The Movie Forums Top 100 Comedies Countdown

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Got it. Yeah, I mean I still won't say with confidence that's why you had that reaction, exactly, but I think being able to guess that suggests there might be something to that as a general explanation. Time loop stuff, high concept stuff, it's all over the place now and barely registers, but 30 years ago it felt pretty groundbreaking. I saw it pretty young and thought it was just so insanely cool that a mainstream movie with a huge star in it was doing something so weird.

I'd probably disagree with all the safe comedy stuff, but like I said, not trying to convince anyone so to each their own, just collecting an additional data point for the theory.

I've seen some nicely impassioned love of the film here, which has given me some perspective from the fans of it. And maybe it's concept would have intrigued me some at the time, but it's not like I wasn't aware what it was generally about back in the day. Basically, it just has that really standard blah look a lot of 90's comedies had, and its comedy really isn't my thing (I usually like nonsense and irreverence and anger and discomfort in my comedy). This is the kind of humor that might make me smile...but not even in the whimsical way a Jacques Tati might do. Just more a recognition that 'hey, that was a joke'. And then I'm left completely empty inside.



I've seen some nicely impassioned love of the film here, which has given me some perspective from the fans of it. And maybe it's concept would have intrigued me some at the time, but it's not like I wasn't aware what it was generally about back in the day.
Actually, that's another aspect I forgot to mention: kinda knowing the premise going in. I didn't, and was so delightfully surprised by it, and when I look back at various high-concept films I really loved, they're almost always films that take a weird turn I managed not to hear about in advance. Which was a lot easier than it is today, both because of information availability and trailers that give away way too much.

For some people this maybe doesn't make much of a difference either way, but for others (me!) it's a huge deal.



Contuining the trend, Monty Python and the Holy Grail was also my #5. Possibly the perfect movie for irreverent teenage boys. Is Life of Brian a better movie? Is Holy Grail funnier? Maybe! Who cares! They're both great, they're both on the list, all is well.



It's time to have some fun
Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Oh bloody hell...I was going to say something faux relevant, but I just got up and don't feel like thinking I use to love this, maybe I still do? I haven't seen it in 20 years so don't know. But cool enough it made the top 10.



"Month Python & the Holy Grail" is my #6. Cannot really add more than what has already been said. One thing I love is that after numerous viewings, I still pick up new things going on in the background. For example, the scene where the narrator explains how swallows could have brought the coconuts in their migrating patterns. Later on, you see a peasant in the background tying a rope from a bird to a coconut. Then watching them drop immediately to the ground when released.

Brilliance!


How much do I love this film? so much so I have this on the rear wiper of my car.





For those keeping count, both Reitman yesterday and Gilliam/Jones today join the list of directors with multiple entries on the list. Reitman had Stripes at #91, while Gilliam/Jones had Brazil at #48 and Life of Brian at #20.

Also, Mel Brooks, Billy Wilder, and Harold Ramis go up one tier with their third entry each at #10, #9, and #7. How about that?
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How much do I love this film? so much so I have this on the rear wiper of my car.


That is awesome



I will give a final update once the countdown ends, but for what it's worth, the 80s will walk away with this uncontested. As of now, they have 28 entries in the list, followed by 17 from the 1990s and 2000s each. Nothing pre-1920s and nothing post-2020s for a bit of a nice bookend on both ends of the spectrum.



I didn't have Monty Python and the Holy Grail on my list but it's a great film, comedy, and absolutely get why it's in the top 5. Life of Brian is better but hey it's all good - no tears here. Enjoy it!
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My brother and I went to the Cerritos Theatre seven times in about a month in 1975 to watch a double bill of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, my #19, and What's Up, Tiger Lily?. He even snuck in a tape recorder to record both movies, so that when he wasn't watching them during that month, you could hear all the dialogue coming from inside his bedroom. Therefore, he and I have known all the dialogue to both movies since 1975.
This is very cool. Original guerilla style pirates. Gotta love that love for movies.



