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Saul Austerlitz

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The 10 Best Political Comedies Ever Made (VIDEO)

Posted: 09/01/10 05:25 PM ET

When people think of political films, their thoughts usually turn to stories of dense intrigue and skullduggery like "The Manchurian Candidate," or morally uplifting fare like "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." And yet, Hollywood has long known that politics was a sphere ripe for satirical appropriation. Running alongside the hoary tradition of the political drama is the rich vein of political comedies, treating Washington, or its local equivalents, as ripe for mockery and abuse. Viewing presidents, senators, generals, and political operatives with a barbed sense of good humor, these films treat politics with the appropriate amount of respect--which is to say, not very much at all.

Here, then, are 10 of the greatest political comedy films ever made. In our era of deflated political discourse, their good humor and cynicism makes the ideal tonic. When the political sphere is dominated by the likes of Sarah Palin, what else is there to do but laugh?


"Duck Soup" (Leo McCarey, 1933)
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"Duck Soup" is an ordinarily extraordinary Marx Brothers effort until approximately halfway through, when the Marxes’ brand of illogic shakes hands with the avant-garde, turning a hectic farce into a savage indictment of warfare. "Duck Soup"’s scabrous denunciation of war’s eternal pointlessness—change the costumes, but everything else stays the same—is unstinting, and prescient.
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This Comedy
It's alright
It's amazing!!

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Top 5 Political Comedies
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