Lay the Favorite
Based on Beth Raymer's memoir, this comedy follows a chipper Florida stripper to Las Vegas, where she has aims to be a cocktail waitress, but soon becomes the lucky charm of a big time bookie. Money comes rolling in and things are looking up, until the gambler's wife gets jealous. Rebecca Hall, Bruce Willis and Catherine Zeta-Jones co-star; Stephen Frears directs.
Crime doesn't pay, but it's often the source of seriously funny payoffs. For more crooks and capers, we suggest this trio that offers some madcap murders, cutup kidnappers, and a malevolent mother who could drive anyone to kill!
Clue (1985) This is the only board game-inspired movie worth its running time. Featuring a cast of colorful characters and master comedians, this murder mystery is frantically paced and full of laughs. When Mr. Boddy brings all his blackmailing victims under one roof for nefarious aims, people start dropping like flies. But whodunit? Was it Mrs. Peacock with the rope in the conservatory? Professor Plum with the revolver in the ballroom? Or Miss Scarlet with the candlestick in the billiard room? Stay tuned for all three possible endings to know for sure! Tim Curry, Michael McKean, Christopher Lloyd, Madeline Kahn, Eileen Brennan, and Martin Mull co-star; Jonathan Lynn.
Raising Arizona (1987) This Coen Brothers classic stars Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter as H.I. and Ed, a childless couple made up of an ex-con and a ex-cop who want nothing more than a baby. But when their reproductive efforts prove fruitless, H.I. turns back to his life of crime to steal them a baby from a local furniture magnate whose recently had quintuplets. Surely taking just one of the five wouldn't hurt, right? Wrong. Their kidnapping sparks a manhunt (well, babyhunt) unlike Arizona has never seen, with clueless cops, brutal bounty hunters and scheming escaped cons all on the newly formed family's tail. John Goodman, Frances McDormand, and William Forsythe co-star; Joel & Ethan Coen direct.
Throw Momma from the Train (1987) Inspired by Hitchcock's classic thriller Strangers on a Train, this comedy centers on a pair of unlikely could-be killers who conspire to murder the women ruining their lives. Larry's ex-wife stole his last book, and now steals his acclaim as he struggles to write anything new. Owen gets nothing but abuse from his cantankerous mother, and often fantasizes about murdering her. Still, both men are stuck and flustered until Larry accidentally urges Owen to criss-cross their killings. Once he's pitched Larry's ex into the ocean, he expects his mentor to carry out his end of this double-murder bargain, and the results are downright hysterical. Billy Crystal, Danny DeVito, and Anne Ramsey star; DeVito also directs.