Monty Python and the Holy Grail was my #16. It's one of the few movies I felt some, consternation on putting on. I mostly tried to avoid including ballot entries just because they're hailed as comedy classics, or if I watched them a lot growing up, haven't watched them forever, but vaguely recall the last time I watched it, I finally started to stop laughing because I had just become too familiar with the jokes and heard them too many times; I also didn't want to confuse quotability with actually being funny (sometimes the amount we quote something exaggerates how good or funny we think something is). However, it felt weird not including a Python on my list just because their was so formative growing up (by my count, I first saw Grail around age 10-12). I initially was thinking I was going to go for Brian because my intuition tells me the general consensus is that it's considered the smarter, funnier one for adults, and the one that probably stood a better chance of making me laugh as an adult. But ultimately decided if I was giving over to chilldhood and adolescent nostalgia for this entry, it'd make sense just to list Grail. Maybe it would have made more sense to use that spot for something else, but if I didn't, I'd probably then start to think of the scenes and think a complete omission wouldn't have been right either.

I guess for further reveals on the list...
Since I didn't do one for Groundhog's Day, a "rom-com" (cough) about someone repeatedly making the same mistake, I had Elaine May's The Heartbreak Kid (1972) at the #17 spot on my ballot


A movie that I can only describe as acidic. The rom-com tropes of a man trying to get together with a girl across class-boundaries - except he's on his honeymoon and there's no real reason why they should get together, and you actively think they'll both be worse off if they do.
Also... consider the cauliflower.
Elaine May and her filmography seemed to really make the rounds over the past few years across the different movie podcasts I listen to, coupled with the recent death of Charles Grodin gave me a slim hope it might make the countdown. Just working against it is the complete inability to see it legally. It's been a long time since I've watched a bootleg copy of a movie on youtube. A New Leaf was probably the better hope, but felt this one had significantly more bite. It's odd how big the difference is to me between this and The Graduate in terms of appreciation. Though, there's a huge difference between Virginia Woolfe and The Graduate as well.

Update on my ballot:

I only expect one more movie off of it to appear after this.
(probabilities were given after reveal #40)

WARNING: spoilers below

1. It's Such a Beautiful Day (2012) (#61)
2. 60% (at the beginning of the list, I would have put this at 90%)
3. 90%
4. House (1977) (#89)
5. 15%
6. Brazil (1985) (#47)
7. 30%
8. 33%
9. 1%
10. The Death of Stalin (2017) (DNP) - 50%
11. 50%
12. Fargo (1996) (#97)
13. 20%
14. 10%
15. Dark Star (1974) (DNP) - 0.1%
16. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) (#5) - 90%
17. The Heartbreak Kid (1972) (DNP) - 33%
18. Heathers (1989) (#46)
19. Duck Soup (1933) (#8) - 85%
20. The Apartment (1960) (#29) - 90%
21. Evil Dead II (1987) (#93)
22. Dead Man (1995) (DNP) - 5%
23. Best in Show (2000) (#74)
24. 0.01%
25. The Phantom of Liberty (1974) - 0% (1 pointer)
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Saved for personal reference (to see how wrong I was): top 100 comedy countdown - my predictions for my ballot after #41 (Borat) on the list had been revealed



Holy Grail is of course on my list. As was Life of Brian. And it is mostly irrelevant which one is better (even though the answer to that is obvious). Holy Grail, for all its lesserness compared to Brian, is Python as pure comedy. Operating on pure Python instinct. As with anything they did, they've got their fair share of jokes that miss, but to get hung up on that is to miss the point. This is the movie where they let themselves be pointless, or drive a joke off a cliff, or be completely inscrutable. The bad jokes lay the scaffolding for the good ones. And the good ones are better than almost anyone else's (the homely Prince waiting in his window to be rescued, and ultimately disappointing all of his would be rescuers, being one of my personal favorites).


The film is cheap. It's a mess. It's deeply imperfect. But it is probably exactly how Python should have begun their (proper) movie career. And it is about as important a film for me as any, in that it was that clarion call for all outsiders to come and hang with these six guys who didn't care about anything but being smarter and weirder and funnier than everyone else.



