Today: June 17, 2024

Best Of British Film – Comedy Classics

Drama-Comedy Mashups

With a flair for both comedy and drama, British films never fail to deliver maximum entertainment. Dom Hemingway (main picture) is a great example of this with its mash-up of crime, comedy and characters with all too human frailties… To mark its release this week FilmJuice takes a look at some of British cinema’s most memorable comedy offerings.

In Bruges
Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Ralph Fiennes team up in this British-American black comedy. Mob boss Harry Walters (Fiennes) tells his two hit men Ray (Farrell) and Ken (Gleeson) to lay low in Bruges, Belgium for a few weeks following their latest hit, which resulted in the death of an innocent bystander. Filling their days living the lives of tourists, the two hit-men find themselves permanently altering their outlook on life.  Farrell won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, while Martin McDonagh won a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay. With the success of the movie, the film has gone on to achieve cult status.

Shaun Of The Dead
Living with his best friend (Nick Frost), neglecting his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield), despising his step-dad (Bill Nighy) and unemployed, it’s safe to say Shaun (Simon Pegg) is going through a rough patch in life. The day he decides it’s time to turn his life around and patch up his relationships is the day the dead have decided to come back to life, spreading their zombie curse to everyone they bite. Receiving 91 per cent approval ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, a BAFTA nomination and a cult following, the film was both a critical and commercial success.

The Damned United
Visionary Don Revie (Colm Meaney) is the Manager to whom the Leeds United football club owes their championship success, but leaves the team to become England’s new boss. The Damn United tells the story of his replacement, Brian Clough’s (Michael Sheen) 44-day tenure as new Manager of the team and his bitter rivalry with Revie. The film was critically acclaimed and was nominated for numerous awards.

Seven Psychopaths
Marty Faranan (Colin Farrell) is a struggling writer who dreams of finishing his screenplay, Seven Psychopaths.  Billy Bickle (Sam Rockwell), Marty’s best friend, is an out of work actor who makes a living by kidnapping dogs and collecting the reward money for their safe return. Unintentionally, Farrell becomes involved in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his friend kidnapa a gangster’s (Woody Harrelson) beloved Shih Tzu. The film was nominated for numerous awards and won the Toronto International Film Festive People’s Choice Award.

Withnail & I
Wasting their life waiting for their careers to take off, two unemploed young actors, Withnail (Richaed E. Grant) and “I” (Paul McGann) go on a holiday ”by mistake” to Withnail’s uncle’s cabin in the country. However, with  the non-stop rain, lack of food and any basic survival skills, their friendship is quickly tested to its limits. With the film’s tragic-comedic elements, Withnail & I  has been described as “one of Britians biggest cult fims.”  One thing’s for sure “We want the finest wines available to humanity. And we want them here, and we want them now!”

The Full Monty
Set in Sheffield, six unemployed men decide to form a male striptease act in order to get money. Gaz (Robert Carlyle) suggests they will be more popular than the Chippendale dancers because they will go “the full Monty” (taking off all their clothes). Although the film is a comedy, the story also touches on serious topics such as unemployment, fathers’ rights, homosexuality, obesity, working class culture and suicide. The Full Monty received major critical success grossing over $250 million becoming the highest grossed film in the UK until Titanic. It received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and it won Best Original Music Score. 

The Italian Job
If you ever needed proof of the cult status of this classic Michael Caine crime caper, then look no further than the 2012 London Olympics which chose to play clips from the film during its opening sequence. With its blistering script, 60s sound track, classic mini-chase scene, and stand out performances from Caine and Noel Coward as crime-boss Mr Bridger, accept no imitations. The 2000 US and the 2003 Bollywood remakes simply can’t hold a candle to Brit cinema at its all time best.

Catch new British comedy DOM HEMINGWAY is in cinemas 15th November.

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