Funny Hitler movies are a genre no one wants to admit they like. Yet there are at least three award-winning, lovable, and thoroughly enjoyable films that take a satiric look at Hitler over time, and make the humor work.
JoJo Rabbit (2019) —
We’ve reviewed this really top notch film here before, and it’s up for awards for 2019. Every actor really worked, even though you’d think you’d seen this kind of Jew-In-the-Wall story before. It’s a fun time that will make you cry only once, thankfully. It tells a fantastic story with wit and whimsy and heart. Scarlet should get noticed for her supporting role, but the real breakout moments lie with Roman Griffin Davis as the ten year old wanna-be Nazi-Youth, and his best imaginary friend Hitler, delightfully realized by Director/Actor Taika Waititi (remember how Waititi single-handledly re-wrote/saved Thor in Ragnarok?).
The Producers — (1968 and 2011)
In-Universe play: (Springtime for Hitler)
Intended as a terrible play, Springtime for Hitler is the in-universe concept behind a theatrical version intentioned to be so bad the producers could blame the awfulness on the playwright, and get off rich/scot-free selling a lousy production as they run away with the upfront money. However, the play is unintentionally actually a hit. Cue the humor. There are several film/broadway Production versions to attest to the success of this satirical formula.
To Be or Not to be (Mel Brooks) —
In-universe play: Hitler On Ice
I remember laughing a lot at this Mel Brooks comedy, where a family of Jews is hidden by a German comedy troupe that seems pro-Hitler unless you’re smart enough to catch that their play is a satire. It’s a hoot. After all, Hitler only wants PEACE: A little piece of Hungary and a little piece of France….
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Captain American’s first outing shows his character ‘beating up Hitler’ in the adaptation of his comic book story to the MCU film. Steve Rogers yearns to do something more real than punching fake Hitlers. He gets his wish (as fans know), but the America v Hitler element is played off as an in-universe historical joke. It’s not really funny, but it’s an important nod to Cap’s comic origins.
Life is Beautiful (1997)
This isn’t actually a comedy or satire… But a lot of people love the gentle spirit and ultimate ‘happy’ message in this popular Italian film about concentration camps in WW2 (I realize that isn’t a normal thing to say). Personally, I don’t walk away from this movie smiling. It captures a great message though: how you feel about life is more important than how you suffer, even in the worst of conditions. Life is Beautiful is not a joyous film no matter how you slice it. It’s a well-told lifetime favorite that for some people never grows old.
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Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)