Tuesday, February 17, 2009

MASTER LIST #5: The 150 Greatest Comedies

Since, unlike with many genres, comedies have been steadily produced since the advent of the camera, and routinely take up half of every video store's catalogue, I decided to expand my usual 101 films on these lists to a fairer 150. Even with this extension (which I will only use again with my master list on DRAMAS), this was a VERY difficult list to make, mostly because it really forced me to think about which movies I thought were the very funniest, and which movies I thought were perhaps less humorous but obviously exuded quality nonetheless. I think I struck a good balance. So, based on (1) laughs and smiles, (2) overall quality, (3) relevance to genre, and (4) influence, here are the results:

1) Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 77)
2) Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 59)
3) Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 64)
4) City Lights (Charles Chaplin, 31)
5) This is Spinal Tap (Rob Reiner, 84)
6) Blazing Saddles (Mel Brooks, 74)
7) Sullivan’s Travels (Preston Sturges, 41)
8) Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam, 75)
9) Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, 33)
10) The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 67)
11) The General (Buster Keaton, 27)
12) The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, 41)
13) Manhattan (Woody Allen, 79)
14) It Happened One Night (Frank Capra, 34)
15) American Graffiti (George Lucas, 73)
16) Local Hero (Bill Forsyth, 83)
17) The Big Lebowski (Joel and Ethan Coen, 98)
18) Airplane! (Jim Abrahams and David & Jerry Zucker, 80)
19) Tootsie (Sydney Pollack, 82)
20) The Awful Truth (Leo McCarey, 37)
21) The Gold Rush (Charles Chaplin, 25)
22) Breaking Away (Peter Yates, 79)
23) Paper Moon (Peter Bogdanovich, 74)
24) Ball of Fire (Howard Hawks, 41)
25) Toy Story (John Lasseter, 95)
26) Young Frankenstein (Mel Brooks, 74)
27) Brazil (Terry Gilliam, 85)
28) O Lucky Man! (Lindsey Anderson, 73)
29) M*A*S*H* (Robert Altman, 70)
30) Twentieth Century (Howard Hawks, 34)
31) Animal Crackers (Victor Heerman, 30)
32) Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 93)
33) National Lampoon’s Animal House (John Landis, 78)
34) It’s A Gift (Norman Z. McLeod, 34)
35) Modern Romance (Albert Brooks, 81)
36) The Palm Beach Story (Preston Sturges, 42)
37) Borat: Cultural Learning of American for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (Larry Charles, 2006)
38) Arthur (Steve Gordon, 81)
39) Citizen Ruth (Alexander Payne, 96)
40) What’s Up, Doc? (Peter Bogdanovich, 72)
41) Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (Jeff Margolis, 79)
42) The Bad News Bears (Michael Richie, 76)
43) Being There (Hal Ashby, 79)
44) Napoleon Dynamite (Jared Hess, 2004)
45) A Hard Day’s Night (Richard Lester, 64)
46) To Be or Not To Be (Ernst Lubischt, 42)
47) Office Space (Mike Judge, 99)
48) Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (Tim Burton, 85)
49) Safety Last (Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor, 23)
50) Galaxy Quest (Dean Parisot, 99)
51) After Hours (Martin Scorsese, 86)
52) Bedazzled (Stanley Donen, 67)
53) A Shot in the Dark (Blake Edwards, 64)
54) Bad Santa (Terry Zwigoff, 2003)
55) Broadway Danny Rose (Woody Allen, 84)
56) Harold and Maude (Hal Ashby, 72)
57) Arsenic and Old Lace (Frank Capra, 44)
58) The In-Laws (Arthur Hiller, 79)
59) Used Cars (Robert Zemeckis, 80)
60) Rushmore (Wes Anderson, 98)
61) Playtime (Jacques Tati, 67)
62) The MST3K version of Mitchell (Andrew McLagen, 75/MST3K, 93)
63) Nothing’s Sacred (William Wellman, 37)
64) Diner (Barry Levinson, 82)
65) Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater, 93)
66) The Heartbreak Kid (Elaine May, 72)
67) Oh, God! (Carl Reiner, 77)
68) Flirting with Disaster (David O. Russell, 96)
69) Modern Times (Charles Chaplin, 36)
70) Gregory’s Girl (Bill Forsyth, 81)
71) A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 35)
