The funniest movies tend to burrow into our brains like no other form of popular entertainment. Through repeated viewings and earworm quotes, they create unconscious templates for life’s milestones and stopovers – dating, road trips, the college experience, marriage, the working world – and remind us of moments in time as well as entire eras. They’re comfort food and therapy, high art and cultural critique, nestled lovingly amid fart jokes and crotch punches.
The best comedy movies also enjoy a freedom that seems out of place in most other media, with run-times that allow them to develop complicated but self-contained worlds, the full buffet of acting, editing, and musical options, and the (frequent) R ratings that give them the appropriate range of artistic motion. “Comedy is subjective,” we’re constantly told. Maybe, but if something stays funny for decades it’s clearly reaching across cultures and contexts to tweak our collective nipples for a reason.
Here are our picks for the best of the best.
1. Blazing Saddles (1974)
It’s not that Blazing Saddles has a heart. If anything, the expert’s deft and deft conversation conceals the cruel hatred towards quackers and thugs of all kinds. Its red hot brand ironware is no pity. That is even if it’s their stated intentions or ambitions, most films fail to portray the enduring truths of race, gender, tribe, politics, friendship and explosions. Campfire pistols equal a courageous or glorious tenth of Mel Brooks’ best film. Even called talkative, consider this the guy who made The Producers and Young Frankenstein. But as every movie released since Blazing Saddles has proven, it’s not simply the quintessential Western comedy or the quintessential American comedy in all its contradictions, setbacks, and battles. win her. This is the quintessentially filmed comedy because everything about it resonates in its debut and continues to resonate with every subsequent move. There’s great variety in writing (courtesy of Brooks, Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, and others) and a near other-world quality for guaranteed performances, timeless modernity in master This subject and shocking vulgar sounds anywhere, anytime. Maybe it’s because we’re still struggling with the same issues today as we were in 1974, or maybe 1874. Maybe it’s because it’s a film about the nature of movies, a character. math about Western lies has told us. That’s everything you can and should do. As Harvey Korman’s Hedley Lamarr said at one point, “My mind is a raging stream, filled with a stream of thought flowing into a cascade of creative alternatives.” Slim Pickens’ Taggart replied, “God, Mr. Lamarr, you use your tongue more beautiful than a twenty-dollar bitch.”
2. Dr. Strangelove (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb) (1964)
Stanley Kubrick’s dark humor is evident in all of his best works, but this Cold War masterpiece shows what happens when political satire is incorporated into a script like razor (adapted from Peter George’s Red Alert, with his help) and arguably the most detailed – the direction of comedy acting in film history. Peter Sellers is (still) a scene-stealing revelation with many equally ridiculous characters, especially the former Nazi name in the movie. Sterling Hayden’s General Ripper and his obsession with precious body fluids still resound authentically on many levels, as well as a fierce commentary on global winemaking that could have been written last year instead half a century ago. Both iconic and provocative, this is one of the most visually and tonally influential comedies of all time because it works hard for every laugh it receives and disregards. respect for viewers except for the brain and sense of humor.
3. Some Like It Hot (1959)
Before Tootsie, Mrs. Doubtfire or The Birdcage, Some Like It Hot has exploited a lot of kind humor from the world of sex manipulation, as the purely game and beautiful couple Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis demonstrated when they wore dresses, Wearing a wig, and thick makeup to escape the crowd, quickly fell down with the already famous blockbuster image, Marilyn Monroe. Some Like It Hot is near the top of director Billy Wilder’s scary list of terrifying cinematic achievements in large part thanks to its meticulous handcraft, maximizing every angle, dialogue and secondly attracting the attention of the viewers. Add to that three of the iconic, magnetic, easygoing (on-screen, anyway) personality of 20th-century Hollywood, a stunning black-and-white look that hit the color trend at the end. the 1950s and – oh yeah – break funny times and really bizarre situations, and you’ll get to see one of the most exciting movies, continuously watchable in English.
4. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Lots of Python fans will be fighting you over which sketch or character is their favorite (and therefore the best), but there’s a little question that the Holy Grail is a full-time outing. inspiration from the British outfit. Like Brian’s Life and The Meaning of Life, both born after the Holy Grail, it mainly involves cutting down on Python’s brutal witty and surreal ideas about the underworld topics of Large photos like the death rate, the innate dignity of the soul, political oppression, and so on . Unlike those movies, it has a sense of urgency born of its production traits (which was formed from seasons 3 to 4 of their TV series), relatively meager budget and practicality. is the Pythons have successfully turned their fearless experiment from television to the big screen. Just as The Beatles played dozens of tracks up to the precious little number of four-track tapes, this Arthurian parable is packed with wonderful ideas, perfectly executed.
