The Movie Forums Top 100 Comedies Countdown

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I'm happy to see Duck Soup so high up. I had it at #16, but that's not a complaint for sure! It's one of the great classic comedies.

Since it won't appear in the list, I might as well mention Million Dollar Legs (1932), a W.C. Fields picture made the year before Duck Soup. It's interesting that they're both off-beat and wacky comedies, and also that they were each co-written by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, both from Paramount, and both set in fictional countries. There are other similarities as well, not to mention that they're both a riot.

If you haven't seen Million Dollar Legs, I'd heartily recommend it.



Duck Soup was an easy #1 for me and the closest thing to a
comedy. Hell if I didn't gatekeep that score (for whatever reason) it'd be one. As @Yoda touched on, it's absolutely timeless nearly a century later. One that I will continue revisiting every few years, with how jam packed it is.

Some Like it Hot is fairly funny, but not the most human Wilder film imo. I got nothing but joy from it, but have never craved to revisit

Since we're all revealing some of our picks that missed- I'll shout out my second favorite Marx Bros film, Monkey Business. Not nearly as watched or celebrated as their big two, but deserves all its praise.
[center]

Monkey Business (McLeod,1931)
I first came across Marx Brothers around 2013 when I watched Duck Soup, which instantly became my favorite comedy and remains such to this day. I've enjoyed many other laughs through their other films- Horse Feathers, Night at The Opera, A Night in Casablanca, Animal Crackers, Coconuts, but Monkey Business is the next best thing. Jam packed with laughs- Grucho is at his best and the puppet stunt with Harpo had me dying. Even the side story with Zeppo was decent enough when surrounded by the other antics. 2nd best Marx Brothers film
My List:
1. Duck Soup (1933)
3. Annie Hall (1977)
4. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
5. The Graduate (1967)
6. The Great Dictator (1940)
9. Sherlock, Jr. (1924)
13. Being John Malkovich (1999)
14. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
17. The Kid (1921)
22. Monkey Business (1931)
24. Office Space (1999)
25. Scary Movie 4 (2006) (1 PTer)



Two more films on my list will make the top 8
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Duck Soup is a very funny movie, but I didn't have any Marx Brothers movies on my list. I considered a few of them, but couldn't decide which one to choose, so I ended up not including any of them. I knew that I could count on the rest of you to make sure that at least one of their movies would make the countdown anyway.
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OPEN FLOOR.



Duck Soup is comedy as chaos, an unstable form that can burst in many directions all at once. It may be the genesis of all that is holy in modern comedy. A Rosetta Stone in a greasepaint moustache.


The Marx Brothers are almost certainly the greatest of all time. Even after decades of being dead, they are funnier than you or me or almost anything else on this list. Legends. At their best. To not have this on your list should come with some kind of punishment.



My rankings of Marx Bros

1. Duck Soup
2. Monkey Business
3. Horse Feathers
4. A Night at the Opera
5.Animal Crackers
6.The Cocoanuts
7.A night in Casablanca




Duck Soup was eighth on my ballot. The Marx Brothers' most complete and satisfying film and despite being ancient it never seems to age. What else is there to say?

Holden’s Ballot
3. After Hours (#29)
4. His Girl Friday (#26)
5. Monty Python’s Life of Brian (#20)
6. Singin’ in the Rain (#50)
7. Rushmore (#54)
8. Duck Soup (#8)
9. Bringing Up Baby (#22)
10. The Graduate (#27)
12. Raising Arizona (#23)
13. The Palm Beach Story (DNP)
15. One Two Three (#86)
16. The Blues Brothers (#21)
17. Defending Your Life (DNP)
20. Joe versus the Volcano (DNP)
22. This is Spın̈al Tap (#13)
23. L.A. Story (DNP)
24. OSS-117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (DNP)

The end of Hannah & Her Sisters...
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Remember the NRA at the beginning of the film stands for National Recovery Act, a program authorized by FDR to help in the recovery of the country from the Great Depression. While the government was doing its part in helping the country recover, the Marx Brothers were doing their parts in recovering our funny bone. When Rufus T. Firefly (a name that's properly ridiculous without being over the top ridiculous like that Doctor's name in the Man with Two Brains) takes over the small country of Freedonia thanks to the edict of Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont), he finds himself facing spies (Chico and Harpo), a rival nation that wants to take over the country, and a love triangle for Teasdale's affections (and her late husband's finances).