72) Raising Arizona (Joel and Ethan Coen, 87)
73) Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright, 2004)
74) Monsters Inc. (Pete Docter, David Silverman, Lee Unkrich, 2001)
75) The Bellboy (Jerry Lewis, 60)
76) His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, 40)
77) Lost in America (Albert Brooks, 85)
78) The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (Preston Sturges, 44)
79) Ed Wood (Tim Burton, 94)
80) Sleeper (Woody Allen, 73)
81) Ghostbusters (Ivan Reitman, 84)
82) Clueless (Amy Heckerling, 95)
83) Trading Places (John Landis, 83)
84) The Jerk (Cark Reiner, 79)
85) The More The Merrier (George Stevens, 43)
86) Sherlock Jr. (Buster Keaton, 24)
87) Head (Bob Rafelson, 68)
88) Love and Death (Woody Allen, 75)
89) Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (Michael Winterbottom, 2006)
90) Slap Shot (George Roy Hill, 77)
91) Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam, 83)
92) The Blues Brothers (John Landis, 80)
93) Life is Sweet (Mike Leigh, 91)
94) Last Night at the Alamo (Eagle Pennell, 83)
95) Planes, Trains and Automobiles (John Hughes, 87)
96) The Nutty Professor (Jerry Lewis, 63)
97) My Cousin Vinny (Jonathan Lynn, 92)
98) Desperate Living (John Waters, 77)
99) O Brother Where Art Thou? (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2000)
100) The Knack and How to Get It (Richard Lester, 65)
101) The Hudsucker Proxy (Joel and Ethan Coen, 94)
102) Rubin and Ed (Trent Harris, 92)
103) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (John Hughes, 86)
104) Stranger Than Paradise (Jim Jaramusch, 85)
105) Bottle Rocket (Wes Anderson, 96)
106) Election (Alexander Payne, 99)
107) One, Two, Three (Billy Wilder, 61)
108) Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (Jacques Tati, 53)
109) The Freshman (Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor, 25)
110) The 40-Year-Old Virgin (Judd Apatow, 2005)
111) Take The Money and Run (Woody Allen, 69)
112) Dark Star (John Carpenter, 74)
113) Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (H.C. Potter, 48)
114) A Day at the Races (Sam Wood, 37)
115) Kentucky Fried Movie (John Landis, 77)
116) I Wanna Hold Your Hand (Robert Zemeckis, 78)
117) Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (Carl Reiner, 82)
118) The Longest Yard (Robert Aldrich, 74)
119) Repo Man (Alex Cox, 84)
120) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Terry Gilliam, 98)
121) Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 38)
122) Quick Change (Howard Franklin and Bill Murray, 90)
123) Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff, 2001)
124) Female Trouble (John Waters, 74)
125) My Favorite Year (Richard Benjamin, 82)
126) Rock n’ Roll High School (Allen Arkush, 79)
127) Steamboat Bill Jr.(Buster Keaton, 28)
128) Sylvia Scarlett (George Cukor, 35)
129) Going in Style (Martin Brest, 79)
130) The Major and the Minor (Billy Wilder, 42)
131) Withnail and I (Bruce Robinson, 87)
132) Superbad (Greg Mottola, 2007)
133) Starting Over (Alan J. Pakula, 79)
134) Trees Lounge (Steve Buscemi, 96)
135) Being John Malkovich (Spike Jonze, 99)
136) The Front Page (Lewis Milestone, 31)
137) Best In Show (Christopher Guest, 2000)
138) Sons of the Desert (William A. Seitner, 33)
139) The Groove Tube (Ken Shapiro, 74)
140) Nine to Five (Colin Higgins, 80)
141) The Odd Couple (Gene Saks, 68)
142) Wet Hot American Summer (David Wain, 2001)
143) It Happens Every Spring (Lloyd Bacon, 49)
144) Bring It On (Peyton Reed, 2000)
145) The Producers (Mel Brooks, 68)
146) Half-Baked (Tamra Davis, 98)
147) Showgirls (Paul Verhoeven, 95)
148) The Loved One (Tony Richardson, 65)
149) Tropic Thunder (Ben Stiller, 2008)
150) They Might Be Giants (Anthony Harvey, 71)

I decided also to do the decade breakdown a little differently this time. Now you can see that my bigger list holds water, because if you look at each decade, and look at the order in which I put its films, I think you'll find that the list is fair: these ARE the best comedies of each decade.

