The Movie Forums Top 100 Comedies Countdown

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When Arsenic and Old Lace came up, I mentioned that it was one of two movies we'd regularly check out of the local library. This was the other one, so it's not just a great comedy, it's a treasured childhood memory. And then recently I got to show it to my son and have that special joy of sharing something we now both love.

And look, how good is a movie if Gene Hackman's amazing cameo as a blind hermit is almost an afterthought?

"Wait! Where are you going? ... I was going to make espresso."

Young Frankenstein was my #1.




Dante's follow-up, Gremlins 2: The New Batch is an underrated gem too. It's more surrealistic and broader but contains many wonderful sights and sounds to behold: Tony Randall as the Brain Gremlin, singing "New York, New York", Christopher Lee as a mad scientist, and John Wayne taking out some gremlin varmints in a shootout.
Obligatory:



Young Frankenstein was at the very top of my ballot. It was literally the first film I thought about when I started collecting titles for my short list, and for good reason. Often when people ask me what films I like, I have to stop and think about what my favourite films actually are (since my brain grinds to a halt at that question haha), but Young Frankenstein is one that I often mention right away.

It may have been the first parody I saw that clearly cared deeply about its source material. From the visual style and overall atmosphere, to tracking down the original laboratory props, the film is as much a homage to Frankenstein as it is a spoof of it. I think that's a major reason why the film works as well as it does.

My List: 15
01. Young Frankenstein (1974) - #4
02. The Princess Bride (1987) - #16
03. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) - #5
04. Evil Dead II (1987) - #94
06. Brazil (1985) - #48
07. The Great Dictator (1940) - #51
10. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) - DNP #117
11. His Girl Friday (1940) - #26
12. Ghostbusters (1984) - #6
14. Clerks (1994) - #65
15. Shaun of the Dead (2004) - #15
16. Galaxy Quest (1999) - #14
17. What We Do in the Shadows (2014) - #31
19. Hot Fuzz (2007) - #12
21. Tropic Thunder (2008) - #59
22. Arsenic & Old Lace (1944) - #28





A system of cells interlinked
Great flick, but not on my ballot. When I look over my ballot, and see some of the films I chose to include instead, I feel like I may need to have my brain examined.

__________________
"There’s absolutely no doubt you can be slightly better tomorrow than you are today." - JBP



It's time to have some fun
YES! Young Frankenstein is indeed a comedy classic! So glad to see it so high. I wrote this about it once:

Young Frankenstein (1974)

Director: Mel Brooks
Writers: Gene Wilder, Mel Brooks
Cast: Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, Terri Garr, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman


Dr. Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) is the modern day American grandson of the infamous scientist who created the original 'Frankenstein's monster'. In an attempt to prove that his ideas were not crazy, young Dr. Frankenstein travels to his ancestral home and takes up residents in the old family castle. There he discovers his grandfathers recipe for reanimating the dead.

I loved the look of this film, there were many nods to the film making of the early 1930s. Of course the most visible 1930s retro look is Mel Brooks' decision to shoot in glorious black & white. I love black & white for a subject like this one. With all of the extraneous colors stripped out we're left with form, texture and shadows. The film becomes dream like and the lighting can readily show the texture of the old castle's bricks or the frazzled hair of Dr Frankenstein after he has emerged from the act of creation. Black & White allows side and back lighting to work to greater effect...it makes the movie great.

Another nod to the serials and matinee films of the 1930s was the scene transition wipes. The wipes come when one scene ends and another begins. There are all sorts of cool scene wipes used: diagonal wipes, shrink to a hole-then expand back to full screen wipes, rotating wipes. All very cool and it shows how much care was put into this film to make it look like an authentic early 30s film.

Many of the same electronic lab equipment that was used in the original Frankenstein film was used in Young Frankenstein.


Wow, does Gene Wilder deliver some of the most dramatic dialogue ever! The man is a master of diction! I wish we had a time machine and could send Gene Wilder back to play Dr. Frankenstein in the original 1930s movie. My gawd, can you image how much more powerful that film would've been with Gene Wilder belting out He's alive!

And how about Marty Feldman, he has to be one of the most memorable character actors to grace the screen. With stellar performances being turned in by Madeline Kahn and Cloris Leachman too, one could write a book about these amazing talents.

And let's not forget the adorably cute, Terri Garr!

This is Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder at their best!

