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Michael Douglas calls this comedy “the sickest movie in the world”

Michael Douglas is not considered a comedy movie star, as his raison d'etre was always erotic thrillers, but in the 1980s he starred in three fantastic ones.

Michael Douglas comedy movies

Michael Douglas has always been best-known for thriller movies, especially neo-noirs and erotic thrillers such as Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct, Disclosure, and A Perfect Murder. Four of his best movies of all time were also thrillers – The China Syndrome, Falling Down, The Game, and Traffic. Michael Douglas is not particularly associated with comedy movies, but during the 1980s, he made three with the same two co-stars which are all now considered classics.

In 1984, Douglas starred alongside Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito in Romancing the Stone, a romantic and comedic twist on the adventure movie. They reunited in 1985 for its sequel The Jewel of the Nile and also starred in the music video for Billy Ocean’s When the Going Gets Tough.

In 1989, Danny DeVito recruited Douglas and Turner for a movie that he was directing – The War of the Roses. Douglas and Turner play a couple embroiled in a bitter divorce, and it’s a black comedy that certainly does not have a traditional rom-com ending.

In 1992, Michael Douglas reflected on some of his best roles to Entertainment Weekly. Of The War of the Roses, he said; “A great screenplay, beautifully done, the sickest, absurdest movie in the world. Kathleen and I knew each others’ rhythms. And it worked, it was a big hit, nobody would have thought it. It’s way out there — waaay out there.”

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The War of the Roses came just under When Harry Met Sally in the highest-grossing movies of 1989, making $86 million. Romancing the Stone had made $115 million and The Jewel of the Nile made $96 million. These would all be considered very respectable figures for romantic comedies today – 30-40 years later.

Check out our guide to the best 80s movies.