BREAKDOWN BY DECADES:
The 1920s (6 films):
11) The General (Buster Keaton, 27)
21) The Gold Rush (Charles Chaplin, 25)
49) Safety Last (Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor, 23)
86) Sherlock Jr. (Buster Keaton, 24)
109) The Freshman (Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor, 25)
127) Steamboat Bill Jr.(Buster Keaton, 28)

The 1930s (15 films, 3 in 1934 and in 1937):
4) City Lights (Charles Chaplin, 31)
9) Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, 33)
14) It Happened One Night (Frank Capra, 34)
20) The Awful Truth (Leo McCarey, 37)
30) Twentieth Century (Howard Hawks, 34)
31) Animal Crackers (Victor Heerman, 30)
34) It’s A Gift (Norman Z. McLeod, 34)
63) Nothing’s Sacred (William Wellman, 37)
69) Modern Times (Charles Chaplin, 36)
71) A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 35)
114) A Day at the Races (Sam Wood, 37)
121) Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 38)
128) Sylvia Scarlett (George Cukor, 35)
136) The Front Page (Lewis Milestone, 31)
138) Sons of the Desert (William A. Seitner, 33)

The 1940s (12 films, 3 in 1941 and in 1942):
7) Sullivan’s Travels (Preston Sturges, 41)
12) The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, 41)
24) Ball of Fire (Howard Hawks, 41)
36) The Palm Beach Story (Preston Sturges, 42)
46) To Be or Not To Be (Ernst Lubischt, 42)
57) Arsenic and Old Lace (Frank Capra, 44)
76) His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, 40)
78) The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (Preston Sturges, 44)
85) The More The Merrier (George Stevens, 43)
113) Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (H.C. Potter, 48)
130) The Major and the Minor (Billy Wilder, 42)
143) It Happens Every Spring (Lloyd Bacon, 49)

The 1950s (Officially the least funny decade, with only 2 films):
2) Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 59)
108) Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (Jacques Tati, 53)

The 1960s (14 films, 3 in 1964 and 1967):
3) Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 64)
10) The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 67)
45) A Hard Day’s Night (Richard Lester, 64)
52) Bedazzled (Stanley Donen, 67)
53) A Shot in the Dark (Blake Edwards, 64)
61) Playtime (Jacques Tati, 67)
75) The Bellboy (Jerry Lewis, 60)
87) Head (Bob Rafelson, 68)
96) The Nutty Professor (Jerry Lewis, 63)
100) The Knack and How to Get It (Richard Lester, 65)
107) One, Two, Three (Billy Wilder, 61)
111) Take The Money and Run (Woody Allen, 69)
141) The Odd Couple (Gene Saks, 68)
145) The Producers (Mel Brooks, 68)

The 1970s (Officially the funniest decade, with 34 films, with 9 in the funniest year ever, 1979):
1) Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 77)
6) Blazing Saddles (Mel Brooks, 74)
8) Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam, 75)
13) Manhattan (Woody Allen, 79)
15) American Graffiti (George Lucas, 73)
22) Breaking Away (Peter Yates, 79)
23) Paper Moon (Peter Bogdanovich, 74)
26) Young Frankenstein (Mel Brooks, 74)
28) O Lucky Man! (Lindsey Anderson, 73)
29) M*A*S*H* (Robert Altman, 70)
33) National Lampoon’s Animal House (John Landis, 78)
40) What’s Up, Doc? (Peter Bogdanovich, 72)
41) Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (Jeff Margolis, 79)
42) The Bad News Bears (Michael Richie, 76)
43) Being There (Hal Ashby, 79)
56) Harold and Maude (Hal Ashby, 72)
58) The In-Laws (Arthur Hiller, 79)
66) The Heartbreak Kid (Elaine May, 72)
67) Oh, God! (Carl Reiner, 77)
80) Sleeper (Woody Allen, 73)
84) The Jerk (Cark Reiner, 79)
88) Love and Death (Woody Allen, 75)
90) Slap Shot (George Roy Hill, 77)
98) Desperate Living (John Waters, 77)
112) Dark Star (John Carpenter, 74)
115) Kentucky Fried Movie (John Landis, 77)
116) I Wanna Hold Your Hand (Robert Zemeckis, 78)
118) The Longest Yard (Robert Aldrich, 74)
124) Female Trouble (John Waters, 74)
126) Rock n’ Roll High School (Allen Arkush, 79)
129) Going in Style (Martin Brest, 79)
133) Starting Over (Alan J. Pakula, 79)
139) The Groove Tube (Ken Shapiro, 74)
150) They Might Be Giants (Anthony Harvey, 71)

