October 3, 2007

What 1986 movie did Clarence Thomas find hilarious?

Justice Thomas goes to the movies with his future wife, Virginia Bess Lamp, who is mainly amused that he's laughing so much. What movie is it?

Don't reveal the answer if you actually know it. Let commenters guess for a while. Here's a list of the top 100 movies of 1986 (by IMDB rating), and the movie is on the list. Make your selection and give reasons. The prize isn't for getting the answer right, but for making a guess/giving a reason that amuses me.

54 comments:

k said...

It has to be Soul Man. Obvious.

former law student said...

Yep, because the honky takes advantage of AA.

Heir to the Throne said...

Nine 1/2 Weeks
It is hilarious just watching Mickey chew the scenery and trying to figure out who has less talent Mickey or Kim.

MadisonMan said...

Well, it has to be a date movie, so I'm thinking Peggy Sue Got Married. Or even better, Ruthless People. Danny DeVito looks like Clarence Thomas, so the movie would really resonate.

Trooper York said...

It was a sneak preview of Fatal Attraction. Little did he know, little did he know.

SteveR said...

I narrowed it down to Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Crocodile Dundee, ¡Three Amigos!, and She's Gotta Have It. SoulMan seems too obvious. I'll go with Three Amigos just because its got a lot of gags.

Wurly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reader_iam said...

Please don't tell me it's "She's Gotta Have It." That would be almost--what, painful? creepy?--in context.

(By the way, I didn't realize that movie was never released on DVD, or that the VHS is out of print. I'll have dig mine out from wherever I've stashed it.)

Ferris Bueller still cracks me up. Classic gamer of the system, and really knew how to make things work for him. Could he have reminded Thomas of those fellow law students he found so fuddling?

***

Milo and Otis has comic potential, too, but I don't have the talent to begin to approach that one.

Karl said...

Short Circuit?

"No disassemble!" was the launching pad for his Roe doctrine...

-kd

reader_iam said...

LOL. I haven't thought of "Night of the Creeps" in years. That just made my day.

***

Boy, I sure watched a lot of movies back in that era.

jane said...

"Little Shop of Horrors" because it was a black comedy.

And b/c Steve Martin made pain a pleasure.

peter hoh said...

Please don't let it be "Howard the Duck."

reader_iam said...

Hey! Here are a couple of quotes from "Club Paradise":

Jack Moniker: "I got a little paranoid and thought people were out to get me. Now I know, they are."

Jack Moniker: "In this country, the Constitution is written in pencil."

Ron said...

"Down by Law"? So he could do jokes about school...

I'd like to think it was "Blue Velvet"; that's my vote for Laff Riot! (takes hit off oxygen!)

Would "Betty Blue" give him ideas for the future?

Does he see himself as Lou Gossett, jr. in "Iron Eagle"?
(Hopefully not Norman Bates in "Psycho III"!)

or are there crude jokes with the girlfriend to be had in "She's Got to Have it!"?

Ron said...

If he gushes over "Pretty in Pink," I'll bet he's got an autographed picture of Molly Ringwald in his office...

EnigmatiCore said...

My guess is "Back To School", because Rodney was da bomb, and the line about "what's with the midgets?"

And because the triple lindy was sooooo ridiculous.

But mostly because it seems like a Thomas type flick.

Trooper York said...

I thought it was a reviewer's copy of Blue Vanities 53,produced in 1986 but not released until 1988.

MadisonMan said...

I completely missed Back to School on that list. Madison looks very nice in that movie.

Ann Althouse said...

"Back to School" was filmed at UW Madison. I watched some of the filming from my office window.

Wurly made me laugh a lot.

Windbag said...

Hannah and Her Sisters. It's a two-fer for Thomas. Chick flick and Woody Allen flick all in one. He can appear to possess sensitivity and sophisticated wit all in one movie and impress the girl.

Wurly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven said...

Perhaps it was The Money Pit. "Shelley Long left Cheers for this?" he guffawed.

jane said...

Ruthless People. Irony on a (first wife) personal and (everybody in/competently out for himself) professional level for Clarence. Madisonman mentioned it first.

Joe said...

Blue Velvet because if he didn't laugh, he would have had to shoot himself out of utter boredom.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?

and ditto Reader's comment: Boy, I sure watched a lot of movies back in that era.

RE: Back to School--remember when the men's room at the law school had "Rodney Dangerfield was here" in one of the stalls? [I'm told.] Good times.

joe said...

I guess Jungle Fever wasn't on the list.

paul a'barge said...

Grand Canyon with Kevin Kline and Tony Glover?

Jon Swift said...

Of course, it's Ferris Bueller, which is Dan Quayle's favorite movie.

You're doing a pretty good job of reviewing Thomas's book, Ms. Althouse, but I still think my review, based on not having read the book, is better.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Is Tony Glover Danny's evil twin?

John Stodder said...

I'm going to go for "Little Shop of Horrors." He enjoyed hearing Levi Stubbs, lead singer of the Four Tops, singing from what must have been Thomas' id in the role of Audrey II, the plant.

