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Articles - Comedy Movies Not on DVD ... Yet

You got to wonder what the studios are thinking sometimes. They release dvd versions of the most dreadful trash such as Plan 9 From Outer Space but simply do not see the classics under their noses. Cases in point:

GIGOT is a funny comedy starring Jackie Gleason. Filmed in France and in French, Gigot is the charming, very funny and poignant story of a deaf-mute, Jackie Gleason, who befriends a little girl. People being people (and this was in the early sixties folks!) they harass Gigot --the Jackie Gleason character-- thinking he must be an evil man. Jackie Gleason should have won an Academy Award for this prestation as he does not say a single word in the entire movie. The comedy and drama all depend on his body language and facial expressions. Gigot rarely plays on tv anymore, if ever, and has unfortunately vanished from any studio's to be released plans.

WHO'S MINDING THE STORE is a Jerry Lewis movie. I know, I know, only the French like Jerry Lewis and perhaps with reason. There's a slew of Jerry Lewis comedy movies coming out before Christmas 2004 but this one is not one of them. Instead, we'll get a few fairly funny movies with the annoying man himself and a few of the many turkeys he's been in (Cinderfella anyone?). Who's Minding the Store is a different Jerry Lewis movie because it has all of what makes Jerry Lewis funny and none of the many annoying traits he too often gets away with. This funny story is that of a man who falls in love with an employee at a department store and courts her, not knowing she is the heiress of the store. Her parents, who run the store, decide to chase off this unsuitable suitor by hiring him and giving him the most impossible jobs. There is a great running gag here involving a traffic cop on the street the store is situated and the many things that fall on his head. It is a funny movie and one of the very few Jerry Lewis movies that is funny.

DON CAMILLO is a series of movies starring the late great French actor Fernandel. Originally in French it was dubbed in English with the also late and great Orson Welles as the voice of God. Don Camillo is a series of movies telling the funny adventures of a priest in a small village who tries to do his best with the flock he has and his ongoing feud with the communist mayor of the village. What makes this a funny movie is not only the great characters of the village priest, Don Camillo, and the mayor, but also the plot line of Don Camillo speaking to God and God speaking to Don Camillo. It is not a preachy, religious kind of movie but more of a funny take on the human condition. If you've ever wondered what God was like, I would suggest he is more like himself in Don Camillo's funny stories than the so-called deity right wing pro-life burn-forever-you-liberal vengeful spiteful creature the Sunday morning send me money crowd want you to believe in.

Don Camillo is now available in French in Quebec.

Richard Lanoie



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