The 1980s (28 films, 4 in 1982):
5) This is Spinal Tap (Rob Reiner, 84)
16) Local Hero (Bill Forsyth, 83)
18) Airplane! (Jim Abrahams and David & Jerry Zucker, 80)
19) Tootsie (Sydney Pollack, 82)
27) Brazil (Terry Gilliam, 85)
35) Modern Romance (Albert Brooks, 81)
38) Arthur (Steve Gordon, 81)
48) Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (Tim Burton, 85)
51) After Hours (Martin Scorsese, 86)
55) Broadway Danny Rose (Woody Allen, 84)
59) Used Cars (Robert Zemeckis, 80)
64) Diner (Barry Levinson, 82)
70) Gregory’s Girl (Bill Forsyth, 81)
72) Raising Arizona (Joel and Ethan Coen, 87)
77) Lost in America (Albert Brooks, 85)
81) Ghostbusters (Ivan Reitman, 84)
83) Trading Places (John Landis, 83)
91) Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam, 83)
92) The Blues Brothers (John Landis, 80)
94) Last Night at the Alamo (Eagle Pennell, 83)
95) Planes, Trains and Automobiles (John Hughes, 87)
103) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (John Hughes, 86)
104) Stranger Than Paradise (Jim Jaramusch, 85)
117) Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (Carl Reiner, 82)
119) Repo Man (Alex Cox, 84)
125) My Favorite Year (Richard Benjamin, 82)
131) Withnail and I (Bruce Robinson, 87)
140) Nine to Five (Colin Higgins, 80)

The 1990s (23 films, 4 in 1998):
17) The Big Lebowski (Joel and Ethan Coen, 98)
25) Toy Story (John Lasseter, 95)
32) Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 93)
39) Citizen Ruth (Alexander Payne, 96)
47) Office Space (Mike Judge, 99)
50) Galaxy Quest (Dean Parisot, 99)
60) Rushmore (Wes Anderson, 98)
62) The MST3K version of Mitchell (Andrew McLagen, 75/MST3K, 93)
65) Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater, 93)
68) Flirting with Disaster (David O. Russell, 96)
79) Ed Wood (Tim Burton, 94)
82) Clueless (Amy Heckerling, 95)
93) Life is Sweet (Mike Leigh, 91)
97) My Cousin Vinny (Jonathan Lynn, 92)
101) The Hudsucker Proxy (Joel and Ethan Coen, 94)
102) Rubin and Ed (Trent Harris, 92)
105) Bottle Rocket (Wes Anderson, 96)
106) Election (Alexander Payne, 99)
120) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Terry Gilliam, 98)
122) Quick Change (Howard Franklin and Bill Murray, 90)
134) Trees Lounge (Steve Buscemi, 96)
135) Being John Malkovich (Spike Jonze, 99)
146) Half-Baked (Tamra Davis, 98)

The 2000s (14 films, 3 in 2001):

37) Borat: Cultural Learning of American for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (Larry Charles, 2006)
44) Napoleon Dynamite (Jared Hess, 2004)
54) Bad Santa (Terry Zwigoff, 2003)
73) Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright, 2004)
74) Monsters Inc. (Pete Docter, David Silverman, Lee Unkrich, 2001)
89) Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (Michael Winterbottom, 2006)
99) O Brother Where Art Thou? (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2000)
110) The 40-Year-Old Virgin (Judd Apatow, 2005)
123) Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff, 2001)
132) Superbad (Greg Mottola, 2007)
137) Best In Show (Christopher Guest, 2000)
142) Wet Hot American Summer (David Wain, 2001)
144) Bring It On (Peyton Reed, 2000)
149) Tropic Thunder (Ben Stiller, 2008)

Breakdown by Director:
WITH SIX FILMS:
Woody Allen:
Annie Hall (1), Manhattan (13), Broadway Danny Rose (55), Sleeper (80), Love and Death (88), Take The Money and Run (111)

