10th Anniversary  Romances  Comedies   Thrillers   Inspirational   Musicals   10Top10

 


 

The 100 Greatest Comedies

Download PDF Checklist

 

Watched or Not Key

1. Some Like it Hot (1959)

    Also on the Greatest (14) and 10th Anniversary (22) Lists - One of the best comedies on the list. This has the classics of comedy, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, dressed up as women after they witness the Saint Valentine's Day gangster murders. Marilyn Monroe also stars as the principle female role. A must watch for anyone because even though its an older movie it is still hilarious. And of course, almost any movie with cross dressing is bound to be funny.

 

2. Tootsie (1982)

    Also on the Greatest (62) and 10th Anniversary (69) Lists - A very funny movie about a man who claims to be a terrific actor but can't get himself a job. So he decides to dress up like a woman and ends up getting the role. Unfortunately this causes him to have to do this for as long as he worked on the show without anyone knowing the truth. The female role he created becomes a role model for women everywhere, showing them empowerment (a stubborn headed trait he bestowed beforehand) and power are not bad things. Very well written and Hoffman does not make a bad woman. Another in the line of cross dressing just makes a good movie.

 

3. Dr. Strangelove (1964)

    Also on the Greatest (26) and 10th Anniversary (39) Lists - A definite must watch more than once because I know I missed many of the jokes. A very humorous look at the cold war that mocks the tensions between the two super powers and the mutual destruction associated with nuclear war. One of the best scenes in any movie ever is when the American rides the nuclear missile down like a bucking bronco, complete with cowboy hat.

 

 

 

4. Annie Hall (1977)

    Also on the Romance (11), 10th Anniversary (35), Greatest (31), and the 10 Top 10 - RomCom (2) Lists - Woody Allen's best movie ever. The movie follows the relationship between a whiney city boy played by Allen and his girlfriend a country bumpkin (Keaton). Its told mostly in the first person perspective of Allen resulting in a very funny "real" type of movie. When your in a comedic type of mood, this would be a good movie to watch.

 

 

5. Duck Soup (1933)

    Also on the Greatest (85) and 10th Anniversary (60) Lists - Since this was ranked as the number 5 greatest comedy of all time, I was building myself up for a treat. The movie is only 67 minutes long, so I figured this would be a good evening movie as well. Turns out I was wrong on all accounts. I did find several of the situations funny and the interactions were humorous but the movie in general was nonsensical and the jokes got a bit tired. Many of the jokes were slapstick and others were plays on words where Groucho's shtick seems to be twisting conversations into making them insulting to the person he was conversing with. Although this could be funny, more often then not I found myself not really understanding what he was saying. The movie follows the plot where a small nation is strapped for cash and the only to get the money the leaders must appeal to the richest member of the country. She agrees but only if one of the local celebrities, Firefly, takes control (Groucho). What followed was almost a movie but it ended up being more of a series of short skits taped together. To sum this up i think my wife put it best when she said "that was awful".

 

6. Blazing Saddles (1974)

    This movie was extremely crude, rude, and racist. I loved it. If you like fart and racist humor this is the movie for you. It is a Mel Brooks spoof off of western movies and it is still a great college movie, even 30 years later.
 

 

 

 

 

7. M*A*S*H (1970)

    Also on the Greatest (56) and 10th Anniversary (54) Lists - The spark that started one of the best TV shows of all time. This is still one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. A political commentary on the Vietnam War using the Korean War as a backdrop. I still can't get over the theme everyone is used to for the TV show is about suicide.

 

 

 

8. It Happened One Night (1934)

    Also on the Greatest (35), 10th Anniversary (46), Romance (38), and the 10 Top 10 - RomCom (3) Lists - Another classic staring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. The plot is simple, rich girl runs away from home because her daddy won't let her marry the man she wants. This draws national attention as the father posts a reward for finding her. This is where Gable comes in as a reporter to get the scoop of a lifetime. Well written and very humorous. Another timeless classic.

 

 

9. The Graduate (1967)

    Also on the Romance (52), 10th Anniversary (17), and Greatest (7) Lists - The story of a man who just graduated from college and has his whole life in front of him and is not sure what to do now. This is a weird movie about how a man starts sleeping with a woman twice his age then is forbidden to ever see her daughter again. Enjoyable and funny, a must watch.

