::DARK COMEDIES WITH PESKY CORPSES, BOTCHED KIDNAPPINGS, MURDEROUS BLUNDERS & ACCIDENTAL DEATHS::

by Schwenkstar | created - 14 Oct 2011 | updated - 3 hours ago | Public
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1. Bizarre, Bizarre (1937)

84 min | Comedy

In Victorian London, a Crime Novelist and his Wife fake their disappearance in order to hide from an uptight Anglican Bishop who is leading a campaign against the "evils" of crime fiction.

Director: Marcel Carné | Stars: Louis Jouvet, Françoise Rosay, Michel Simon, Jean-Pierre Aumont

Votes: 1,486

2. A Slight Case of Murder (1938)

Approved | 85 min | Comedy, Crime

Former bootlegger Remy Marco has a slight problem with forclosing bankers, a prospective son-in-law, and four hard-to-explain corpses.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Jane Bryan, Allen Jenkins, Ruth Donnelly

Votes: 1,722

A terrific oldie that's based on a stage play... many of these early screwy dark comedies that deal with pesky corpses, mistaken identities, confused kidnappings, and accidental deaths are based on plays.

3. To Be or Not to Be (1942)

Passed | 99 min | Comedy, War

86 Metascore

During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier's efforts to track down a German spy.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack, Felix Bressart

Votes: 23,707

Plays out like a screwball comedy directed by Alfred Hitchcock - mistaken identities, clever escapes, and a dead body that proves troublesome for his look a-like who is very much alive. Probably my all time favorite screwball comedy.

Remade in 1983, to less effect, by Mel Brooks.

4. 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: 62,091

As above, this is based on a stage play... and is probably the best example of a play doing this sort of stuff!

5. Murder, He Says (1945)

Approved | 91 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

A pollster stumbles on a family of murderous hillbillies, and joins in their search for hidden treasure.

Director: George Marshall | Stars: Fred MacMurray, Helen Walker, Marjorie Main, Jean Heather

Votes: 1,508

Hillbilly hijinks mixed up with murder, stashed loot, and other zaniness.

6. Monsieur Verdoux (1947)

Passed | 124 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A suave but cynical man supports his family by marrying and murdering rich women for their money, but the job has some occupational hazards.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mady Correll, Allison Roddan, Robert Lewis

Votes: 14,376 | Gross: $0.33M

7. Unfaithfully Yours (1948)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

Sir Alfred De Carter (Sir Rex Harrison) suspects his wife of infidelity. While conducting a symphony orchestra, he imagines three different ways of dealing with the situation. When the ... See full summary »

Director: Preston Sturges | Stars: Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell, Rudy Vallee, Barbara Lawrence

Votes: 4,296

8. Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Not Rated | 106 min | Comedy, Crime

A distant poor relative of the Duke of D'Ascoyne plots to inherit the title by murdering the eight other heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession.

Director: Robert Hamer | Stars: Dennis Price, Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson, Joan Greenwood

Votes: 32,308

A man wants to be a duke... so naturally he murders all the heirs to leave himself the only surviving member! A fine, dignified, classic comedy that just so happens to dabble with a murder spree.

9. La Poison (1951)

Not Rated | 85 min | Comedy, Crime

Through a series of circumstances and plot twists an enterprising man manages to get away with murdering his wife, even though he cheerfully admits his guilt in court.

Director: Sacha Guitry | Stars: Michel Simon, Jean Debucourt, Jacques Varennes, Jeanne Fusier-Gir

Votes: 930

10. The Red Inn (1951)

Not Rated | 98 min | Comedy, Crime

A group of travelers, including a monk, stay in a lonely inn in the mountains. The host confesses the monk his habit of serving a soporific soup to the guests, to rob their possessions and ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Autant-Lara | Stars: Fernandel, Françoise Rosay, Marie-Claire Olivia, Jean-Roger Caussimon

Votes: 1,200

The manager of the inn confesses to a monk whose staying overnight that he has a nasty habit of poisoning the guests with soup... The monk obviously tries to warn the other guests that their lives are in danger, but the twist is that he can't break the holy secrecy of confession! What to do?!

11. The Ladykillers (1955)

Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Crime

91 Metascore

Five diverse oddball criminal types planning a bank robbery rent rooms on a cul-de-sac from an octogenarian widow under the pretext that they are classical musicians.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick | Stars: Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom

Votes: 24,426

Another classic comedy about a group of thieves who are tempted to murder their landlady out of fear she knows too much... but when the begin to fear one another, the bodies begin to pile up.