Deep down, I'm sure there were lots of people Thomas wanted to be fed to monster tulips from outer space.

Seymour: Wait a minute, Audrey II, that's not a very nice thing to say!
Audrey II: But it's true, isn't it?
Seymour: No! I don't know anybody who deserves to get chopped up and fed to a hungry plant!
Audrey II: Mmmmmm, sure you do!

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

I've gotta say it was "Stand By Me".

The one time I saw it years ago it struck me as a movie good for a few laughs, if you were of a certain age at a certain time.

BJK said...

Since I vaguely recall Justice Thomas suggesting he could have been a sports coach, I can't entirely rule out Wildcats (#73 -in which Goldie Hawn played a HS football coach).

Three Amigos (# 15) is another really good choice....but I can't really see Justice Thomas taking a date to see Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short. Same with Ferris Bueller (# 5).

Plus, it has to be a movie that is prone to that schism: one person likes it, the other does not. Mindful of that criteria, I have to believe the movie was one of my all-time favorites: Big Trouble in Little China (# 9).

I think Lo Pan said it best:
You were not brought upon this world to "get it!"

Ernst Blofeld said...

Maybe he was flashing back to law school profs and gunners with this scene:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Xfi4s8cjLFI

One of the great examples of the Socratic method in action.

J said...

Ruthless People. Because it was the funniest movie made that year, and one of the funniest ever.

If it wasn't that, my runner up is "Back to School", given his (in my view justified) contempt for academia.

reader_iam said...

Meryl Streep was pretty laughable in "Heartburn" (yeah, I know that might be a minority opinion)--though not so much as in "Falling in Love" from a couple of years earlier.

rcocean said...

I'll say "Francis Bueller's Day off"

Just the kind of movie that is funny, but kind of childish so your date would find amusing that a grown man would laugh his arse off.

Second choice "About last night". Funny in 1986 with 30 somethings. Pretty dated and lame now.

Third choice, "She's Gotta have it" but it hasn't aged well.

I don't think Thomas saw it but "Clockwise" is still hilarious.

rcocean said...

Number of 100 Top IMDB 1986 movies seen by me in theater -26

Number of 100 Top IMDB 2005 movies seen by me in theater -2

Decline in quality or old age? Probably both.

Pal2Pal said...

Jumpin' Jack Flash, which happens to be on my own list of top ten favorites. When Whoopie goes to the door with that giant toothbrush, I cracked up. And the scene of her in that phone booth is priceless.

Methadras said...

I'm going to say that it's Blue Velvet. Outside the fact that I actually liked the movie. I can see Thomas laughing his ass off simply because watching Dennis Hopper personify aspects of his life and the people who have been in it and seeing the similarities in that character makes him laugh.

I know I do from time to time whenever I see it. I can think of a few people that are similar to that character and it will get a good chuckle out of me.

Revenant said...

My guess is Crocodile Dundee. It is a mainstream movie I can easily see middle-aged people attending, and it is mildly amusing (so uproarious laughter at it would itself be amusing).

Chip Ahoy said...

The Jerk with Steve Martin, because that's exactly how life really is.

Cabbage said...

Both Clarence Thomas and Ferris Bueller have impersonated Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago, in order to get a better table at a restaurant.

titus22 said...

I agree with it has to be Soul Man.

Or Ruthless People but that has Bette Midler in it and that is kind of gay.

Lastly, could it be Blue Velvet? That would be very indie of him. Maybe he loved Candy Colored Clown being sung by the queen.

tjl said...

Why not "Howard the Duck?" It was awful in a special bizarre Dali-esque way that would be hilarious to certain people and appalling to everybody else.

Ann Althouse said...

The right answer has been guessed. Should I tell you yet?

BTW, I saw 26 of those movies too. (And only 3 from the 2006 list.)

Revenant said...

Tell! Nobody's made a guess in ages. :)

reader_iam said...

Yes.

Ann Althouse said...

Karl got it at 1:48

Karl said...

Seriously?

And here I was, just trying to be witty...

Pretty funny movie, one of my favorites that year, though I was 5.

"Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too?"

Titus, why did you have to bring up the Candy Colored Clown? Now I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight.

-kd

reader_iam said...

If that choice were part of work of fiction, it'd be damn near brilliant.

***

Coincidentally, "The Greatest Love" and "More Than A Woman" are linked together in my mind, due to the propensity of a friend (male) of that era to listen to each of those songs over and over again.

Just sharing a side bit of amusement provoked by this whole series.

Blake said...

Short Circuit...

I remember that movie:

The Indian Guy (sorry don't remember his name) says to Gutenberg of Ally Sheedy, "I am thinking she is a virgin...or was once."

Blake said...

...and then there's "Pretty In Pink" which I can't watch with this tubby muthafucker any more, because everytime we get to the part where the red head hooks up with her dream guy, he starts sobbin' like a little eight-year-old with a skinned knee and shit. And nothing is worse then watching a fat man weep.

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

Short Circuit. Wow, it boggles my mind that someone in their 40s would consider that a date movie. Eeesh. Eh, maybe Clarence was trying to show he was young and heart to his future bride.