 

 

 

10. Airplane! (1980)

    A fantastic movie of a flight gone wrong. The word play of this movie is some of the best in any movie I have ever seen.
 

 

 

 

 

 

11. The Producers (1968)
 

12. A Night at the Opera (1935)

     Also on the 10th Anniversary (85) List -
 

13. Young Frankenstein (1974)

    Another of Mel Brooks' movie on the list. This is a spoof on Frankenstein with the main character being a descendant of the famous doctor. The film's quintessential moment is Frankenstein and the monster singing a duet of Putting on the Ritz. Timeless.
 

 

 

 

14. Bringing Up Baby (1938)

    Also on the Romance (51), 10th Anniversary (88), and Greatest (97) Lists - This movie caught my eye a while ago because it was about a paleontologist, and being a paleontologist myself I was curious. Since this is an older comedy though I was cautious. What people found to be funny at that time and current days standards are often very different, however this was on the 100 Greatest Movies list and seemed to be ranked highly among comedies so I gave it a shot. In regards to the movie itself, even though the paleontology was downright atrocious (if those dinosaur skeletons looked any faker I may have vomited) the movie was actually enjoyable. I even laughed out loud a couple of times, something I don't often say for these older movies even if I enjoy them. The plot is thin but the characters are fun for the most part. Hepburn's character could use a good punch in the face though. She plays a very spacey woman who seems to not understand what she is doing the majority of the time while in the process of "ruining" Grant's chances of obtaining a grant for his museum. Things work out in the end of course, because how often do they not? Overall, I'd say an enjoyable movie and well worth the cost of admission.

 

15. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

    Also on the Romance (44), 10th Anniversary (44), Greatest (51), and the 10 Top 10 - RomCom (5) Lists - Staring the royalty of the big screen, Stewart, Grant and Hepburn, this is a quick witted romantic comedy. Some of the jokes are rather fast at times though, so if you are not paying attention you are likely to miss them. The story involves a love pentagon with Tracy Lord (Hepburn) about to get married and the national tabloid wanting a story on it. The tabloid sends in some reporters via Lord's ex-husband (Grant) who represents the fun rich while her fiancée represents the poor hardworking guy who just wants his name in the paper. Insert romance here and you have a classic that is as timeless now as it was then.

 

16. Singin' in the Rain (1952)

    Also on the Romance (16), Greatest (10), 10th Anniversary (5), and Musical (1) Lists - The top musical on the list. Rather strange at times it is very enjoyable and the music is definitely catchy. The plot follows a couple of vaudeville actors, where after the advent of movies with sound, her career is in jeopardy due to her shrill voice. For those of you whole love musicals you have probably have already seen this but if not, you should.

 

 

17. The Odd Couple (1968)
 

18. The General (1927)
     Also on the 10th Anniversary (18) List -

 

19. His Girl Friday (1940)
 

20. The Apartment (1960)

    Also on the Romance (62), 10th Anniversary (80), and Greatest (93) Lists -

 

21. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
 

22. Adam's Rib (1949)
     Also on the 10 Top 10 - RomCom (7) List -  

 

23. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

    Also on the Romance (25) and the 10 Top 10 - RomCom (6) Lists - The movie follows the 11 year romantic journey of 2 people, Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. The acting is superb in the movie and the story line is perfect. Definitely a "chick flick" but one worthy of seeing by anyone.

 

 

 

24. Born Yesterday (1950)
 

25. The Gold Rush (1925)
 

26. Being There (1979)
 

27. There's Something About Mary (1998)
 

28. Ghostbusters (1984)

    Ghosts and other bizarre things take over NYC and only one group can stop then. That's right, it's the Ghostbusters. If you need a giant marshmallow man in your life then this is the movie for you. I simply love this movie.
 

