Best Comedy Movies of 1940
The Great Dictator
Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.
The Shop Around the Corner
Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand one another, without realising that they are falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal.
The Philadelphia Story
When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself. Remade as a musical in 1956 as High Society.
His Girl Friday
Hildy, the journalist former wife of newspaper editor Walter Burns, visits his office to inform him that she's engaged and will be getting remarried the next day. Walter can't let that happen and frames the fiancé, Bruce Baldwin, for one thing after another, to keep him temporarily held in prison, while trying to steer Hildy into returning to her old job as his employee.
My Favorite Wife
Seven years after a shipwreck in which she was presumed dead, Ellen Arden arrives home to find that her husband Nick has just remarried. The overjoyed Nick struggles to break the news to his new bride. But he gets a shock when he hears the whole story: Ellen spent those seven years alone on a desert island with another man.
You Ought to Be in Pictures
Daffy Duck convinces Porky Pig to quit the cartoon biz and try his luck in the features. Porky's adventures begin when he tries to enter the studio.
Remember the Night
When Jack, an assistant District Attorney, takes Lee, a shoplifter caught in the act, home with him for Christmas, the unexpected happens and love blossoms.
Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum
A wax museum run by a demented doctor contains statues of such crime figures as Jack the Ripper and Bluebeard. In addition to making wax statues the doctor performs plastic surgery. It is here that an arch fiend takes refuge. The museum also houses a statue of Charlie. Frustrated number-two son kicks statue in rear; oops, number-two son wrong in his assumption
A Plumbing We Will Go
To escape the police, the stooges pose as plumbers and are hired to fix a leak in a fancy mansion. They wind up crossing the electrical system with the plumbing and generally ruin the place. One memorable scene has the lady of the house tuning into a television broadcast from Niagara Falls as a torrent of water pours from the set. To escape the wrath of the homeowners the stooges escape through a magicians trap door.
A Wild Hare
While hunting rabbits, Elmer Fudd comes across Bugs Bunny who tricks and harasses the hunter.
Puss Gets the Boot
Jasper is given an ultimatum by his master: break one more thing and you're out. Rodent Jerry does his best to make sure that his tormentor "gets the boot".
I Love You Again
Boring businessman Larry Wilson recovers from amnesia and discovers he's really a con man...and loves his soon-to-be-ex wife.
Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise
On a cruise ship from Honolulu to San Francisco, the famous Chinese detective encounters four more murders while trying to figure out the murder of a Scotland Yard friend.
The Great McGinty
Told in flashback, Depression-era bum Dan McGinty is recruited by the city's political machine to help with vote fraud. His great aptitude for this brings rapid promotion from "the boss," who finally decides he'd be ideal as a new, nominally "reform" mayor; but this candidacy requires marriage. His in-name-only marriage to honest Catherine proves the beginning of the end for dishonest Dan...
Christmas in July
An office clerk loves entering contests in the hopes of someday winning a fortune and marrying the girl he loves. His latest attempt is the Maxford House Coffee Slogan Contest. As a joke, some of his co-workers put together a fake telegram which says that he won the $25,000 grand prize.
Charlie Chan in Panama
Charlie impersonates an employee of the U.S. government to foil an espionage plot which would destroy part of the Panama Canal, trapping a Navy fleet on its way to the Pacific after maneuvers in the Atlantic.
Saps at Sea
Stan and Ollie work in a horn factory. Ollie starts having violent fits every time he hears a horn. His doctor prescribes a restful sea voyage. Mayhem ensues.
The Ghost Breakers
After intrepid working girl Mary Carter becomes the new owner of a reputedly haunted mansion located on Black Island near the Cuban coast, a stranger phones warning her to stay away from the castle. Undaunted, Mary sets sail for Cuba with a stowaway in her trunk—wise-cracking Larry Lawrence, a radio announcer who helps Mary get to the bottom of the voodoo magic, zombies and ghosts that supposedly curse the spooky estate.
When retired racket boss John Sarto tries to reclaim his place and former friends try to kill him, he finds solace in a monastery and reinvents himself as a pious monk.
Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip
Mickey is heading out on vacation from Burbank to Pomona, taking the train. The conductor, Pete, won't let him on with Pluto, so he hides Pluto in his suitcase, and tries to hide him all throughout the trip without much luck. But Pete wins when Pluto is hooked by a mail hook. Or does he?
The Bank Dick
Egbert Sousé becomes an unexpected hero when a bank robber falls over a bench he's occupying. Now considered brave, Egbert is given a job as a bank guard. Soon, he is approached by charlatan J. Frothingham Waterbury about buying shares in a mining company. Egbert persuades teller Og Oggilby to lend him bank money, to be returned when the scheme pays off. Unfortunately, bank inspector Snoopington then makes a surprise appearance.
My Little Chickadee
While on her way by stagecoach to visit relatives out west, Flower Belle Lee is held up by a masked bandit who also takes the coach's shipment of gold. When he abducts Flower Belle and they arrive in town, Flower Belle is suspected of being in collusion with the bandit.
Embezzler, shill, all around confidence man S. Quentin Quale is heading west to find his fortune; he meets the crafty but simple brothers Joseph and Rusty Panello in a train station, where they steal all his money. They're heading west, too, because they've heard you can just pick the gold off the ground. Once there, they befriend an old miner named Dan Wilson whose property, Dead Man's Gulch, has no gold. They loan him their last ten dollars so he can go start life anew, and for collateral, he gives them the deed to the Gulch. Unbeknownst to Wilson, the son of his longtime rival, Terry Turner (who's also in love with his daughter, Eva), has contacted the railroad to arrange for them to build through the land, making the old man rich and hopefully resolving the feud. But the evil Red Baxter, owner of a saloon, tricks the boys out of the deed, and it's up to them - as well as Quale, who naturally finds his way out west anyway - to save the day.
Murder Over New York
When Charlie's old friend from Scotland Yard is murdered when they attend a police convention in New York, Chan picks up the case he was working on.
Mickey is performing routine maintenance on his tugboat (with interference from a pelican) when a call comes on the radio that there's a sinking ship needing assistance. Sadly, Mickey's crew consists of Donald and Goofy, so getting underway to help is not easy. Goofy has to fight a boiler's door to get it stoked with coal (and when he succeeds, he overfills it) and Donald gets tangled up in the machinery. Not to mention that nobody casts off, so they drag half the dock along with them. The overworked boiler soon explodes.
A Central American plantation manager and his boss battle over a traveling showgirl.
Road to Singapore
Two playboys try to forget previous romances in Singapore - until they meet Dorothy Lamour...
This Thing Called Love
Two professional people marry, but the wife insists that they be celibate for the first three months to make sure they are truly compatible.
Strike Up the Band
Jimmy and Mary get a group of kids together to play in a school orchestra. A huge contest between schools is coming up and they have a hard time raising money to go to Chicago for the contest.
Beautiful chanteuse 'Bijou' (Marlene Dietrich) cascades through Malaysia's ports of call eventually landing in a handsome lieutenant's lap. As Bijou 'drifts through the standards', the fleet's Admiral reckons the US Navy "already has enough destroyers". A Marlene classic with songs by Frederick Hollander and a young and promising John Wayne.
Too Many Husbands
Long-missing Bill Cardew returns to find his wife Vicky remarried...and in no hurry to settle for just one husband.
It All Came True
After crooked nightclub owner Chips Maguire murders a police informant, he blackmails his piano player to allow him to stay at his eccentric mother's boarding house.
La Conga Nights
In this comedy, actor Hugh Herbert plays six different roles. Only one of the roles is a man. The story centers around a dizzy music lover, who has grown rich through real estate deals. Also figuring in the story are a cab driver/performer, and a down-on-her-luck, aspiring singer. They meet when she hails his cab as she skips out on her former boarding house because she cannot pay rent.
Down Argentine Way
The story—in which an American heiress on holiday in South America falls in love with an Argentine horse breeder against the wishes of their families—takes a backseat to the spectacular location shooting and parade of extravagant musical numbers, which include the larger-than-life Carmen Miranda singing the hit “South American Way” and a showstopping dance routine by the always amazing Nicholas Brothers.
No Time for Comedy
Director William Keighley's 1940 film adaptation of S. N. Behrman's stage hit, about an aspiring playwright who finds himself an overnight Broadway success, stars James Stewart, Rosalind Russell, Genevieve Tobin, Louise Beavers, Charles Ruggles and Allyn Joslyn.