+



Victim of The Night
And Ghostbusters, over the characters Murray plays. I don't know how serious it is but I've heard it.

This is one article about Groundhog Day

https://www.looper.com/394350/why-ph...rrible-person/

I get what they're saying but still
Oh boy. I think people on the Left need to keep distancing themselves from the Cancel crowd. Well, all of us do.



Victim of The Night
Another of my choices that did not make it...


Chevy Chase wound up with three titles on the list: Caddyshack (#25), National Lampoon's Vacation (#55), and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (#80). While he has other worthy flicks that most surely got a couple votes, including Foul Play, ¡Three Amigos!, Funny Farm, and maybe even Seems Like Old Times, the one I voted for and mistakenly thought was a near-lock to place somewhere on the collective Top 100 was Fletch (1985). To my mind it was easily his best role, the best cinematic use of his talents, and comes with about two dozen super quotable lines and laughs galore. It is a decent adaptation of Gregory Mcdonald's novel, which is already laced with humor to begin with. Then they grafted in the Chevy stuff, like his knack for physical comedy and love of the Los Angeles Lakers, and what you got was a more-than-solid mystery peppered with some very, very funny stuff. All under the sure direction of Michael Ritchie who made The Candidate, The Bad News Bears, Smile, The Golden Child, and Diggstown, among others. The movie was a hit, finishing ninth at the year's box office, and it should have been a repeatable pattern. McDonald had a whole series of Fletch novels, all they had to do was keep making them. Instead when they finally did get around to a sequel, 1989's Fletch Lives, they decided NOT to adapt another of the books. Without that strong foundation of a good mystery the sequel was horrible, died at the box office, and quickly killed what could have been a great franchise.

In the decades since several actors and filmmakers have been attached to reboot Fletch and hopefully create the franchise that never was. Kevin Smith was going to make it with Jason Lee and then Ben Affleck as Irwin Fletcher before it fell apart completely, then Bill Lawrence and Zach Braff were gonna have a go, which gave way to Steve Pink and Jason Sudeikis. None of them went into production, obviously. After all of that, finally, we are getting Confess, Fletch directed by Greg Mottola (The Daytrippers, Superbad, Adventureland) and starring Jon Hamm coming on October 28th, 2022.

I think the original Fletch holds up extremely well, but as with similarly toned '80s comedies Beverly Hills Cop and Midnight Run, they are three great, funny flicks that didn't make the MoFo list. It's not for a lack of trying. I had Fletch as my eighteenth choice.
This is maybe the one that's shocking me the most. With a few others nipping at its heels.
I assumed this would be top-20.



A system of cells interlinked
Oh boy. I think people on the Left need to keep distancing themselves from the Cancel crowd. Well, all of us do.
I see it pop up with some of my friends on the right, also. It's everywhere!



I think very highly of Do the Right Thing, it is on my Top Ten for the decade. An amazing film that resonates as loudly now as it did two decades ago. And one I would not call a comedy. And that's the double truth, Ruth.

But as you were.

Or even three decades ago. And if Fargo is a comedy, flippin' Do the Right Thing is a comedy, given how much more it plays for laughs. Silly to insist otherwise.
__________________
I may go back to hating you. It was more fun.



I had Young Frankenstein as my #5.

My List:
2. Life of Brian (#20)
3. The Jerk (#24)
4. Playtime (#48)
5. Young Frankenstein (#4)
6. A Hard Day's Night (#103)
7. City Lights (#11)
8. Being John Malkovich (#44)
10. Do the Right Thing (DNP)
11. Midnight in Paris (#114)
12. The Apartment (#29)
13. Modern Times (#39)
16. Bringing Up Baby (#22)
17. The Grand Budapest Hotel (DNP)
18. They All Laughed (DNP)
19. The Thin Man (DNP)
20. This Is Spinal Tap (#13)
21. One, Two, Three (#85)
22. Beetlejuice (#78)
23. Kind Hearts and Coronets (DNP)
24. Sullivan's Travels (#100)
25. The Long Goodbye (DNP)



Or even three decades ago. And if Fargo is a comedy, flippin' Do the Right Thing is a comedy, given how much more it plays for laughs. Silly to insist otherwise.

Most of Fargo is played for laughs. Like a lot of dark comedies, it's funny up until the point(s) when it isn't.
I can't comment much on Do the Right Thing as a comedy other than it never crossed my mind as one. However, I haven't seen Dazed and Confused, and have only heard 30 second audio clips of it*, but wouldn't that be closer in nature?