While Groucho is killing it with the one-liners, Harpo and Chico step up with the physical humor (mainly involving a lemonade salesman who makes the mistake of standing up to them) and Zeppo plays the straight man. Everyone is doing their part. The result is comedy anarchy of the highest order. Duck Soup was my #3.

At this stage, it's easier to point out which films will not make it. I'll honor the wishes of the makers of this survey by holding off until number one has been revealed, but at the rate it's going, there shouldn't be much left to do for myself really.

Remaining List:

4.
5.
6.
17.
18.
25.
HM1:
HM2:



The fact that Duck Soup is an complete classic is not in question. Whether it's my favorite Marx Brothers film is. I voted for another that I love just a bit more. But then I love all Marx Brothers, even somewhat lesser ones like Room Service and Go West. So, it's all good to me. I'm glad Duck Soup made it, but I had to go with the one that made me laugh the most.

My list:
#2.Arthur-#111
#4.The In-Laws
#5.Blazing Saddles
#8.Stripes
#9.The Blues Brothers
#11.Arsenic and Old Lace
#12.Tootsie-#108
#13.Raising Arizona
#14.Animal House
#18.Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
#22.Caddyshack
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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 don't think The Long Goodbye can really be appreciated unless the person understands it's a comedy. That it’s a comedy allows it to do things in ways that wouldn’t work if it were simply a neo-noir, starting with its portrayal of Philip Marlowe. (I think the same thing is true of Dashiell Hammett's book The Thin Man, which we discussed before. It is meant to be amusing, especially to those who love the hardboiled detective genre.)

Anyway, here's a couple other films from my list that did not make the top 100, my #23, Kind Hearts and Coronets, a crazy dark comedy/satire in which Alec Guinness plays nine different roles. I first saw this when it showed up on the 1940s list, and I highly recommend it.

And my #19, The Thin Man, staring William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles, and Skippy as Asta their fox terrier. There's a lot of drinking, a lot of wisecracking, and in the end the mystery is solved. Five sequels eventually followed, of varying degrees of quality, with Dashiell Hammett involved in writing the storyline for the second film.
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#22 "The Girl Next Door" (2004)


A teenager's dreams come true when a former porn star moves in next door and they fall in love. Some nice twists and turns and "Kelly", played by Timothy Olyphant, is my new favorite douche bag.

Elisha Cuthbert


Also props to the people who voted for The Death of Stalin. It weirdly doesn't get as much wider appreciation.



So, I am a little unclear on the convention, do we wait until we the full list is revealed before we reveal our ballots or as the top 10 progresses, we start to reveal some guaranteed misses on our ballots?


I thought it was the former, but I was seeing a number of people, including people who have been around for a while, do the latter, so I started to as well.



So, I am a little unclear on the convention, do we wait until we the full list is revealed before we reveal our ballots or as the top 10 progresses, we start to reveal some guaranteed misses on our ballots?


I thought it was the former, but I was seeing a number of people, including people who have been around for a while, do the latter, so I started to as well.
Some people are revealing movies that no longer have any shot to make it.



Anyway, here's a couple other films from my list that did not make the top 100, my #23, Kind Hearts and Coronets, a crazy dark comedy/satire in which Alec Guinness plays nine different roles. I first saw this when it showed up on the 1940s list, and I highly recommend it.

And my #19, The Thin Man, staring William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles, and Skippy as Asta their fox terrier. There's a lot of drinking, a lot of wisecracking, and in the end the mystery is solved. Five sequels eventually followed, of varying degrees of quality, with Dashiell Hammett involved in writing the storyline for the second film.
I had certain criteria so they didn't make my ballot, but those are two that I really would have liked to have made it.