WITH FOUR FILMS:
Preston Sturges:
Sullivan’s Travels (7), The Lady Eve (12), The Palm Beach Story (36), The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (78)
Terry Gilliam: Monty Python and the Holy Grail (8), Brazil (27), Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (91), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (120)
Joel and Ethan Coen: The Big Lebowski (17), Raising Arizona (72), O Brother Where Art Thou? (99), The Hudsucker Proxy (101)
Howard Hawks: Ball of Fire (24), Twentieth Century (30), His Girl Friday (76), Bringing Up Baby (121)
John Landis: National Lampoon’s Animal House (33), Trading Places (83), The Blues Brothers (92), Kentucky Fried Movie (115)

WITH THREE FILMS:
Billy Wilder:
Some Like It Hot (2), One, Two, Three (107), The Major and the Minor (130)
Charles Chaplin: City Lights (4), The Gold Rush (21), Modern Times (69)
Buster Keaton: The General (11), Sherlock Jr. (86), Steamboat Bill Jr.(127) Mel Brooks: Blazing Saddles (6), Young Frankenstein (26), The Producers (145)
Carl Reiner: Oh, God! (67), The Jerk (84), Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (117)

WITH TWO FILMS:
Leo McCarey:
Duck Soup (9), The Awful Truth (20)
Frank Capra: It Happened One Night (14), Arsenic and Old Lace (57)
Bill Forsyth: Local Hero (16), Gregory’s Girl (70)
Peter Bogdanovich: Paper Moon (23), What’s Up, Doc? (40)
Albert Brooks: Modern Romance (35), Lost in America (77)
Terry Jones: Monty Python and the Holy Grail (8), Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (91)
Alexander Payne: Citizen Ruth (39), Election (106)
Hal Ashby: Being There (43), Harold and Maude (56)
Richard Lester: A Hard Day’s Night (45), The Knack and How to Get It (100)
Tim Burton: Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (48), Ed Wood (79)
Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor: Safety Last (49), The Freshman (109)
Terry Zwigoff: Bad Santa (54), Ghost World (123)
Robert Zemeckis: Used Cars (59), I Wanna Hold Your Hand (116)
Wes Anderson: Rushmore (60), Bottle Rocket (105)
Jacques Tati: Playtime (61), Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (108)
Sam Wood: A Night at the Opera (71), A Day at the Races (114)
Jerry Lewis: The Bellboy (75), The Nutty Professor (96)
John Hughes: Planes, Trains and Automobiles (95), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (103)
John Waters: Desperate Living (98), Female Trouble (124)