12. The Trouble with Harry (1955)

PG | 99 min | Comedy, Mystery

74 Metascore

The trouble with Harry is that he's dead, and everyone seems to have a different idea of what should be done with his body.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: John Forsythe, Shirley MacLaine, Edmund Gwenn, Mildred Natwick

Votes: 30,862

Hitchcock's take on this peculiar sub-genre... a proper, dignified comedy about a corpse who simply seems to pop up in the most inconvenient places...

13. Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962)
Episode: Wet Saturday (1956)

TV-14 | 26 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Mr. Princey's daughter has just murdered the schoolmaster. A murderess in the family? That won't do. It's up to Mr. Princey to frame someone else for her crime.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Alfred Hitchcock, Cedric Hardwicke, John Williams, Tita Purdom

Votes: 480

An episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" where a father has the thoroughly unsavory duty of disposing a body... and the unquestionably unpleasant task of finding someone to blame in order to protect his daughter... after all, we can't have a murderer in the family, can we now?

14. Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962)
Episode: Conversation Over a Corpse (1956)

TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Cissie Enright is not exactly thrilled with the idea of poisoning the real estate man. But her sister, Joanna, insists that it's the only way.

Director: Jules Bricken | Stars: Alfred Hitchcock, Dorothy Stickney, Carmen Mathews, Ray Collins

Votes: 342

Two old ladies meticulously plot the poisoning of a rather horrid man... Their plan works... but forget they never planned on what to do with the corpse!

15. Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962)
Episode: One More Mile to Go (1957)

TV-14 | 26 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Sam Jacoby has his wife's corpse in the trunk of his car, and is menaced by a motorcycle cop, who nags him about a taillight.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Alfred Hitchcock, David Wayne, Steve Brodie, Louise Larabee

Votes: 464

16. Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962)
Episode: The Diplomatic Corpse (1957)

TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A married couple stands to inherit 30,000 pounds when the wife's aunt riding with them dies, but while in Mexico their car with her body inside is stolen.

Director: Paul Henreid | Stars: Alfred Hitchcock, Peter Lorre, George Peppard, Mary Scott

Votes: 264

17. Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962)
Episode: Guest for Breakfast (1958)

TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A murderer holding a bickering married couple at gunpoint, tries to decide which one to kill, but their constant arguing over who should die confuses him.

Director: Paul Henreid | Stars: Alfred Hitchcock, Joan Tetzel, Scott McKay, Richard Shepard

Votes: 236

18. Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962)
Episode: Lamb to the Slaughter (1958)

TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

When Mary Maloney's police chief husband is found murdered, the police investigate and have a hard time trying to find the murder weapon.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Alfred Hitchcock, Barbara Bel Geddes, Harold J. Stone, Allan Lane

Votes: 666

19. Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962)
Episode: Post Mortem (1958)

TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A wife refuses to let her husband squander away the money from a 133,000 dollar sweepstakes ticket inherited from her first dead spouse, so he plans on killing her.

Director: Arthur Hiller | Stars: Alfred Hitchcock, Steve Forrest, Joanna Moore, James Gregory

Votes: 229

20. Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962)
Episode: Bull in a China Shop (1958)

TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A handsome homicide detective is befriended by four old ladies who invite him for tea and proceed to play out a variation of Arsenic and Old Lace for his benefit.

Director: James Neilson | Stars: Alfred Hitchcock, Dennis Morgan, Estelle Winwood, Elizabeth Patterson

Votes: 239

21. The Green Man (1956)

Not Rated | 80 min | Comedy

Work has been going with a bang for freelance assassin Hawkins but a job in England is a different matter. His apparently easy target, a pompous government minister, is off for some ... See full summary »

Directors: Robert Day, Basil Dearden | Stars: Alastair Sim, George Cole, Terry-Thomas, Jill Adams

Votes: 1,198

An assassin can't quite seem to kill his target and a man tries to stop the assassin but no one quite seems to believe him.

22. How to Murder a Rich Uncle (1957)

79 min | Crime, Comedy

The impoverished Clitterburn family live on a grand English estate but times are hard and the head of the household, Sir Henry, seizes upon news of the impending arrival of their rich ... See full summary »

Director: Nigel Patrick | Stars: Nigel Patrick, Charles Coburn, Wendy Hiller, Katie Johnson

Votes: 162

British comedy.

23. The Gazebo (1959)

Passed | 100 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

TV writer Elliott Nash buries a blackmailer under the new gazebo in his suburban backyard. But the nervous man can't let the body rest there.