 

 

 

29. This is Spinal Tap (1984)

     This movie has a lot of phrases and scenes that have become pop culture icons including the "goes to 11" scene which is likely it's most famous. The movie is set up as a mockumentary (maybe even one of the first ones) that follows the fictional band Spinal Tap. Spinal Tap seems like a mash up of the Beetles, the Rolling Stones, and several of the larger bands of the day taken to the extreme. Everything they did was as far out there as they could think of but still be "possible" in the real world. Although some of the movies on the 100 Greatest Comedies list were slightly humorous, many didn't make me laugh out loud. This movie was different. Through most of the movie I couldn't stop laughing even though there were several parts I felt I was missing the joke. Perhaps some of it didn't age as well as others but in general this is still a fantastic movie.

 

30. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
 

31. Raising Arizona (1987)
 

32. The Thin Man (1934)
 

33. Modern Times (1936)
 

34. Groundhog Day (1993)

     Also on the 10 Top 10 - Fantasy (8) List - Back in the early 90's you could find this movie on TV at least once a week. I enjoyed it thougholy although by the 100th time of seeing it, it got a bit repetitive (pun intended). I can still sit down though and enjoy it if it happens to be on.
 

 

 

35. Harvey (1950)

    Also on the 10 Top 10 - Fantasy (7) List - In high school I had helped work on a production of Harvey, so I had a bit of an idea what the general premise of the movie was, although it's been a rather long time so I did not remember all of the particulars. I will try to not give any of the big secrets away because they are worth experiencing them for yourself. The general premise of Harvey is about a man, Elwood P Dowd (played by Jimmy Stewart), who is friends with an invisible 6 foot tall rabbit. One of the keys to this movie is that it is on the Top 10 Fantasy Films list. This tells you that not everything is as it seems at the beginning of the movie. The main thing that jumped right out at me during the opening third of this movie is how abysmally people with mental disorders (or perceived mental disorders) are treated. The bulk of the movie takes place in and around a mental sanatorium where the main "enforcer" brutally treats the patients with aggression and force. Definitely not my favorite part of the movie. However, Jimmy Stewart is beyond excellent in this role. I swear, if he isn't high during the filming of this, he sure plays high very well. He is the personification of the "nice guy" who nobody can feel mad or irritated at. If you can get passed the mental treatment issues though, the movie is very funny and a joy to watch. I laughed a good deal through the movie, not something I often do on the Comedies list and was generally intrigued about how the movie was going progress. The entire movie is well acted. The way that characters routinely cut off Stewart's character is perfect because each time the audience kind of holds its collective breath, knowing that if he was allowed to finish, the movie would go much differently. Overall, even though this movie has some issues, I still greatly enjoyed it and would recommend it to most people as a light hearted comedy. 

 

36. National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)

    The quintessential movie about college fraternity life and the one that all future movies have to live up to. It is still the best with very few movies even coming close.
 

 

 

 

37. The Great Dictator (1940)
 

38. City Lights (1931)

    Also on the Greatest (76), 10th Anniversary (11), Romance (10), Inspirational (33), and the 10 Top 10 - RomCom (1) Lists -

 

39. Sullivan's Travels (1941)

    Also on the 10th Anniversary (61) and Inspirational (25) Lists -
 

40. It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963)
 

41. MoonStruck (1987)

    Also on the Romance (17) and the 10 Top 10 - RomCom (8) Lists -

 

42. Big (1988)

    Also on the 10 Top 10 - Fantasy (10) List - This is Tom Hanks before he became huge in Hollywood. I would not go so far as to say this was as good as Forest Gump or Apollo 13, but I will say that this is a very heartwarming and enjoyable movie about growing up too fast.
 

 

 

43. American Graffiti (1973)

    Also on the Greatest (77) and 10th Anniversary (62) Lists - Lucas's first big movie and the reason he was able to make Star Wars. Pretty much is about 60's high school students facing decisions in their lives and driving around in their cars. Confusing at times but enjoyable non the less.