Finally, another new feature:
THE ONES THAT DIDN'T MAKE IT (in alphabetical order)
Adam’s Rib (George Cukor, 49)
Adaptation (Spike Jonze, 2002)
All of Me (Carl Reiner, 84)
Amelie (Jean-Claude Jeunot, 2001)
An American Werewolf in London (John Landis, 82)
Auntie Mame (Morton DaCosta, 58)
Babe (Chris Noonan, 95)
Back to School (Alan Metter, 86)
Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis, 85)
Bananas (Woody Allen, 71)
The Bank Dick (Edward F. Kline, 40)
Beat The Devil (John Huston, 53)
Between the Lines (Joan Micklin Silver, 77)
Beetlejuice (Tim Burton, 88)
Best Friends (Norman Jewison, 82)
Beverly Hills Cop (Martin Brest, 84)
Big (Penny Marshall, 88)
Blood Simple (Joel and Ethan Coen, 85)
Box of Moonlight (Tom DiCillo, 96)
The Brady Bunch Movie (Betty Thomas, 95)
Broadcast News (James L. Brooks, 87)
Bronco Billy (Clint Eastwood, 80)
Bull Durham (Ron Shelton, 88)
The Cable Guy (Ben Stiller, 96)
Caddyshack (Harold Ramis, 80)
California Dreaming (John Hancock, 79)
Car Wash (Michael Schultz, 76)
Catch-22 (Mike Nichols, 70)
Chuck and Buck (Miguel Arteta, 2000)
Comfort and Joy (Bill Forsyth, 84)
The Commitments (Alan Parker, 91)
Continental Divide (Lawrence Kasdan, 81)
Cotton Comes to Harlem (Ossie Davis, 71)
The Court Jester (Melvin Frank and Norman Panama, 55)
Dave (Ivan Reitman, 93)
Death Race 2000 (Paul Bartel, 75)
Defending Your Life (Albert Brooks, 91)
Delicatessen (Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 91)
Destry Rides Again (George Marshall, 39)
The Dinner Game (Francis Veber, 98)
Divorce Italian Style (Pietro Germi, 62)
Do The Right Thing (Spike Lee, 89)
Eating Raoul (Paul Bartel, 82)
Educating Rita (Lewis Gilbert, 83)
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) (Woody Allen, 72)
The Family Jewels (Jerry Lewis, 65)
Fargo (Joel and Ethan Coen, 96)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Amy Heckerling, 82)
Fatso (Anne Bancroft, 80)
A Fish Called Wanda (Charles Chrichton, 88)
Fletch (Michael Richie, 85)
48 HRS. (Walter Hill, 82)
Foolin’ Around (Richard T. Heffron, 80)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (Richard Curtis, 94)
The Freshman (Andrew Bergman, 90)
The Full Monty (Peter Catteano, 97)
The Fuller-Brush Man (S. Sylvan Simon, 48)
Get Out Your Hankerchiefs (Bertrand Blier, 78)
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (Alan Rafkin, 66)
The Gig (Frank D. Gilroy, 85)
The Girl Can't Help It (Frank Tashlin, 56)
The Goodbye Girl (Herbert Ross, 77)
The Great Dictator (Charles Chaplin, 40)
Hairspray (John Waters, 88)
Handle With Care (aka Citizen’s Band) (Jonathan Demme, 77)
Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen, 86)
Harry and Tonto (Paul Mazursky, 74)
Harvey (Henry Koster, 50)
Heaven Can Wait (Warren Beatty and Buck Henry, 78)
Heaven Help Us (Michael Dinner, 85)
Help! (Richard Lester, 65)
Here Comes Mr. Jordan (Alexander Hall, 41)
High Anxiety (Mel Brooks, 78)
High Hopes (Mike Leigh, 88)
Hollywood Shuffle (Robert Townsend, 87)
Hope and Glory (John Boorman, 87)
The Hospital (Arthur Hiller, 71)
How High (Jesse Dylan, 2001)
How To Get Ahead in Advertising (Bruce Robinson, 89)
I Heart Huckabees (David O. Russell, 2004)
I’m Gonna Git You, Sucka (Keenan Ivory Wayans, 88)
In The Soup (Alexandre Rockwell, 92)
The Incredible Mr. Limpet (Arthur Lubin, 64)
The Incredibles (Brad Bird, 2004)
It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (Stanley Kramer, 63)
The Kid (Charles Chaplin, 21)
Kikujiro (Takeshi Kitano, 99)
Kung Fu Hustle (Stephen Chow, 2005)
L.A. Story (Mick Jackson, 91)
The Ladykillers (Alexander Mackendrick, 55)
The Lavender Hill Mob (Charles Crichton, 51)
Let It Ride (Joe Pytka, 89)
Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World (Albert Brooks, 2005)