Definitely enjoy Holy Grail, but was nowhere close to consideration of my list. Watched Life of Brian after it appeared, and definitely prefer that one. But both are great fun.
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I got more from my list onto this than normal. But, with very few exceptions, I also stayed pretty close to popular choices, so not that surprising. I think there is only two or three that I absolutely knew wouldn't make it.



1. XXXXXX
2. Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979)
3. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
4. Duck Soup (1933)
5. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
6. National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
7. XXXX
8. Blazing Saddles (1974)
9. Annie Hall (1977)
10. Animal House (1978)
11. What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
12. Being John Malkovich (1999)
13. Rushmore (1998)
14. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
15. Harold and Maude (1971)
16. XXXX
17. XXXX
18. XXXX
19. XXXX
20. Dazed and Confused (1993)
21. Dumb and Dumber (1994)
22. XXXX
23. XXXX
24. Best in Show (2000)
25. Smile (1975)



Since The Holy Grail is not on my list, as I had Life of Brian instead, I will reveal the last film from my list that didn't make the countdown, and what I would pick as the worse snub: Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing was my #10. Spike Lee stars as Mookie who works for the Italian pizzeria in a predominantly black neighborhood in Brooklyn during an intense heat wave, where racial tensions begin to rise and eventually explode. It covers quite serious topics in an honest way, but it is also quite funny, and I find it not only Spike Lee's best movie (with Malcolm X very close), but one of the best movies of the 1980s. It should have been nominated for Best Picture and it should have gotten more love for a countdown like this, I feel, though I imagine some might think it too serious of a comedy for their own list.

Anyhow, I have the final four films on my own list, and the only mystery is where they placed.
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Since The Holy Grail is not on my list, as I had Life of Brian instead, I will reveal the last film from my list that didn't make the countdown, and what I would pick as the worse snub: Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing was my #10. Spike Lee stars as Mookie who works for the Italian pizzeria in a predominantly black neighborhood in Brooklyn during an intense heat wave, where racial tensions begin to rise and eventually explode. It covers quite serious topics in an honest way, but it is also quite funny, and I find it not only Spike Lee's best movie (with Malcolm X very close), but one of the best movies of the 1980s. It should have been nominated for Best Picture and it should have gotten more love for a countdown like this, I feel, though I imagine some might think it too serious of a comedy for their own list.

Anyhow, I have the final four films on my own list, and the only mystery is where they placed.
Kinda crazy this didn't make the list



As said with their last entry on this list, Monty Python arenít really my cup of tea. Though I respect and understand their place in comedy. And well.. The Holy Grail ainít even the holy grail of their films to me.

And yeah, I actually also thought this would be at least top 3 on this list.



I don't have time to write as much as I'd like about it, but I think I saw Monty Python and the Holy Grail when I was something like 13...

...and I could not believe how funny it was. Let me be very clear here: I'm not saying "I could not believe" as an idiom. This is not "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter." I was genuinely blown away by the level of humor in the first 30 minutes. I'd never seen anything like it. I'd never seen something so stupid and smart at the same time, so simultaneously incisive and silly. It barely even processed.

I think it was mostly about how It just kept going. When I saw the squire banging coconuts together, I thought it was hilarious. When the knight on the ramparts commented on it and argued with them about it I just lost it completely. Even the way he says "hello" the first time...they just squeezed something funny into so many little things that other comedies just use as the thread to connect larger bits.

The comedy comes first, every time. The whole freaking movie stops for the comedy in moments like that. The story and any pretext of it really mattering slides into the background to make room for the funniness. And then I had all those reactions over again during the Black Knight scene, which is maybe more impressive, because at that point it was surprising me more or less the exact same way, again, just minutes later.



Maybe I'll say more later when I have more time, but I cannot overstate my first reaction to this movie. I'll remember it forever. It changed my idea of what comedy could be.

It was the #2 film on my ballot.