October Birthdays Supply a Comedy Feast


Generally, when inspiration for my subsequent piece eludes me, I seek for any upcoming milestone birthdays for notable actors and administrators I haven’t but written about. This train is commonly fruitless (I’ve coated most of them already), however at the least it will get my mind shifting. 

Additionally, I basically like birthdays. Actually I’ve all the time made probably the most of my very own, a lot to my household’s amusement. Fairly merely, I feel birthdays are an amazing excuse to have fun life, and hey, we’d like all the justifications we will get. 

Within the context of movie, birthdays additionally remind us that probably the most well-known film names on this planet began out nameless, confronting a clean slate, identical to the remainder of us.

Reviewing a listing of October birthdays final week, a number of names popped out at me, however I additionally famous a sample: a shocking variety of gamers, most from Hollywood’s Golden Age, excelled in movie comedy, the style that I’d argue is the toughest to do rather well.

Even excluding two performers who we keep in mind extra from tv than function movies, Larry High-quality (of “Three Stooges” fame, born 10/5/02) and Jackie Coogan (Uncle Fester in “The Addams Household,” born 10/26/14), I counted seven names born in October who made us giggle lengthy and onerous on the motion pictures.

So right here they’re, grouped appropriately, together with my choose on the only greatest movie related to every artist. Taken collectively, they signify an eclectic checklist of peerless movie comedies, all of which reward repeat viewings. 

It’s October, so time to smile.


Buster Keaton, born 10/4/95

Dubbed the “Nice Stone Face,” Keaton by no means smiled however made positive others did. His swish but rugged athleticism and present for impressed sight gags made him one of many prime three silent movie comedians, beside Chaplin and Harold Lloyd. Of these three, I imagine Keaton’s legacy has aged greatest.

Desert Island Movie: The Basic (1926)

Keaton performs a Southern practice engineer throughout the Civil Battle. When his beloved “Basic” is hijacked by Union spies, he will get the possibility to show his mettle (and get the woman) by recovering it. 

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Jacques Tati, born 10/9/07

Gifted French actor and director created the character of Monsieur Hulot, a delicate, bumbling, principally silent eccentric who finds itself always challenged by the people-and gadgets- of the fashionable world.

Desert Island Movie: Mon Oncle (1958)

This second Hulot outing is the primary in colour, and as beautiful to have a look at as to giggle at. Tati’s character is, in reality, proper out of silent movies, with sound results typically standing in for dialogue. Brilliance and appeal shine by way of in each body.

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Groucho Marx, born 10/2/90

The fast-talking ringleader round which his brothers swirled, Groucho was probably the most profitable as a solo performer when the group lastly disbanded, evidenced by a long-running TV recreation present, books and memoirs. The place’s Groucho after we want him?

Desert Island Movie: Duck Soup (1933)

Over 69 magical minutes, director Leo McCarey (see beneath) sustains among the most divine, insane comedy ever dedicated to celluloid. Groucho finds himself main the nation of Freedonia at conflict, together with his brothers serving as unreliable brokers.

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Bud Abbott, born 10/2/95

As Dean Martin famous, it takes finesse to play the straight man; definitely it’s not as simple because it seems. Abbott was the bossy grown-up who (barely) tolerated the easy, virtually child-like Lou Costello. Struggle as they may, it was nonetheless a match made in heaven.

Desert Island Movie: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)


Appropriate for older youngsters, this irresistible romp stars Bud and Lou as two delivery clerks who bump up in opposition to some very well-known monsters. It helps to have Bela Lugosi available as Dracula, and Lon Chaney, Jr. because the Wolf Man.

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Constance Bennett, born 10/22/04

Older sister of the extra prolific Joan, the blonde, slender Bennett married easy sophistication with excellent comedian instincts and timing in a string of thirties outings.

Desert Island Movie: Topper (1937)


Bennett and Cary Grant play a rich, lovely, decadent couple who die and are available again to hang-out their starchy, henpecked banker, Cosmo Topper (Roland Younger). Peerless screwball outing helped make Cary a star and later grew to become a TV sequence.

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Jean Arthur, born 10/17/00

Arthur hit her peak in some treasured comedies from the thirties and forties, typically directed by Frank Capra. Her smoky voice and woman-next-door approachability created legions of followers. Factoid: she was terrified proper earlier than the cameras rolled. You’d by no means comprehend it.

Desert Island Movie: Mr. Deeds Goes to City (1936)


Capra’s enduring charmer stars Gary Cooper as a Vermont hayseed who strikes to New York Metropolis after inheriting a big fortune from a distant relative. Varied characters attempt to exploit him, however they sorely underestimate Mr. Deeds.

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Walter Matthau, born 10/1/20

Gifted character actor initially gained renown for his work in critical dramas, then proved his aptitude for comedy in Billy Wilder’s “The Fortune Cookie” (1966), which gained him an Oscar. Extra (very) humorous movies adopted.

Desert Island Movie: A New Leaf (1971)


Forged in opposition to sort, Matthau performs a snobby, previous cash playboy who immediately finds himself broke. With an actual job out of the query, he as a substitute woos a slipshod heiress, performed by Elaine Might (who additionally wrote and directed). A cult treasure, and deservedly so.

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Extra:  How Walter Matthau Received His Begin



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