I don't know why I haven't done this before now. I occasionally watch movies on TCM, and not just Casablanca. In the past couple of weeks I've watched several good movies, including Pillow Talk, Charade, and Run Silent, Run Deep (having previously seen The Enemy Below, which inspired the Star Trek episode "Balance of Terror") Today I just finished, and plan to discuss, The Comedy of Terrors starring Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, Basil Rathbone, and Joyce Jameson, with Joe E. Brown and Rhubarb the cat (who really steals the show as Cleopatra).
Price is Waldo Trumbull (Lorre pronounces his name "Tremble", to Trumbull's annoyance), a respectable man of business (a funeral home that he married into) who's actually a total crook. Lorre is his assistant, escaped bank robber ("I never confessed. They merely proved it.") Felix Gillie. Karloff is his senile partner, Hinchley, who spends most of his time unaware of what's going on around him (including the fact that the "medicine" Price tries to give him occasionally is labeled "Poison" with a skull and crossbones). Rathbone is their landlord, Mr. Black, who's rather displeased that Hinchley & Trumbull is a year in arrears on their rent, and reluctantly threatens eviction.
And Jameson is Amaryllis Hinchley Trumbull, Waldo's despised wife. Hinchley is unhappy that she keeps intercepting his "medicine", and Waldo only values her for the once-thriving business she brought him. (Fair is fair; he figures she only married him because no one else would have her.) She also has fantasies of singing opera (and her loving Felix thinks "she sings like a nightingale"-- which would be true if nightingales shattered glass).
Price has to go foraging for business now that Black is seriously dunning him, so he locates a rich man to burke. Unfortunately, the widow leaves for Boston and beyond with all the furniture and money, leaving him unpaid. So he needs to go out with Felix again, and a further dunning note from Black (a widower) inspires his next selection. ("We'll kill two birds with one pillow.")
They find Black spouting Macbeth, and after a struggle with Felix he collapses, seemingly dead. His servant brings a doctor, who (despite being warned that Black is cataleptic) pronounces him dead after checking carefully. As Waldo and Felix prepare for the funeral, they find out that the doctor was a bit inaccurate when Black rises up and wonders where he is, what's going on, and what he's doing there. ("You're here because you're dead, Mr. Black." "The Hell I am.") They finally manage to shut him into his coffin (Waldo considers him the most uncooperative customer he's ever had).
The funeral is as amusing as one might expect, with Amaryllis singing (a little more accurately than she thinks) "He is not dead but sleepeth." The song ends as spectacularly as usual, with one listener thinking that if Black weren't dead that would kill him. (He isn't, and it doesn't.) They finally place him in a crypt, greatly annoying Waldo because they have to buy a new coffin after using the old one for only 13 years.
Of course, Black still isn't dead, and the result will be a wild night of action that leads to a number of seemingly dead people -- only one of whom (in accordance with the Movie Code) really is in the end. But I will leave that for those who see it.