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BBC Poll of all-time best comedy films

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  • BBC Poll of all-time best comedy films

    I'm hardly an expert on British films but I see that the Ealing Kind Hearts And Coronets figures in this list. Here's a cut-and-paste from another website.
    Two Laurel and Hardy films made the BBC's 'Top 100 Comedies' list, compiled by polling 253 film critics from all over the world.
    The Oscar-winning The Music Box just scraped in at 97, but the iconic Sons of the Desert took place 67 with the critics. Chaplin and Keaton figure several times, and most of Jacques Tati's most famous movies are included. The Marx Brothers' Duck Soup gives Leo McCarey some rightful recognition at place 5, a remarkable achievement. Here's the full list:

  • #2
    I'm getting a 404 error on that link.


    • #3
      It's OK for me. Anyone else?


      • #4
        Seems ok now.


        • #5
          Its a solid list, although I object on principle to any list with films by Wes Anderson (self-indulgent) and Trey Parker (really crude), anything with Jerry Lewis and I'm not sure I'd class Pulp Fiction or King of Comedy as comedies (and Withnail and I leaves me really depressed and in need of a shower).

          But the top 25 is pretty much mine, although I'd move some round and bring some in from the lower ranks (and where is Police Academy, Its a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, any of the Pink Panthers, Bananas, The Sure Thing, Sleeper, Happiest Days of Your Life, I'm All Right Jack, Weekend at Bernies, Mr Blandings Build His Dream House, The Odd Couple, Passport to Pimlico and La Cage aux Folles - they makes me laugh!).

          Strange no Shrek, the Robin Williams voiced Aladdin, etc, but there you are. I noticed someone put Despicable Me in their top ten, others put in Toy Story /Toy Story 3, and there was even a mention for The Shaun the Sheep Movie (its actually very good), but the wit involved in many animated films these days (I'd certainly rate The Incredibles, Inside Out and The Secret Lives of Pets), I'd have expected at least some to make the cut.

          One of the critcs slightly lamented that there were not very films from the 21st century (and none in the top ten) , but when you think about it, you've had almost a century of comedy films to chose from, so the past 15 years or so statistically isn't going to give you that many classics.

          ButI'm pleased that Some Like It Hot tops the list again - is my favourite comedy of all time - just perfect, and timeless.

          Looking through the various critics lists, I could assemble a great 50 from them (with some that didn't make the cut), but there some odd choices, like Trainspotting. But what was gratifying was that the top tens were mostly older well known classics - a lot of Hawks, Lubitsch and Preston Sturges, for instance, plus Buster Keaton (Sherlock Jr still works - I've shown clips of it to six year olds to keep them occupied during wet lunchtimes, and they go mad for it and Lloyds Safely Last) and Billy Wilder. And a lot of them were ones that were there for one simple reason - they just make you laugh, like Top Secret/Naked Gun - no need for serious subtext or anything else. Good.


          • #6
            As I feared, trawling through the list left me with a faint tinge of despair. Yes, I know comedy is very subjective, but am I really so out of synch with broadly received wisdom regarding movie mirth? It's not as if I can "blame" a restricted sample of judges: 253 film critics from 52 different countries having been asked to vote for their top ten it's not a bad barometer of what generally hits the funnybone. And yet I just know before I even start that terminally humourless characters like Woody Allen or the downright depressing Mel Brooks will have their fingerprints all over this....

            For goodness' sake I've only even heard of 46 of the 100.

            Of that 46, I find 20 just plain unfunny - some excruciatingly so. Indeed I would challenge some of them to be defined as comedies by any reasonable stretch of the imagination.

            A further 20 are films I've either heard of but never seen, or ones which I viewed so long ago that I can barely recall whether I even liked them at the time - or if I did, I was about eight, and there's a good chance that they really wouldn't work for me any more...

            So, OK, six to which I can at least give an emphatic thumbs up:

            83. Safety Last!
            72. The Naked Gun
            67. Sons Of The Desert
            10. The General
            7. Airplane!
            5. Duck Soup

            Hang on though! where are all the British comedies?

            Alright, so some of my personal faves failed to make the cut (the 1967 "Bedazzled", "The Naked Truth", "Please Sir!", "The Magic Christian", "Up Pompeii" etc etc) but am I seriously to believe that there is no room in a consensus 100 for, say, "School For Scoundrels", "Billy Liar" or a single Carry On movie? I mean to say, it's not like I'm trying to dredge up the "Confessions" films or Old Mother Riley here, but come on....the great bawdy British belly-laugh is facing extinction based on this!

            Well sod that! I'm off to test my bladder control with a healthy dose of "Mutiny On The Buses"....



            • #7
              Originally posted by Bonekicker View Post
              I'm not sure I'd class Pulp Fiction or King of Comedy as comedies (and Withnail and I leaves me really depressed and in need of a shower).
              Agreed. I haven't seen Singin' In The Rain (no. 35) since I was a kid but don't recall that being much of a comedy either. A musical - yes.


              • #8
                And yet I just know before I even start that terminally humourless characters like Woody Allen or the downright depressing Mel Brooks will have their fingerprints all over this....
                Which is why I so surprised that the lists of the indivuals was so in agreement - comedy is a very individual thing. What cracks you up might leave me cold.

                A lot of Woody Allen, not so funny, but some are just great. And the same goes for Mel Brooks. I hate Jerry Lewis and Norman Wisdom, but you might find them geniuses. I have to admit that while I like 'The Naked Truth', I wouldn't put in the top 100, the same goes for 'Please Sir', and apart from perhaps Carry on Cleo/Kyber, Carry On's are not really the top rank. As for 'Mutiny on the Buses'....

                Singin in the Rain is funny enough to be a comedy, a romance, a drama and a musical. The bit where the lead actress has no clue why the coming of sound might be a problem for her is pure comedy.


                • #9
                  I would agree with Tonch on a few of the missing list, but I would add The Wrong Arm of The Law and the brilliant Two Way Stretch. I didn't notice Woody Allen's Play It Again Sam (or did I miss it?)


                  • #10
                    The Apartment is not a comedy! It is a nasty, spiteful drama!