At last! We get another one correct. I had Duck Soup at #13. I love Monkey Business more (probably because it was the first Marx Bros film I saw) but the last 20 minutes it falls away as it wraps up the story. Duck Soup doesn't even try to do that. As Iro (I think) said, it just starts, does its thing and leaves in just over an hour without relenting. I think it's about as close to a stand up routine as a comedy film can get, with only a few interludes for mirrors (it's not funny) and Harpo. Other than that, it's Groucho ably assisted by Chico, Margaret Dumont and Harpo. Like @mark f, I prefer Horse Feathers (and as I don't think anyone expects that to finish above Duck Soup I'll say that I had that film a couple of places higher) but that is more of a film than this is. Much of the Marx Bros stuff was tried out and perfected in the theatres, but Duck Soup is the one which I feel would be easiest to put back on the stage and it's that live, stand up feel which makes me adore it so much. It's Groucho at the top of his game.
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Didn't like Some Like it Hot at all. It's up there in Annie Hall territory for me. Just brutal but not surprised to see it this high.

Really glad the Marx Bros. finally showed up and Duck Soup seemed like the obvious choice. A top 100 without the Bros wouldn't feel right, especially on a site devoted to movies. Of course, being the "do as I say not as I do" prick that I am, I didn't vote for any of their stuff but A Day at the Races is my favorite from them and was in consideration. Everything Groucho says/does is designed to get a laugh and he throws so much out there it's almost overwhelming. A lot of it is very good, but the hit percentage isn't as high as I'd like it to be. My favorite Groucho line of all time is actually not even spoken by the man himself. It's the moment when this guy asks this other guy to help him with these bags and the other guy replies:
"Certainly, you take the blonde and I'll take the one in the Toiban." Arf, arf, arf, arf, arf!


One of my misses, Blake Edward's Skin Deep stars John Ritter as Zach, an alcoholic, sex addicted writer dealing with a mid life crisis. Ritter is fantastic in a role that requires quite a bit of physical comedy that I honestly couldn't see anybody else of the era pulling off. It has enough funny bits to keep it moving but what really elevates and earns it a spot on my ballot it are three laugh you into tears scenes. One involving former American Gladiator and female bodybuilder Zap, one involving an angry ex and some silly shock therapy and finally, an unexpected threesome involving a very friendly woman, her extremely jealous, uninvited British punk rock boyfriend and glow sticks:





Didn't like Some Like it Hot at all. It's up there in Annie Hall territory for me. Just brutal but not surprised to see it this high.

Really glad the Marx Bros. finally showed up and Duck Soup seemed like the obvious choice. A top 100 without the Bros wouldn't feel right, especially on a site devoted to movies. Of course, being the "do as I say not as I do" prick that I am, I didn't vote for any of their stuff but A Day at the Races is my favorite from them and was in consideration. Everything Harpo says/does is designed to get a laugh and he throws so much out there it's almost overwhelming. A lot of it is very good, but the hit percentage isn't as high as I'd like it to be. My favorite Groucho line of all time is actually not even spoken by the man himself. It's the moment when this guy asks this other guy to help him with these bags and the other guy replies:
"Certainly, you take the blonde and I'll take the one in the Toiban." Arf, arf, arf, arf, arf!


One of my misses, Blake Edward's Skin Deep stars John Ritter as Zach, an alcoholic, sex addicted writer dealing with a mid life crisis. Ritter is fantastic in a role that requires quite a bit of physical comedy that I honestly couldn't see anybody else of the era pulling off. It has enough funny bits to keep it moving but what really elevates and earns it a spot on my ballot it are three laugh you into tears scenes. One involving former American Gladiator and female bodybuilder Zap, one involving an angry ex and some silly shock therapy and finally, an unexpected threesome involving a very friendly woman, her extremely jealous, uninvited British punk rock boyfriend and glow sticks:


Skin Deep was on my list of contenders. I saw it on opening weekend and the whole place was pissing themselves.



Victim of The Night
And my #19, The Thin Man, staring William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles, and Skippy as Asta their fox terrier. There's a lot of drinking, a lot of wisecracking, and in the end the mystery is solved. Five sequels eventually followed, of varying degrees of quality, with Dashiell Hammett involved in writing the storyline for the second film.
Yeah, I realize we're at the point now where it can't have made it and yet I am completely shocked that it is not in the Top 25. Now that's a Comedy that just happens to have a mystery in it. I just assumed that it would not only make the list but be high up.

WARNING: "Not ready to give up yet." spoilers below
It was No.12 on my list.





340 points, 21 lists
Groundhog Day
Director

Harold Ramis, 1993

Starring

Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky


#7




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