Lord Love A Duck (George Axelrod, 66)
The Major and the Minor (Billy Wilder, 42)
Manhattan Murder Mystery (Woody Allen, 93)
Meatballs (Ivan Reitman, 79)
Men In Black (Barry Sonnenfeld, 97)
Mister Roberts (John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy, 55)
Moonstruck (Norman Jewison, 87)
Mon Oncle (Jacques Tati, 58)
Monsiuer Verdoux (Charles Chaplin, 47)
Monkey Business (Howard Hawks, 52)
The Muppet Movie (James Frawley, 79)
My Bodyguard (Tony Bill, 80)
My Little Chickadee (Edward F. Cline, 40)
Mystery Train (Jim Jarmusch, 89)
Neighbors (John G. Avildsen, 1981)
Network (Sidney Lumet, 76)
Night Shift (Ron Howard, 82)
Ninochka (Ernst Lubischt, 39)
1941 (Steven Spielberg, 79)
No Time for Sergeants (Mervyn LeRoy, 58)
Noises Off! (Peter Bogdanovich, 92)
The Opposite of Sex (Don Roos, 98)
Parenthood (Ron Howard, 89)
Parents (Bob Balaban, 89)
The Party (Blake Edwards, 68)
Party Girl (Daisy Von Scherler Mayer, 95)
The Personals (Peter Markle, 81)
Pink Flamingoes (John Waters, 72)
Plan 9 From Outer Space (Edward D. Wood, Jr, 58)
The Princess Bride (Rob Reiner, 87)
Prizzi's Honor (John Huston, 85)
The Purple Rose of Cairo (Woody Allen, 85)
Putney Swope (Robert Downey Sr., 69)
The Quiet Man (John Ford, 52)
Radio Days (Woody Allen, 87)
Rancho Deluxe (Frank Perry, 75)
Real Life (Albert Brooks, 79)
The Ref (Ted Demme, 94)
The Return of the Living Dead (Dan O’ Bannon, 85)
Rhubarb (Arthur Lubin, 51)
Romancing the Stone (Robert Zemeckis, 84)
The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, 2001)
The Ruling Class (Peter Medak, 72)
Schitzopolis (Steven Soderburgh, 96)
Seems Like Old Times (Jay Sandrich, 80)
Seven Beauties (Lina Wertmuller, 76)
She’s Gotta Have It (Spike Lee, 86)
Showgirls (Paul Verhoven, 95)
Sidewalk Stories (Charles Lane, 89)
Sideways (Alexander Payne, 2004)
Silent Movie (Mel Brooks, 76)
Silver Streak (Arthur Hiller, 76)
Sixteen Candles (John Hughes, 84)
Sleuth (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 72)
Smile (Michael Richie, 75)
Smiles of a Summer Night (Ingmar Bergman, 55)
Smiley Face (Gregg Araki, 2008)
Smokey and the Bandit (Hal Needham, 77)
S.O.B. (Blake Edwards, 81)
Something Wild (Jonathan Demme, 86)
Spanking the Monkey (David O. Russell, 94)
Splash (Ron Howard, 84)
Starship Invasions (Ed Hunt, 77)
The Sting (George Roy Hill, 73)
Stolen Kisses (Francois Truffaut, 68)
Stripes (Ivan Reitman, 81)
Stuart Saves His Family (Harold Ramis, 95)
The Stunt Man (Richard Rush, 80)
The Sure Thing (Rob Reiner, 85)
Swingers (Doug Liman, 96)
The Tall Guy (Mel Smith, 89)
Talledega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby (Adam McKay, 2006)
Tampopo (Juzo Itami, 86)
Tatie Danielle (Etienne Chatiliez, 91)
They All Laughed (Peter Bogdanovich, 81)
The Thin Man (W.S. Van Dyke, 34)
Things Change (David Mamet, 88)
Time Bandits (Terry Gilliam, 81)
To Die For (Gus Van Sant, 95)
Tommy Boy (Peter Segal, 95)
Topper (Norman Z. McLeod, 37)
The Twelve Chairs (Mel Brooks, 70)
Unfaithfully Yours (Preston Sturges, 48)
Up in Smoke (Lou Adler, 78)
Waiting for Guffman (Christopher Guest, 97)
Wallace and Grommit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Nick Park, 2005)
Way Out West (James W. Horne, 37)
The Wedding Singer (Frank Coraci, 98)
What About Bob? (Frank Oz, 91)
What’s Up, Tiger Lily? (Woody Allen/Senkichi Tanaguchi, 66)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (Robert Zemeckis, 88)
The Witches of Eastwick (George Miller, 87)
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Pedro Almodovar, 88)
The World of Henry Orient (George Roy Hill, 64)
W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings (John G. Avildsen, 75)
You Can’t Take It With You (Frank Capra, 38)