5. Duck Soup (1933)
If it’s not clear that the Marx Brothers were a team effort, their best movie – Duck Soup by standards – wasn’t written or directed by Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo. It was not uncommon during that period of time, but it further proves that great performances can own a movie. Amid the contract disputes and the uncertainty with Paramount Pictures, the two brothers managed to turn a quasi-political antics about the country that invented Freedonia into a consistent example of playful genius. and the habit of indebtedness in film history. Never mind the bewilderment of pure visual riches, such as Harpo’s mirror scene, or Harper and Chico teaming up to drive a lemonade vendor crazy. The film’s subversion of sex and the evils (and foolishness) of war deepens the violent physicality in a way that also stellar Marx Brothers films like Animal Crackers, Horse Feathers and A Night at the Opera never did.
6. Annie Hall (1977)
Woody Allen’s New York is as lovingly rendered in Annie Hall as his Los Angeles is thin, vacuous, and disposable, which makes it all the more impressive how well he and Diane Keaton ground the film in a frustrated romantic reality. Fans of early Allen fantasies like Bananas and Sleeper could scarcely have predicted the level of autobiographical candor he brought to Annie Hall, which essentially set the beats and structure of the modern, dialogue-driven romantic comedy. Allen’s portrayal of the neurotic, existentially tortured comedian Alvy Singer bucks all assumptions about whether or not thoughtful, savagely clever films can make it at the box office – or become the rare comedy to win a Best Picture statuette. As with relationships in general, we willingly submit to its melancholy hazing from time to time because it reminds us how fragile, temporary, and thrilling life can be. The sorrow! The pity! The mantras!
7. Caddyshack (1980)
You don’t need a black light to see Caddyshack’s handprints on countless contemporary harmonics. But when choosing Caddyshack over its anarchist spiritual brethren, such as the Animal House by John Landis and Blues Brothers, or director Harold Ramis’ Near-Famous Holiday, one has to admit the heat. the unrivaled love and affection it presents for all the stripes, perverted and outcast. Choose any scene from the movie and you can see an example of something Ramis and his cast and crew invented or perfected in the field of comedy series. Perhaps unsurprisingly, lead screenwriter Brian Doyle-Murray is primarily based on practical experience, on the feeling of most specific situations. But it was also a tour to reduce the power of improvisation filmmaking, as any Caddyshack lover can tell you, a loosely scripted lark has grown significantly as it was created. Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, and Rodney Dangerfield form the center of the film in all of the gang’s immature, immature glory, but it’s still as outgoing, youthful and lively, as is the movie. The quintessential 70/80s late comedy, because it started as one.
8. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
Before Best in Show, or Borat’s slick bumbling, there was Spinal Tap, which offered dozens of catchphrases and a handful of brilliant careers. Rob Reiner’s tough clichés instinct came to be clear, though watching now it’s hard to believe this is the guy the next one will do When Harry meets Sally (a movie that says a to be fair, have set her own style but did so with much less amusing moments). The Spinal Tap is excellent not because it’s popular, although you’ll find it hard to find a comedy or a music enthusiast without loving it, but because it achieves perfection in its relatively tiny pond. that it sets out. Creatively and as an industry, music has devoured and self-destructed many times since Spinal Tap’s debut, but the father of all these fantasy works assures us that there will always be there’s room for big bottoms, love pumps and whatever goes up to 11.
9. Raising Arizona (1987)
Ranking this visual tour-de-force above the more nuanced, patient, and self-consciously epic The Big Lebowski is tough, since the latter shows everything the Coen Brothers learned in the decade that separates the two films. But it also reinforces how utterly accomplished Raising Arizona was from the start, its fractured take on the American Dream dripping with a heartbreaking and visceral realness. Nicholas Cage gives a cringe-inducing performance as a hopeful punching bag whose physical and psychic environment buzzes with constant threats, grand literary motifs, poopy diapers, and creepy, deluded friends and foes, and Holly Hunter emotionally dominates every scene she’s in. There’s not a line or glance that doesn’t achieve its full potential, and much like Lebowski, it manages to make suffocating stillness and kinetic explosions of action look like different limbs of the same smoke-stained, beer-swilling underdog.
10. The Jerk (1979)
Finding a more likable lead than Steve Martin would have been impossible for this fish-out-of-water tale, which was inspired by a single line in Martin’s standup act and traces Navin R. Johnson’s rise from a poor “black” child to a wealthy, accidental inventor – and back to the literal gutter again. Like Being There, the lead’s innocence and simplicity is contrasted to great effect with the cold, hard world around him. Palpable chemistry between Martin and Bernadette Peters elevates what could have been a casually sketched love story into something classic, dignified, and sweet. Martin is eager to please in his first starring role, never turning up his nose at a dumb bit of humor. That helps separate The Jerk from a lot of the tortured, gritty stuff around it. Like a silent movie (with bells and whistles) or a talkie that walks (and stumbles, and crashes to the ground), its core is the sparkle-eyed hopefulness of The American Optimist. However moronic.