The Movie Forums Top 100 Comedies Countdown

→ in
Tools    





I like Some Like it Hot well enough but it's been way too long since I last watched it. I was planning on a rewatch for this countdown but that didn't happen. For me, for Wilder, his comedies are alright but it's his other films that at least I find to be on the top tier both in his filmography and in all of film. But yeah I guess as has been touched on earlier the 50s were not a great comedy decade? Or maybe just for some of us. It's not that I don't like older comedies. Silent, 30s, 40s all work for me in their many variations. Keaton, Marx, Lubitsch, screwball...lots of fun and funny there.
__________________
"Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."



I guess I'll start my mini unveil since others are too. Mrs. Doubtfire was my #3. Nobody can make me laugh as much as Robin Williams. So sad when he passed away.

I had Hitch at 23 and was probably the only voter for it. I really enjoyed Will Smith and Kevin James in it.

1.
2. The Hangover (2009)
3. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
4. Happy Gilmore (1996)
5. Some Like It Hot (1959)
6. It Happened One Night (1934)
7.
8. Caddyshack (1980)
9. The Gold Rush (1925)
10. Spaceballs (1987)
11. After Hours (1985)
12. Home Alone (1990)
13. The Jerk (1979)
14.
15.
16.
17.
18. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
19.
20. Heathers (1989)
21. The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)
22. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
23. Hitch (2005)
24.
25.

I will end with 17/25 having made it.



11 Foreign Language movies to go
Working my way up, from films on my ballot that are obviously not going to show now, at #24 I had Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill Jnr. - which is not The General and as such won't be appearing. A shame because it's one of the old silent features that I find genuinely hilarious and has been a favourite for quite a while. I had no idea if it had enough fans to break into the 100, or if in fact any of the old silent films would. I'd seen quite a few of his short films before starting on his features, but this one has some memorable scenes - including one where an entire house-front falls down and lands on Buster with the window section saving him from being flattened. At one stage a storm sweeps an entire town away, including Buster in a bed. The funniest scene has to be the one where he breaks his Steamboat father out of prison.

At #22 I had World's Greatest Dad, which would have had to appear much lower down. I'm not much of a Robin Williams fan, but he's exceptional in this, as is a young actor called Daryl Sabara - who plays possibly the worst son a father could ever have. It was written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, who has made a few of the finest comedies of the 21st Century - mainly being this one, and God Bless America with Joel Murray. In this film, Williams plays a father who fakes his son's suicide note to make himself out to be something he isn't, which has a cascading effect, bringing him fame and adulation - but at the price of just about any scruples he may have and perhaps even his soul. Coming clean would mean absolute disgrace.

My #11 was The Death of Stalin, and I'm kind of disappointed this one didn't show. It's interesting that some of the true historical incidents in this film actually had to be toned down for fear they'd look too ridiculous. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and sometimes it's funnier than fiction. I love most of the actors in this - Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Palin and Jason Isaacs as Zhukov. I don't think any really recent comedies made it, so perhaps hoping for a 2017 one was too much - but hopefully it will one day make another countdown in the near future. I'm also fascinated with Russian history, which perhaps made this film a bit more of a big deal to me than to some others.
__________________
My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.

Latest Review : Paper Moon (1973)



My #11 was The Death of Stalin, and I'm kind of disappointed this one didn't show. It's interesting that some of the true historical incidents in this film actually had to be toned down for fear they'd look too ridiculous. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and sometimes it's funnier than fiction. I love most of the actors in this - Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Palin and Jason Isaacs as Zhukov. I don't think any really recent comedies made it, so perhaps hoping for a 2017 one was too much - but hopefully it will one day make another countdown in the near future. I'm also fascinated with Russian history, which perhaps made this film a bit more of a big deal to me than to some others.

Huh....
*Looks at his own ballot*
It is not "Unnamed Ballot Entry #2", but I am a little surprised this didn't show up on the near misses list then...
I guess there was room for one more person to have put it on their ballot middle-tier and still not make the near miss.


I had it at number 10, and at around revealed spot #40, I think this was one I predicted may have still had a 50/50 chance of making it. At this point, we're below 1%. Still, if you hadn't mentioned it, I wouldn't have yet. Just because with this countdown, "who knows."





302 points, 20 lists
Duck Soup
Director

Leo McCarey, 1933

Starring

Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Zeppo Marx


#8






Color me surprised, but maybe only because I don’t find the Marx brothers funny. I have seen Night At The Opera and Duck Soup. Didn’t care for either. For the record I expected Duck Soup this high before the countdown. Just not over king Keaton.
__________________
Letterboxd



Victim of The Night
The movie I chose for my 1-pointer, which at least one other person had on their list, was The Long Goodbye. It's not an uproariously funny film, but I sure love a lot about it, including the different versions of the theme song, the ever-moving camera, the Hemingway-inspired alcoholic writer, and Arnold Schwarzenegger's wispy little mustache. It helps I'm a fan of Raymand Chandler. It's okay with me.


