A Tale of Two (New York) Comedies

Last week, I made a rare trip south of 14th Street to see a double feature of “Where’s Poppa” and “Little Murders” at Film Forum. The minute I spotted this particular program on the Film Forum schedule, I marked it on my calendar in spite of the fact that I own both films on DVD and have seen them countless times.  I’ve always considered both films as personal favorites, and among the funniest films I’d ever seen. I wanted to experience them again with a real audience.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with them, “Where’s Poppa” and “Little Murders” were released a year apart in 1970 and 71. They both take place in the New York of that time, which was at perhaps the city’s least flattering moment. Crime was high. White people were moving to the suburbs in droves, leaving behind a city where the rich folks lived in the fortresses of doorman buildings, and the rest of the city was considered unsafe for anyone. Such are the makings of comedy. Johnny Carson made a nightly habit of joking about just how dangerous it was in “fun city.” Continue reading “A Tale of Two (New York) Comedies”