Carol Burnett loves old movies

There’s a few sure things in life, and one is that I’ll watch A Stolen Life, a mistaken-identity melodrama in which Bette Davis plays twins, every time it’s on TCM. A while ago, my friend Tonya from Goosepimply Allover sent me a link to a parody of the film, called “A Swiped Life,” from The Carol Burnett Show. If you’ve  seen the film, you’ll find it hilarious. You can tell Burnett really studied Ms. Davis’ speech patterns and facial expressions…and then way over-emphasized them.

They also did a parody of Double Indemnity, called “Double Calamity.”

And one more…a “tribute” to Fred and Ginger. Roddy McDowall is excellent in the Edward Everett Horton role:


What really strikes me about these spoofs is that, at some point, these movies were well-known enough for jokes and references about them to be understood by enough people that it was a regular feature on a national network TV show. Now with the wide variety of entertainment options, there isn’t any one film, TV show, book or musical act that everyone is familiar with.

Also, even though I’ve enjoyed the occasional episode of Jersey Shore, I can’t help but wish there was something as smart and fun as The Carol Burnett Show on TV now.

UPDATE: In the interests of completism, here is the immortal Carol Burnett Gone With The Wind parody, “Went With The Wind:”

13 thoughts on “Carol Burnett loves old movies

  1. I LOVED these skits. I remember them well, even if at the time I wasn’t familiar with the originals. When I finally saw those, Carol’s work became even better. Great spotlight, Paula.

    1. Thanks Michael! I love them now too, though I went in the opposite order. I love how in the Fred and Ginger clip, when Ken Berry is unpacking, all he puts in the closet is tuxedoes.

  2. I just realized part of the post didn’t publish. The Fred and Ginger clip I referred to in my comment is actually there now 🙂

  3. I love the originals and I love the parodies!

    And I love her Gone with the Wind!

    Thanks for the laffs!

    1. Me too Val! I’ll add Went With The Wind to the post, so they’ll all be together. YW & thank you for commenting, I very much appreciate 🙂

  4. Hi Paula! I’m so happy you enjoyed the clip, better yet that you watched even more! I certainly miss that type of programming on TV now. It just doesn’t exist outside of these reruns and I’m thankful we have them preserved like this! The Carol Burnett cast were the best! Thanks bunches for your post. Inspiring stuff isn’t it? 🙂


  5. Paula, thanks to watching THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW when I was growing up as a kid growing up in the Bronx, I learned more about classic movies than I could in any film class. The show’s hilarious yet affectionate send-ups of beloved movies like A STOLEN LIFE, BORN TO BE BAD, ONE-WAY PASSAGE, and especially my favorite, DOUBLE INDEMNITY not only had me laughing out loud, they also got me interested in the movies they were spoofing! Great post!,

    1. What a great memory…I saw the movies before I saw the skits but I can tell Carol and company loved those movies as much as we do, and studied them quite carefully. Thanks Dorian!

  6. These are terrific parodies – I almost couldn’t stop laughing at “Went with the Wind”. You made an interesting point about the classic films and how familiar those television audiences would have been with them.

    1. Yes, it was like a common language for people back then I think. Aren’t they funny? You can tell Carol and company really loved those movies.

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