NEXT UP: Master List #6--The 101 Greatest Musicals

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, "This is Spinal Tap" belongs in the Top 10. When I saw it again in 2000, I thought I was going to have a stroke I laughed so hard during the Stonehenge sequence.

I would be inclined to put the original "Ladykillers" on the list, and take off "Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World." I'd also go with "Life of Brian" ("Follow the gourd!") over "The Meaning of Life."

--Brad Hundt

Dean Treadway said...

I totally forgot about THE LADYKILLERS, but I don't think it would make my final list. It's a little dry for my taste. But a good and influential movie. I'll add it to the almost made it list. What, you didn't like LOOKING FOR COMEDY IN THE MUSLIM WORLD (which didn't make the top 150)? I thought it was charming and a bit of a return for Albert Brooks after the awful MOTHER and THE MUSE. By the way, only find LIFE OF BRIAN intermittantly entertaining and only really funny when the Aliens come in and swoop Brian away. I( think MEANING OF LIFE is a much more coherant movie, plus I like the sketch-like structure of it--reminds me of their TV show, but in a good way.

Tony said...

Dean - fascinating list. I find several in both the top 150 and in those that didn't make it that make my top 20 (M*A*S*H*, Life of Brian, Used Cars, Repo Man and Caddyshack) but I wanted to post a few more that I'd put on my favorite list. Other than Marx Bros., Buster Keaton and 3 Stooges, I'm not as big on films made before the 1950's, and I'm sure this shows. Good work - this must have taken you forever!

Here are the rest of my top 20. None are in any particular order.
10 (Blake Edwards, 1979)
As Good as It Gets (James L. Brooks, 1997)
Blast from the Past (Hugh Wilson, 1999)
Bob Roberts (Tim Robbins, 1992)
Bullets Over Broadway (Woody Allen, 1994 - probably my favorite comedy ever)
Dill Scallion (Jordan Brady, 2001)
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Frank Oz, 1988)
High Fidelity (Stephen Frears, 2000)
I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007, Amy Heckerling)
Le Divorce (James Ivory, 2003)
Mean Girls (Mark Waters, 2004)
Scotland, Pa. (Billy Morrissette, 2001)
Skin Deep (Blake Edwards, 1989)
Super Troopers (Jay Chandrasekhar, 2001)
Zoolander (Ben Stiller, 2001)

Kotto said...

hey dean - epic list! i envy your work ethic.

what are your thoughts on:

sixteen candles? IMO, anthony michael hall gave one of the best comedic performances of the 80's.

bunuel's discreet charm? lumet's network? fincher's fight club? hal hartley? lavender hill mob? man bites dog? baxter? forman's firemen's ball? catch 22? strange brew? fubar? a fish called wanda? such a long list...

and of course, deadhead miles! - check it out when you can (i'm confident it'll crack your top 50)

Lisa said...

I never fail to be charmed by the inclusiveness of your lists! Some surprises that I thought only *I* loved -- "No Time for Sergeants", for instance -- and I'm so happy to see "Half-Baked" on there. One of my total favorites!

Wow! There are some here I've never seen and will have to catch up with! Wonderful list, Dean!

Dean Treadway said...

Thanks, Tony, for your own list. I haven't seen many on your list (I particularly need to see I COULD NEVER BE YOUR WOMAN); as for 10, DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, HIGH FIDELITY, SUPER TROOPERS, and ZOOLANDER--I think these films are good 3-star movies, but I don't find them good enough to make my list. Still, plenty of laughs to be had. I should say I despise BOB ROBERTS' self-importance. But BLAST FROM THE PAST, SCOTLAND PA, and DILL SCALLION are certainly on my list to be seen. Hope you found some movies you need to see on my list, too!

Dean Treadway said...

Kotto--

Sixteen Candles made the Amost made it list. Great performances by all but the racist Long Duck Dong sequences being the film down a notch.

discreet charm? A great movie, but a very dry one. It'll make my list of Best Foreign Language films, but not best Comedy.

lumet's network? A film I still wrestle with--it's not so funny anymore. But when it was released, it seemed so outlandish that it WAS a comedy. Now it seems like a depressing overview of things that have already happened. Still, I am considering returning it to the list, as it was conceived as a satire, and as such is as continually relevant as STRANGELOVE, in its own way.

fincher's fight club? Lots of laughs, but not a comedy.

hal hartley? Never liked him.

lavender hill mob? I'll add this to the "almost made it" list

man bites dog? Never seen it, don't want to see it.

baxter? Ditto

forman's firemen's ball? Never seen it, sorry to say.

catch 22? It's on the "almost made it" list

strange brew? Great in its first half, DOA in its second.

fubar? Never heard of it. I consider myself educated now.

a fish called wanda? Almost made it. And I really mean "almost"!

Glad you enjoyed the list! DId you see any movies on it you decided you needed to see? That's what these lists are all about!

Kotto said...

if you can believe it, i've never seen showgirls. i must be the only one who hasn't. others i haven't seen: Wet Hot American Summer, Last Night at the Alamo, MST3K.

am i blind, or is fast times at ridgemont high absent from your list?

as for fight club, you might have an argument from palahniuk, fincher, pitt and norton about what genre it belongs in.

super troopers was the first film i blogged about. yuk - glad it wasn't on your list!

it took me forever, but i finally put up my years best list. i don't know how you manage to do so many epic lists...truly a talent.