I love that movie (and book).
But this is another one of those "the fact that there is some humor to it would never make me call this a comedy", which is the reason I didn't have it on my list. If I were to describe it to some friends I would tell them it was a Thriller/Drama. If I told them it was a comedy I think they would be pissed a couple hours later. But this just speaks to the conversation we were having a couple pages ago, how interesting this list is because people approached it so differently.



I've seen 12 Marx brothers films but Duck Soup isn't one of my favourites. It seems to be their most widely known and best like thoughd. There weren't any Marx brothers films on my list, but if there had been, it would have been A Night at the Opera and Horse Feathers.



Welcome to the human race...
I had Duck Soup at #20. A notable outlier on my list due to its age - the second-oldest films both date from 1975, a whopping 42 years after this one was released - and also in that I'm fairly ambivalent about all the other Marx brothers films I've seen. I think this one gets it right by being early enough in their tenure and also changing up their formula - other films of theirs attempt to crowbar in a plot about a young couple who the brothers ultimately end up helping win the day through their antics, but Duck Soup notably eliminates that completely and is all the better for it. You get more than enough of their particular strengths - Groucho's zingers, Harpo's physicality, and Chico's efforts to play off both of them - and some game straights (Margaret Dumont is always fun to watch in these) - and they're packed into a film that barely cracks an hour and then just ends. In and out like the wind.
__________________
I really just want you all angry and confused the whole time.
Iro's Top 100 Movies v3.0



I love that movie (and book).
But this is another one of those "the fact that there is some humor to it would never make me call this a comedy", which is the reason I didn't have it on my list. If I were to describe it to some friends I would tell them it was a Thriller/Drama. If I told them it was a comedy I think they would be pissed a couple hours later. But this just speaks to the conversation we were having a couple pages ago, how interesting this list is because people approached it so differently.

Since we're expecting Lebowski in these final reveals, I'm wondering if Lebowski falls under the same category for you.


Asking since these two always seem to get mentioned in sentences together.


I think the comedy in The Long Goodbye is a little too subdued for me to place it on a best comedy list. Still really enjoy the movie though.





Duck Soup was #12 on the MoFo Top 100 of the 1930s as well as #5 on the AFI's 100 Years, 100 Laughs and #60 on the AFI's 100 Yrars, 100 Films.
__________________
"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra



I ought to thoroughly enjoy The Marx Bros movies but of the four I've seen (A Day At The Races, A Night At The Opera, Animal Crackers & Horse Feathers) the highest I've rated any of them was
+ so I've come to the conclusion they're sadly just not for me. Maybe one day I'll give Duck Soup a try but I wouldn't advise holding any breath. Absolutely no surprise to see it make Top Ten though as I know those that do like them tend to hold this one in the highest regard.
__________________
201620172018201920202021+
NomsPre-1930 Countdown


terrible, 0/5, not enough puppies.



Duck Soup was #9 on my ballot. It's packed with loads of well-executed gags and memorable one-liners which I love. While the mirror scene is generally considered to be the best scene (and it's a well-executed scene), there's plenty more humor to be found in it, whether you're referring to Groucho's one-liners, Harpo's wordless gags, or Chico's charm. I imagine some people may be turned off by the two musical numbers in the film, but if you can handle musicals, you're in for a real treat with the film.



1. It Happened One Night (#35)
2. City Lights (#11)
3. The Graduate (#27)
4. To Be or Not To Be (#86)
5.
6. Harold and Maude (#45)
7.
8.
9. Duck Soup (#8)
10. Being John Malkovich (#44)
11.
12.Sherlock, Jr. (#56)
13.
14. Shaun of the Dead (#15)
15.
16.
17.
18.
19. Some Like it Hot (#9)
20.
21.
22. The Apartment (#29)
23.
24.
25. The Great Dictator (#50)



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
I have one tape with all of the following in order: Animal Crackers, Monkey Business, Horse Feathers and Duck Soup. It's great, especially the last two. I put Horse Feathers in my mofo Top 100 over Duck Soup more because everybody seems to love Duck Soup but many people have never watched Horse Feathers. Whenever I feel really bad or think that maybe even my life sucks, I put on Horse Feathers and Duck Soup and just laugh until I cry. I do think that if every child watched the final five minutes of Duck Soup every year in school that there would be no wars.


Of course, the mirror scene is really "borrowed" from the "French Chaplin" Max Linder's Seven Years Bad Luck.


Pygmalion is my #10. Besides having terrific performances and some muscular direction, it's got the wittiest script and is my vote for best film of the 1930s. George Bernard Shaw's peerless romantic comedy is just as good, whether it has songs or not. I actually prefer the performances of Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller and the cool technique in the original film, but the songs are so much fun and no expense was spared on the later production. When Rex Harrison goes into another one of his soliloquies, and Audrey Hepburn responds by wishing him grisly deaths in various ways, it has to bring smiles. My only disappointment is that they dubbed Marni Nixon's voice in for Audrey Hepburn. (Audrey does a good job of singing in the Extra Features they have on the My Fair Lady DVD.) I obviously recommend both films, but for potential haters, the older one is in B&W and the newer one is a musical. Yikes! What are you supposed to do? Sit back and enjoy them both.