Director: George Marshall | Stars: Glenn Ford, Debbie Reynolds, Carl Reiner, John McGiver

Votes: 1,522

Another clever comedy about a husband who accidentally (or rather, intentionally but accidentally) kills (or rather, causes indirectly but purposefully) a death of a man... and now faces the pesky problem of hiding it from the eyes of his wife... A perfect time to start work on that new gazebo!

24. Skeleton of Mrs. Morales (1960)

92 min | Comedy, Crime, Horror

A taxidermist decides to murder his wife after having to put up with her after twenty years of hellish marriage.

Director: Rogelio A. González | Stars: Arturo de Córdova, Amparo Rivelles, Elda Peralta, Guillermo Orea

Votes: 647

25. The Lamp in Assassin Mews (1962)

Not Rated | 65 min | Comedy

A stubborn couple plan to defend a treasured lamp from those who want to remove it from its rightful place.

Director: Godfrey Grayson | Stars: Francis Matthews, Lisa Daniely, Ian Fleming, Amy Dalby

Votes: 20

26. The Comedy of Terrors (1963)

Not Rated | 84 min | Comedy, Horror

Dishonest undertaker Waldo Trumbull and his sidekick Felix Gillie are creating their own customers when they cannot find willing ones.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, Joyce Jameson

Votes: 4,457

A funeral parlor has bills to pay so they go to stir up some more customers... through murder! Richard Matheson wrote this gem!

27. Monsieur Gangster (1963)

105 min | Comedy, Action, Crime

Ex-gangster Fernand (Lino Ventura) receives a call from a dying friend, a mob boss nicknamed "The Mexican". The doomed mobster talks Fernand into taking care of some criminal business and ... See full summary »

Director: Georges Lautner | Stars: Lino Ventura, Bernard Blier, Francis Blanche, Claude Rich

Votes: 4,868

French gangster comedy with a series of comical killings...

28. Corpse for the Lady (1964)

90 min | Comedy, Mystery, Thriller

Laura is the victim of a blackmail, asks for help to her childhood friends Renata, Marina and Giovanna in the meantime become a nun to collect the amount requested.

Director: Mario Mattoli | Stars: Sylva Koscina, Sergio Fantoni, Scilla Gabel, Sandra Mondaini

Votes: 25

29. Strange Voyage (1964)

92 min | Comedy, Crime

Paquita and her brother Venancio, both single and childish, live in a small town near Madrid. Their bossy eldest sister Ignacia, also an old maid, dominates them. One night, Paquita hears ... See full summary »

Director: Fernando Fernán Gómez | Stars: Carlos Larrañaga, Tota Alba, Lina Canalejas, Rafaela Aparicio

Votes: 978

30. How to Murder Your Wife (1965)

Approved | 118 min | Comedy

A dedicated bachelor drunkenly marries a young woman and immediately lives to regret it.

Director: Richard Quine | Stars: Jack Lemmon, Virna Lisi, Terry-Thomas, Eddie Mayehoff

Votes: 5,274

31. I Kill, You Kill (1965)

110 min | Comedy, Thriller

Six sketches with as many ways of murdering someone, and getting away with it.

Director: Gianni Puccini | Stars: Franco Franchi, Ciccio Ingrassia, Rosalba Neri, Franca Polesello

Votes: 17

32. The Loved One (1965)

Approved | 122 min | Comedy

Satire on the funeral business, in which a young British poet goes to work at a Hollywood cemetery.

Director: Tony Richardson | Stars: Robert Morse, Jonathan Winters, Anjanette Comer, Rod Steiger

Votes: 3,118

A black comedy from Tony Richardson ("Tom Jones") about a funeral parlor and its many strange employees...

33. Arrivederci, Baby! (1966)

Unrated | 100 min | Comedy, Crime

Nick tries to kill his wife to get her money, but when learning of this, she plans the same for him!

Director: Ken Hughes | Stars: Tony Curtis, Rosanna Schiaffino, Lionel Jeffries, Zsa Zsa Gabor

Votes: 422

A husband tries to kill his wife for her money. His wife plans the same for him. Hilarity ensues.

34. The Wrong Box (1966)

Approved | 105 min | Comedy, Crime

In Victorian England, a fortune now depends on which of two brothers outlives the other, or can be made to have seemed to do so.

Director: Bryan Forbes | Stars: John Mills, Michael Caine, Ralph Richardson, Peter Cook

Votes: 2,989

A corpse is mistaken for at least three different individuals, causing mayhem in this British romp... Bryan Forbes ("Seance On A Wet Afternoon", "The Stepford Wives") directs this cult classic!

35. Old Maids (1966)

104 min | Comedy, Crime

Bettina Eriksen, manager of her Uncle Teodor's nursing home, is being framed for murder. With the help of 2 older ladies, Bettina sets out to find out the murderer's identity and motive.

