Screwball

by karljhickey14 | created - 27 Oct 2015 | updated - 2 weeks ago | Public

From the days when romantic comedies were actually funny ( and even romantic on occasion ). See also - all the Marx Brothers films , Million Dollar Legs , Never Give A Sucker An Even Break , Hellzapoppin' - literally screwball

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1. Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Not Rated | 102 min | Comedy, Family, Romance

91 Metascore

While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled paleontologist is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress and her pet leopard, Baby.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charles Ruggles, Walter Catlett

Votes: 51,768

2. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Not Rated | 112 min | Comedy, Romance

96 Metascore

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.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey

Votes: 59,438

3. Holiday (1938)

Not Rated | 95 min | Comedy, Romance

A young man in love with a girl from a rich family finds his unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancée's eccentric sister and long-suffering brother.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Doris Nolan, Lew Ayres

Votes: 13,118

4. His Girl Friday (1940)

Passed | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, Gene Lockhart

Votes: 49,383 | Gross: $0.30M

5. It Happened One Night (1934)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Romance

87 Metascore

A spoiled heiress running away from her family is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns

Votes: 86,430 | Gross: $4.36M

6. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Not Rated | 118 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey, Jack Carson

Votes: 62,246

7. Ball of Fire (1941)

Approved | 111 min | Comedy, Romance

A group of professors working on a new encyclopedia encounter a mouthy nightclub singer who is wanted by the police to help bring down her mob boss lover.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Oskar Homolka, Henry Travers

Votes: 9,803

8. The Lady Eve (1941)

Passed | 94 min | Comedy, Romance

A trio of classy card sharks targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, until one of them falls in love with him.

Director: Preston Sturges | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn, Eugene Pallette

Votes: 17,627

9. Turnabout (1940)

Not Rated | 83 min | Comedy, Fantasy

Bickering husband and wife Tim and Sally Willows mutter a few angry words to a statue of Buddha and wind up living each other's life.

Director: Hal Roach | Stars: Adolphe Menjou, Carole Landis, John Hubbard, William Gargan

Votes: 611

10. Hi Diddle Diddle (1943)

Approved | 72 min | Comedy, Musical

When the bride's mother is supposedly swindled out of her money by a spurned suitor, the groom's father orchestrates a scheme of his own to set things right. He is aided by a cabaret singer... See full summary »

Director: Andrew L. Stone | Stars: Adolphe Menjou, Martha Scott, Pola Negri, Dennis O'Keefe

Votes: 379

11. Out of the Blue (1947)

Approved | 84 min | Comedy

Set in an apartment building whose occupants include Arthur Earthleigh, a meek and mild type married to the beautiful-but-domineering Mae; a Bohemian artist, David Galleo and his ... See full summary »

Director: Leigh Jason | Stars: George Brent, Virginia Mayo, Turhan Bey, Ann Dvorak

Votes: 182

12. The Palm Beach Story (1942)

Passed | 88 min | Comedy, Romance

An inventor needs cash to develop his big idea. His wife, who loves him, decides to raise it for him by divorcing him and marrying a millionaire.

Director: Preston Sturges | Stars: Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Mary Astor, Rudy Vallee

Votes: 9,971 | Gross: $0.44M

13. Topper (1937)

Passed | 97 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

A fun-loving couple, finding that they died and are now ghosts, decide to shake up the stuffy lifestyle of a friend of theirs.

Director: Norman Z. McLeod | Stars: Cary Grant, Constance Bennett, Roland Young, Billie Burke

Votes: 6,267

14. Topper Returns (1941)

Approved | 88 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Mystery

A fun-loving young woman is murdered after trading bedrooms with her wealthy friend. Her ghost seeks aid from Topper to find the murderer.

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: Joan Blondell, Roland Young, Carole Landis, Billie Burke

Votes: 2,334

15. Theodora Goes Wild (1936)

Approved | 94 min | Comedy, Romance

The author of a controversially racy best-selling book tries to hide her celebrity status from her provincial small-town neighbors, who'd be scandalized if they knew.

Director: Richard Boleslawski | Stars: Irene Dunne, Melvyn Douglas, Thomas Mitchell, Thurston Hall

Votes: 1,995

16. Nothing Sacred (1937)

Passed | 77 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

An eccentric woman learns she is not dying of radium poisoning as earlier assumed, but when she meets a reporter looking for a story, she feigns sickness again for her own profit.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Carole Lombard, Fredric March, Charles Winninger, Walter Connolly

Votes: 5,545

17. My Man Godfrey (1936)

Not Rated | 94 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A scatterbrained socialite hires a vagrant as a family butler - but there's more to Godfrey than meets the eye.