Play It Again, Sam, my #12, is a charming Woody Allen film, based on his play, about a loser movie critic who uses Humphrey Bogart (Jerry Lacy) as inspiration in his pathetic attempts at scoring with women. His best friends, a married couple (Tony Roberts and Diane Keaton), try to help him get over his divorce from free-spirited Susan Anspach, but it turns out that who he really wants is his best friend's wife. Diane Keaton really shines in what may actually be her sweetest performance, and Woody is perfection self-destructing every time he goes on a date. Set in San Francisco (!), this is probably Woody's most-romantic flick and the one where classic film lovers can get into all the Bogart references. In fact, it may be the Woody Allen film for people who don't like him. How much Herbert Ross may be responsible for this is unclear but it's probably something, although Woody certainly doesn't seem diluted one ounce.



A tie-in between Pygmalion and Play It Again, Sam is that Howard and Bogie are pretty funny together in Stand-In (1937). Also, Howard demanded that Bogie be cast as Duke Mantee in the film version of The Petrified Forest when Jack Warner wanted to replace him.

A double bill of Casablanca and Play It Again, Sam sounds like Heaven. I know that most of us know that "Play it again, Sam" is never said in Casablanca, but I thought I'd mention it anyway for those who don't know.

My List

1. Richard Pryor Live in Concert [#113]
5. Back to the Future [#35]
6. The Graduate [#27]
10. Pygmalion [DNP]
11. Harold and Maude [#46]
12. Play It Again, Sam [DNP]
13. One, Two, Three [#86]
14. Some Like It Hot [#9]
15. An American Werewolf in London [DNP]
16. It's Such A Beautiful Day [#62]
17. A Fish Called Wanda [#38]
20. City Lights [#11]
21. Tootsie [#108]
22. Toy Story [DNP]
23. Who Framed Roger Rabbit [DNP]
24. The Trouble with Harry [DNP]
25. Ruthless People [My One Pointer]
__________________
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
My IMDb page



Victim of The Night
Another from my list that did not make the collective...


Steve Martin wound up with two titles on the list with Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (#52) and The Jerk (#24). Being a Steve Martin fan I like both of those, but if I had to pick one as THE best and my favorite it is easily L.A. Story. I had it at number twenty-three on my ballot. His wit and silliness are on full display in just about equal measure, and while the swipes at his hometown's pretensions and chaos are what made the trailer and how the movie was sold, it is what Steve has to say about love that I connected to most deeply and what elevates it above the rest of his work. "There's someone out there for everyone - even if you need a pickaxe, a compass, and night goggles to find them." Indeed.


Literally one of my favorite movies of all time, would absolutely be one of the movies I want to see before I die... yet somehow did not make my list.
I actually was in the test-audience for this. We laughed loud and often. But the mystical/fantasy side, not to mention the Shakespeare stuff, I think confused a lot of viewers.
I actually always loved the scene where they turn in to children.
And it's such a smart movie. I enjoyed the Poor Yorick scene with Rick Moranis but one of my favorite jokes is "You should try The Guggenheim".



Victim of The Night
Since we're expecting Lebowski in these final reveals, I'm wondering if Lebowski falls under the same category for you.


Asking since these two always seem to get mentioned in sentences together.


I think the comedy in The Long Goodbye is a little too subdued for me to place it on a best comedy list. Still really enjoy the movie though.
I can't say I felt totally dissimilarly about the two films, but I guess if you asked me what Lebowski primarily is, I would say it is a Comedy and really an overt, often absurdist Comedy, there just happens to be a mystery and some drama. As opposed to a movie like LGb, which is primarily a Mystery/Drama and there just happens to be some very non-overt dark-humor to it.



Victim of The Night
Duck Soup is my #17.
There was no version of this list where it didn't make it, it is not only one of the most important Comedies in my life it is simply one of the most important movies in my life.
When I was 18 years old, already someone who spent a shocking amount of his time watching movies, I took History Of American Cinema: 1925-1950 at the University Of Souther California. I could have taken 1950-Present but I wanted to go deep. And it changed the way I approach not only film but art forever. Sitting in a theater and watching these movies after a professor of film put them into context and prepared us (I mean, I'm 18 years old and I'm watching The Wind with Lilian Gish from 1928 on a huge theater screen in a theater with only about 40 people). And then we would have to write a paper about them for the next week and turn it in before we watched the next one.
And Duck Soup was the Comedy he chose for this period. And it really changed the way I looked at Comedy, at Film, at the history of Film and all of that changed the way I perceive art, period.
So when we say a movie is Important, this is what I would mean by that. And so it had to be here.

Reply to Topic