Director: Sven Methling | Stars: Helle Virkner, Maria Garland, Else-Marie, Tove Maës

Votes: 65

36. Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad (1967)

Not Rated | 86 min | Comedy

A mother drops her son and husband off at a tropical vacation spot for a little rest and relaxation. The only problem is that the husband has been dead for quite some time, and his wife had... See full summary »

Directors: Richard Quine, Alexander Mackendrick | Stars: Rosalind Russell, Robert Morse, Barbara Harris, Hugh Griffith

Votes: 221

37. What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? (1969)

M | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

An aging widow hides a deadly secret which she will do anything to keep buried.

Directors: Lee H. Katzin, Bernard Girard | Stars: Geraldine Page, Ruth Gordon, Rosemary Forsyth, Robert Fuller

Votes: 1,875

Housekeepers keep on disappearing from a widower's house in this black comedy...

38. Skulle det dukke opp flere lik er det bare å ringe..... (1970)

98 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Cleaning lady Lilly Hansen finds her employer, managing director Martinsen, with a knife in his back. The police is summoned and Chief Inspector Bakker is put on the case, despite suffering... See full summary »

Director: Knut Bohwim | Stars: Aud Schønemann, Arve Opsahl, Thorleif Reiss, Anne-Lise Tangstad

Votes: 416

39. Jo (1971)

85 min | Comedy

Antoine Brisebard, a famous comedy playwright, is struggling with financial difficulties and is preparing to sell his country villa to an English couple. What no one knows, however, is that... See full summary »

Director: Jean Girault | Stars: Louis de Funès, Claude Gensac, Michel Galabru, Bernard Blier

Votes: 2,470

40. Four Murders Are Enough, Darling (1971)

103 min | Comedy, Crime

Two criminal gangs are ruthlessly fighting for a 1-million dollar check that, purely by chance, got into the flat of shy high school teacher George Camel. As the number of victims sharply ... See full summary »

Director: Oldrich Lipský | Stars: Lubomír Lipský, Jirina Bohdalová, Iva Janzurová, Marie Rosulková

Votes: 583

41. The Ruling Class (1972)

PG | 154 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

A member of the House of Lords dies, leaving his estate to his son. Unfortunately, his son thinks he is Jesus Christ. The other, somewhat more respectable, members of their family plot to steal the estate from him. Murder and mayhem ensue.

Director: Peter Medak | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alastair Sim, Arthur Lowe, Hugh Owens

Votes: 5,438

A man thinks he's Christ... then Jack the Ripper... and there are musical numbers (?!)

42. A Full Day's Work (1973)

95 min | Comedy, Crime

A father plan to kill in the same day the 9 members of the jury who had condemned his son to the death sentence.

Director: Jean-Louis Trintignant | Stars: Jacques Dufilho, Luce Marquand, Franco Pesce, Albin Guichard

Votes: 224

43. A Pain in the Ass (1973)

PG | 85 min | Comedy

Ralf Milan, a hitman, arrives in Montpellier to kill an important witness. He checks in a hotel without knowing that his neighbour has become neurotic after his wife left him.

Director: Édouard Molinaro | Stars: Lino Ventura, Jacques Brel, Caroline Cellier, Jean-Pierre Darras

Votes: 2,582

A hit man tries to keep a low profile but his suicidal neighbor keeps on trying to bump himself off in the most attention-grabbing ways...

44. The Infernal Trio (1974)

107 min | Comedy, Crime, Horror

A cunning French legal adviser teams up with an unemployed German girl and her sister to commit murders in Marseille.

Director: Francis Girod | Stars: Michel Piccoli, Romy Schneider, Mascha Gonska, Philippe Brizard

Votes: 611

French comedy with a dead body, a bath tub, and a bottle of acid.

45. The Manchu Eagle Murder Caper Mystery (1975)

PG | 80 min | Comedy, Mystery, Crime

A chicken hatchery owner (and novice private eye) tries to solve the arrow murder of local milkman, philanderer and animal fetishist.

Director: Dean Hargrove | Stars: Gabriel Dell, Will Geer, Anjanette Comer, Joyce Van Patten

Votes: 167

Spoof of Film Noir.

46. Family Plot (1976)

PG | 120 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A phony psychic/con artist and her taxi driver/private investigator boyfriend encounter a pair of serial kidnappers while trailing a missing heir in California.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Karen Black, Bruce Dern, Barbara Harris, William Devane

Votes: 18,793

Hitchcock incorporates dark humour with a story about a couple who stumble upon some serial kidnappers!