Angels Over Broadway
Small-time businessman Charles Engle is threatened with exposure for embezzling $3,000 for his free-spending wife. Deciding on suicide, he scribbles a note, stuffs it in his pocket and goes for one last night on the town. He is pulled into a poker game by conman Bill O'Brien and singer Nina Barone, but when they discover the dropped note, they resolve to turn the tables, get Engle his $3,000 and save his life.
Susan and God
A flighty socialite neglects her family to promote a new religious group.
An American reporter smuggling news out of Soviet Moscow is blackmailed into helping a beautiful Communist leave the country.
The Invisible Woman
Kitty Carroll, an attractive store model, volunteers to become a test subject for a machine that will make her invisible so that she can use her invisibility to exact revenge on her ex-boss.
You Nazty Spy!
In this satire of the Nazis the stooges are paperhangers in the country of Moronica. When evil cabinet ministers overthrow the king, they decide to make Moe the new ruler as he'll be stupid enough to follow their orders. Moe becomes Dictator, Curly is a Field Marshal and Larry becomes Minister of propaganda. After successfully preventing a female spy from committing mayhem, the boys are run out of office by a mob and eaten by lions.
Five Little Peppers at Home
The second entry in the four "Five Little Peppers" films finds the family struggling to keep their copper mine when their elderly business partner becomes ill.
The Blue Bird
An ungrateful girl and her little brother are transported in their dreams by a fairy to a wonderland, tasked with finding the mythical blue bird of happiness, meeting friends and foes along the way.
Li'l Abner becomes convinced that he is going to die within twenty-four hours, so agrees to marry two different girls: Daisy Mae (who has chased him for years) and Wendy Wilecat (who rescued him from an angry mob). It is all settled at the Sadie Hawkins Day race.
How High Is Up?
The stooges are the 'Minute Menders', three tinkers who live under their car. The boys decide to drum up some business by punching holes in the unattended lunch boxes of some workmen. When they're caught in the act, they escape and accidentally get hired as riveters on a new building, working on the 97th floor. Their ineptitude and lousy workmanship screw up construction of the building and they must parachute off the building to escape the wrath of the boss.
You'll Find Out
The manager of Kay Kyser’s band books them for a birthday party bash for an heiress at a spooky mansion, where sinister forces try to kill her.
Rhythm on the River
Popular songwriter Oliver Courtney has been getting by for years using one ghost writer for his music and another for his lyrics. When both writers meet at an inn, they fall in love and then try to sell their songs under their own name. The problem is every song publisher thinks they're copying Courtney's style.
Blondie Has Servant Trouble
Things get under way when Blondie Bumstead demands that her husband request a raise from his boss Mr. Dithers, so that she can afford to hire a maid. But Dithers has no time for any salary disputes: his construction firm is currently stuck with an unsaleable old mansion that is rumored to be haunted. To disprove this theory, Dithers asks the Bumstead family to spend a night in the crumbling old house, throwing a retinue of servants into the bargain.
One Night in the Tropics
Jim "Lucky" Moore, an insurance salesman, comes up with a novel policy for his friend, Steve: a 'love insurance policy', that will pay out $1-million if Steve does not marry his fiancée, Cynthia. The upcoming marriage is jeopardized by Steve's ex-girlfriend, Mickey, and Cynthia's disapproving Aunt Kitty. The policy is underwritten by a nightclub owner, Roscoe, who sends two enforcers - Abbott and Costello - to ensure that the wedding occurs as planned.
Blondie Plays Cupid
The Bumstead family is off to see relatives in the country when Blondie runs into Charlie and Millie, an eloping couple needing her help.
Doomed to Die
Shipping magnate Cyrus Wentworth, downcast over a disaster to his ocean liner 'Wentworth Castle' (carrying, oddly enough, an illicit shipment of Chinese bonds) is shot in his office at the very moment of kicking out his daughter's fiance Dick Fleming. Of course, Captain Street arrests Dick, but reporter Bobbie Logan, the attractive thorn in Street's side, is so convinced he's wrong that she enlists the help of detective James Lee Wong to find the real killer.