Director: Gregory La Cava | Stars: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Alice Brady, Gail Patrick

Votes: 19,138

18. They All Kissed the Bride (1942)

Approved | 85 min | Comedy, Romance

Margaret Drew runs her trucking company single-mindedly, if not ruthlessly. The only thorn in her side is writer Michael Holmes who is writing a book on some of her tough ways. With no time... See full summary »

Director: Alexander Hall | Stars: Joan Crawford, Melvyn Douglas, Roland Young, Billie Burke

Votes: 500

19. The Amazing Mr. Williams (1939)

Approved | 80 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

Kenny Williams, a lieutenant on the homicide squad, is engaged to Maxine Carroll, the Mayor's secretary. Or isn't he rather married with his job? For each time he has a date with his ... See full summary »

Director: Alexander Hall | Stars: Melvyn Douglas, Joan Blondell, Clarence Kolb, Ruth Donnelly

Votes: 332

20. Three Girls About Town (1941)

Passed | 75 min | Adventure, Comedy

To save the reputation of the hotel where they are employed, sisters try to cover up a murder.

Director: Leigh Jason | Stars: Joan Blondell, John Howard, Binnie Barnes, Janet Blair

Votes: 251

21. The Affairs of Annabel (1938)

Approved | 68 min | Comedy

Wonder Pictures' seedy publicity man Lanny Morgan has put the studio's biggest star, Annabel Allison, in one crazy stunt after another. His latest scheme has Annabel pretending to be a maid... See full summary »

Directors: Benjamin Stoloff, Lew Landers | Stars: Jack Oakie, Lucille Ball, Ruth Donnelly, Bradley Page

Votes: 350

22. Annabel Takes a Tour (1938)

Passed | 67 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance

Movie star Annabel Allison has further comic adventures with her wacky publicity agent.

Director: Lew Landers | Stars: Jack Oakie, Lucille Ball, Ruth Donnelly, Bradley Page

Votes: 208

23. Good Girls Go to Paris (1939)

Passed | 75 min | Comedy

A Midwesterner waitress, scheming to gold-dig her way to Paris, gets mixed up with a wealthy New York family.

Director: Alexander Hall | Stars: Melvyn Douglas, Joan Blondell, Walter Connolly, Alan Curtis

Votes: 353

24. Artists & Models (1937)

Approved | 97 min | Comedy, Musical

Mac Brewster (Benny) is head of an advertising firm that is in debt. The million-dollar Townsend Silver contract could save the firm, but the wealthy playboy Alan Townsend (Arlen) wants an ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: Jack Benny, Ida Lupino, Richard Arlen, Gail Patrick

Votes: 232

25. He Married His Wife (1940)

Approved | 83 min | Comedy

Race horse owner pays so much attention to business he winds up divorced from his wife. His alimony payments are so steep he plots with his lawyer to get her married off.

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: Joel McCrea, Nancy Kelly, Roland Young, Mary Boland

Votes: 147 | Gross: $0.05M

26. It Happened Tomorrow (1944)

Approved | 85 min | Comedy, Fantasy

A young turn-of-the-century newspaper man finds he can get hold of the next day's paper. This brings more problems than fortune, especially as his new girlfriend is part of a phony clairvoyant act.

Director: René Clair | Stars: Dick Powell, Linda Darnell, Jack Oakie, Edgar Kennedy

Votes: 1,763

27. The Lady Has Plans (1942)

Approved | 77 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Some dastardly criminals have stolen some top secret plans and tattoo them on the back of a woman so she can sell them to the highest bidder in Lisbon. This woman plans to take the place of... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lanfield | Stars: Ray Milland, Paulette Goddard, Roland Young, Albert Dekker

Votes: 123

28. The Crystal Ball (1943)

Not Rated | 81 min | Comedy

Girl loses beauty contest, becomes a fortune teller.

Director: Elliott Nugent | Stars: Ray Milland, Paulette Goddard, Gladys George, Virginia Field

Votes: 448

29. The Front Page (1931)

TV-PG | 101 min | Comedy

An investigative reporter sees an opportunity for the story of a lifetime when an accused murderer escapes hanging.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Adolphe Menjou, Pat O'Brien, Mary Brian, Edward Everett Horton

Votes: 2,124

30. The Thin Man (1934)

Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Former detective Nick Charles and his wealthy wife Nora investigate a murder case, mostly for the fun of it.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O'Sullivan, Nat Pendleton

Votes: 24,567

31. After the Thin Man (1936)

Passed | 112 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Nick investigates the case of a missing man and later a murder that is connected to Nora's family.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, James Stewart, Elissa Landi

Votes: 8,762

32. Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)

Passed | 97 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Nick and Nora are at their wisecracking best as they investigate murder and racketeering at a local race track.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Barry Nelson, Donna Reed

Votes: 4,913

33. The Thin Man Goes Home (1944)

Approved | 100 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Nick and Nora visit Nick's hometown, and end up involved in a murder.