 

 

 

44. My Man Godfrey (1936)
 

45. Harold and Maude (1971)

    Also on the Romance (69), Inspirational (89), and the 10 Top 10 - RomCom (9) Lists -

 

46. Manhattan (1979)

    Also on the Romance (66) List -


47. Shampoo (1975)
 

48. A Shot in the Dark (1964)
 

49. To Be or Not To Be (1942)
 

50. Cat Ballou (1965)

   Also on the 10 Top 10 - Western (10) List -
 

51. The Seven Year Itch (1955)
 

52. Ninotchka (1939)

    Also on the Romance (40) List -

 

53. Arthur (1981)
 

54. The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944)
 

55. The Lady Eve (1941)

    Also on the Romance (26) List -

 

56. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
 

57. Diner (1982)
 

58. It's a Gift (1934)
 

59. A Day at the Races (1937)
 

60. Topper (1937)
 

61. What's Up, Doc? (1972)

    Also on the Romance (68) List -

 

62. Sherlock, Jr. (1924)
 

63. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
 

64. Broadcast News (1987)
 

65. Horse Feathers (1932)
 

66. Take the Money and Run (1969)
 

67. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

    Another of Robin Williams movies on the list. This is about a father who is barred from seeing his kids so he dresses up as a woman and becomes their nanny and in the process becomes a better father. A very heartwarming and enjoyable movie.
 

 

 

 

68. The Awful Truth (1937)

    Also on the Romance (77) List -

 

69. Bananas (1971)
 

70. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)

    Also on the Inspirational (83) List -
 

71. Caddyshack (1980)

    Also on the 10 Top 10 - Sports (7) List - Although I am not a big fan of Rodney Dangerfield I feel this movie is very good and rather amusing. The movie takes place on a golf course with several different storylines occurring at the same time. One of the better one's is Bill Murray trying to take out a groundhog that is destroying the course.
 

 

 

72. Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)
 

73. Monkey Business (1931)
 

74. 9 To 5 (1980)
 

75. She Done Him Wrong (1933)
 

76. Victor/Victoria (1982)
 

77. The Palm Beach Story (1942)
 

78. Road to Morocco (1942)
 

79. The Freshman (1925)
 

80. Sleeper (1973)
 

81. The Navigator (1924)
 

82. Private Benjamin (1980)
 

83. Father of the Bride (1950)
 

84. Lost in America (1985)
 

85. Dinner at Eight (1933)
 

86. City Slickers (1991)

    Although on the comedy list I would regard this movie as more heart warming than anything else. The movie is about a couple of guys from the city enjoying some male bonding on a cattle drive. Billy Crystal's best movie by far. I know of very few people who have not loved this movie.
 

 

 

87. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

     This is similar in vein to American Pie for my generation. Basically it is a comedy about the sexual tensions of people in high school. I felt before I watched the movie that it would be very dated but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it still holds up very well in the modern day. I had hoped that I would be laughing out loud for the majority of the movie and even though I did have a couple of good laughs, for the most part is was a consistently amusing movie but not really a gut bursting movie. Still, it is a good movie.
 

 

88. Beetlejuice (1988)

    A rather odd movie about a family that is trying to exorcise a dead couple from their house. This is one of Tim Burton's early movies and I love most everything that he does. This movie is grotesque and laugh out loud funny. A good movie when your in an odd mood.
 

 

 

 

89. The Jerk (1979)

   I watched this movie expecting a laught-out-loud riot. That is not what I got. This is a movie about a white man raised by a black family who never realized he was white. He the moves from the country bumbkin kind of life to make something of himeself. The movie did make me chuckle every now and then and I did enjoy it but it is not what I was expecting for one of the greatest comedies ever.
 

 

 

90. Woman of the Year (1942)

    Also on the Romance (74) List -

 

91. The Heartbreak Kid (1972)
 

92. Ball of Fire (1941)
 

93. Fargo (1996)

    Also on the Greatest (84) List - A very weird and funny movie about a man who falls down on his luck so hires two thugs to kidnap his wife to get the ransom money from her father. The plan backfires when the thugs just start killing people. The best part about the movie is the statement that it is based on a true story (which was a complete fabrication.)

 

 

 

94. Auntie Mame (1958)
 

95. Silver Streak (1976)
 

96. Sons of the Desert (1933)
 

97. Bull Durham (1988)

   Also on the 10 Top 10 - Sports (5) List -
 

98. The Court Jester (1956)
 

99. The Nutty Professor (1963)
 

100. Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)

    As a huge Robin Williams fan I feel this movie should be higher up the list. The movie takes the harsh reality of the Vietnam war and mixes comedy into in just  the right quantities so that it does not feel overdone. Fantastic movie that I recommend to everyone.