*: Dazed and Confused, like I said, a movie I haven't watched, but based on vague impressions, doesn't jump to mind as a comedy for me (maybe because I haven't seen a Linklater comedy, so that leaves me with a sense of hangout and slice of life movies with him).



Weird story. A while ago, I started watching Young Frankenstein. Was enjoying it, but for some reason, had to stop halfway through... and I never finished it. Don't remember why. I need to get on that ASAP.

So... no points from me.



Seen: 73/97

My ballot:  



Young Frankenstein would be higher on my ballot but it doesn't have the nostalgia effect or suit my personality like most of the movies I voted for. It's great enough to be much higher and I've been a fan as long as I can remember.

Unless there's a shitload of closet drunks here that I don't know about, that'll be the last entry from my list to show.

1. Animal House (#31)
3. Trading Places (#33)
4. Caddyshack (#25)
5. Stripes (#90)
6. The Hangover (#70)
8. Vacation (#54)
9. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (#60)
14. Young Frankenstein (#4)
15. Beverly Hills Cop (#105)
24. The Blues Brothers (#20)



Most of Fargo is played for laughs. Like a lot of dark comedies, it's funny up until the point(s) when it isn't.
I can't comment much on Do the Right Thing as a comedy other than it never crossed my mind as one. However, I haven't seen Dazed and Confused, and have only heard 30 second audio clips of it*, but wouldn't that be closer in nature?


*: Dazed and Confused, like I said, a movie I haven't watched, but based on vague impressions, doesn't jump to mind as a comedy for me (maybe because I haven't seen a Linklater comedy, so that leaves me with a sense of hangout and slice of life movies with him).
No, I would consider Do the Right Thing far more of a comedy than Dazed and Confused, because it's stylized in such a way as to make no sense as a straight drama. Such as the scene I posted earlier.That is not a realistically rendered scene. It's plays for laughs, and big laughs, not incidental laughs. Dazed and Confused is certainly a comedy, but the comedy has a more grounded feel to it. Fargo is humorous, with its heavily exaggerated characters and accents helping lighten a very dark story. I never saw Do the Right Thing in the cinema, but I would be shocked if audiences in 1989, particularly black audiences, weren't roaring in the movie theater, and just because it turns into a tragedy at the end doesn't mean you weren't supposed to be laughing throughout the entire movie. I really, truly can't believe I have to argue that Do the Right Thing is a comedy, especially since it's listed or described as a comedy on every single movie site or article talking about the movie. And it's not as if it's Spike Lee's only comedy. Smh.

This is not the opening credits to a straight drama.



Do the Right Thing is a comedy at least that is how I remember it. I saw it when it came out in the theaters and that was the last time I saw it. I liked She's Gotta Have It better because it was funnier.


Young Frankenstein is funny but I wouldn't call it top ten funny. This I have seen within the last couple of years and it wasn't quite as hilarious to me as it was when I was a kid.



Victim of The Night
Okay, but nothing in that article outright suggests "canceling" the movie. You could infer that, sure, but why?

The basic critique of the article is that the movie suggests that Phil has gone through a redemption arc, but that this isn't actually true. Obviously, this isn't the standard reading of the film, but criticism doesn't need to be right, it just needs to have some kind of textual basis. So my basic response is: So what? Someone didn't like the movie, and gave their reason. I think that's fine!
But it's Looper. They (and several other sites) go scrounging around for clickbait and if they don't find it they create it. Problem is then people read it and run with it and here we are.



Victim of The Night
You would have to be a real ogre to not enjoy "Ghostbusters". Can see it ranked this high because its in the wheelhouse of the majority here, youth wise. A really fun film, but it wouldn't be in my top fifty. Might be that the sequels squashed this feeling I had.

Okay, now to throw a wrench into the latest PC banter. A nasty one and a standard from my youth, most likely only seen here...


#19 "Teachers" (1984)






This film is the polar opposite of the feel good '80s teen romps. It covers all the little bad things that are never or rarely mentioned during this era. Hence why I love its darkness and and can find the funny.

I used to really like that film but I haven't seen it in many moons.



Victim of The Night
I think it's pretty safe to say that film won't make this list.
God I hope not. That would really depress me.