Director: Richard Thorpe | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Lucile Watson, Gloria DeHaven

Votes: 4,546

34. Song of the Thin Man (1947)

Not Rated | 86 min | Comedy, Crime, Musical

Nick and Nora investigate the murder of a bandleader in New York.

Director: Edward Buzzell | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Keenan Wynn, Dean Stockwell

Votes: 4,085

35. Double Wedding (1937)

Passed | 87 min | Comedy, Romance

Two sisters of differing temperaments, the younger's milquetoast fiancé, and a free-spirited artist in an auto trailer are all experiencing romantic complications.

Director: Richard Thorpe | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Florence Rice, John Beal

Votes: 1,692

36. Love Crazy (1941)

Passed | 99 min | Comedy, Romance

A series of misunderstandings on their fourth wedding anniversary lead an architect and his wife to break up, but he pretends to be insane and even poses as his own sister in order to win her back.

Director: Jack Conway | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Gail Patrick, Jack Carson

Votes: 2,437

37. I Love You Again (1940)

Passed | 99 min | Comedy, Romance

Boring businessman Larry Wilson recovers from amnesia and discovers he's really a con man...and loves his soon-to-be-ex wife.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Frank McHugh, Edmund Lowe

Votes: 2,691

38. I Was a Male War Bride (1949)

Approved | 105 min | Comedy, Romance, War

After marrying an American lieutenant with whom he was assigned to work in post-war Germany, a French captain attempts to find a way to accompany her back to the States under the terms of the War Bride Act.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Cary Grant, Ann Sheridan, Marion Marshall, Randy Stuart

Votes: 7,022

39. Make Your Own Bed (1944)

Approved | 82 min | Comedy

Walter and Vivian live in the country and have a difficult time keeping servants. Walter hires an private detective who has been fired for arresting the District Attorney. They only way ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Godfrey | Stars: Jack Carson, Jane Wyman, Irene Manning, Alan Hale

Votes: 183

40. Say It in French (1938)

Approved | 70 min | Comedy

In this farcical comedy, a couple with money woes arrange a financially motivated marriage between their golf-pro son and a wealthy heiress. Little do they know, their son has already been wed while playing a tournament in France.

Director: Andrew L. Stone | Stars: Ray Milland, Olympe Bradna, Irene Hervey, Janet Beecher

Votes: 40

41. Hold That Blonde! (1945)

Passed | 76 min | Comedy

A kleptomaniac falls in love with a woman who is member of a gang of jewel thieves, initially unaware of her true occupation.

Director: George Marshall | Stars: Eddie Bracken, Veronica Lake, Albert Dekker, Frank Fenton

Votes: 94

42. The Night Before the Divorce (1942)

Passed | 67 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

George Nordyke is married to Lynn, the perfect wife, but is unhappy about it; his wife is so competent that poor George's masculine ego never gets exercised. But along comes a spider with a... See full summary »

Director: Robert Siodmak | Stars: Lynn Bari, Mary Beth Hughes, Joseph Allen, Nils Asther

Votes: 40

43. Artists and Models Abroad (1938)

Approved | 90 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Buck Boswell and his all-girl troupe are stranded in Paris, but Buck manages to con the manager of the 'Hotel de Navarre' in furnishing accommodations for his group, but the proprietor's ... See full summary »

Director: Mitchell Leisen | Stars: Jack Benny, Joan Bennett, Mary Boland, Charley Grapewin

Votes: 74

44. I'll Give a Million (1938)

70 min | Comedy, Drama

After saving a tramp from suicide, a millionaire takes his clothing and disappears. Word is out that he will give a million dollars to anyone who is kind of a tramp.

Director: Walter Lang | Stars: Warner Baxter, Marjorie Weaver, Peter Lorre, Jean Hersholt

Votes: 131

45. Never Say Die (1939)

82 min | Comedy

A wealthy hypochondriac and an heiress are both experiencing romantic complications, prompting them to marry each other.

Director: Elliott Nugent | Stars: Martha Raye, Bob Hope, Andy Devine, Alan Mowbray

Votes: 355

46. The Great Profile (1940)

Approved | 82 min | Comedy

Barrymore lampoons himself. A famous actor, given to drink, nearly destroys the show, but his leading lady returns to save it. Meanwhile a young girl tries to reform him.

Director: Walter Lang | Stars: John Barrymore, Mary Beth Hughes, Gregory Ratoff, John Payne

Votes: 164

47. It Happens Every Spring (1949)

Approved | 87 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi, Sport

A scientist discovers a formula that makes a baseball which is repelled by wood. He promptly sets out to exploit his discovery.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: Ray Milland, Jean Peters, Paul Douglas, Ed Begley

Votes: 1,474