when you watch it. Just like Robocop and Robocop 2 are serious films too. Yes, they are satire's and even though the directors intentions may have been to play a joke on everyone, this is not what they come across as, imo.

I think people try to make excuses for ST in particular, because they feel it doesn't work on it's own merits. Well, I think it does work on its own merits. It works rather wonderfully actually. I just don't think that anyone who watches the film without listening to the commentary or having read interviews with Verhoeven, would necessarily "get" that the good guys are actually supposed to be the bad guys; the evil fascists.

I'm not saying that it shouldn't be included in the list, but I don't think people's enjoyment of a movie should be because "it's *really* saying *this*". Obviously the movie is irreverent, but I think it's good science fiction in that it doesn't preach, and it does present a fair view of the political philosophy portrayed in the film. I think that telling people that the whole thing is a big joke is really undermining the film, but I think people feel they have to tell people that because most people don't seem to *get* this movie. I think if you have to explain things to people, then the movie is a failure.

I think, like Robocop and Robocop 2, this movie works on a lot of levels and I love it.

But I think this brings up an interesting point. How important are directors commentaries really? When talking about DVD's you really have to include the commentaries and all of the behind the scenes stuff as part of the whole viewing experience. So then is the film complete with all of that stuff or is it complete on it's own?

Obviously, if there are behind the scenes commentaries with the makers of the film, telling the viewers of the DVD that their film is really an allegory for "dee-doop-dee-deedly-doop" than is it at that moment of "realization" when the audience's viewing experience of the picture is complete?

Are there DVD's where you go out of your way not to listen to any of the behind the scenes stuff because it might taint your enjoyment of the film?

I guess this is one reason why some director's go out of their way not to do commentaries or behind the scenes interviews for their films' DVD's. Maybe that's what the world of films is becoming. They feel they can just throw anything up on the screen and then explain it all in the behind the scenes stuff on the DVD. Maybe that's interpretive art that nobody can interpretate so we provide you with the interpretation outside of the film itself, but as part of the package (in the DVD).

But anyway, back on topic, Starship Troopers does a very good job of explaining itself within the context of the film and frankly, I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone who needs it to be explained to them.

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