How the world be so dull if we couldn’t have a good old laugh? Laughter is a great stress relief and so does BBC and they have released their Top 100 poll of the top comedy movies of all time. Billy Wilder‘s Some Like It Hot came out top on the poll that consisted of 253 critics consisting of 118 women and 135 men, from 52 countries and six continents. Like any ‘Top’ list there’s many you’ll expect, many you’ll disagree and a few that might leave you puzzled.
With Billy Wilder‘s cross-dressing comedy bagging the top spot it pipped Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove (1964) to the post. Annie Hall (1977), Groundhog Day (1993) and Duck Soup (1933) came in third, fourth and fifth respectively.
BBC Culture film critic, Nicholas Barber, on the winning film: “As well as being a romantic comedy, a buddy movie, a crime caper, and a musical, Some Like It Hot is an anthem in praise of tolerance, acceptance, and the possibility of transformation. It’s an anthem that we need to hear now more than ever.”
Also in the top 10 are Terry Jones’s Life of Brian (1979), Airplane! (1980), Playtime (1967), This is Spinal Tap (1984) and The General (1926).
Charlie Chaplin appears four times in the top 100 with Modern Times (1936) at number 12; The Great Dictator (1940) at number 16; City Lights (1931) at 21 and The Gold Rush (1925) at 25.
BBC Culture acting editor Rebecca Laurence says: “BBC Culture’s films of the 21st Century poll was a huge success – but few comedy films made the top 100. This year, we asked film critics and experts to nominate their favourite comedies of all time. We hope that this list will encourage lively debate and discussion – not just about greatest scenes, favourite jokes, and best one-liners – but also about the importance of humour and the very human need to laugh.”
The one movie that may surprise many is Quentin Tarantino‘s Pulp Fiction makes the list at number 46. The issue isn’t the actual movie itself, is the fact it’s been voted as a comedy! Fans of the movie know it has it’s funny moments but not enough to call it a comedy. As for the list, we certainly welcome it especially as many of the ‘greatest’ lists seem to forget the ‘funny’ movies including the BBC’s own 21st Century 100 Greatest Movies.
The top 25 comedy films in the poll are:
1. Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959)
2. Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 1964)
3. Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977)
4. Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993)
5. Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, 1933)
6. Life of Brian (Terry Jones, 1979)
7. Airplane! (Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, 1980)
8. Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967)
9. This Is Spinal Tap (Rob Reiner, 1984)
10. The General (Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton, 1926)
11. The Big Lebowski (Joel and Ethan Coen, 1998)
12. Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin, 1936)
13. To Be or Not To Be (Ernst Lubitsch, 1942)
14. His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, 1940)
15. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, 1975)
16. The Great Dictator (Charlie Chaplin, 1940)
17. Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938)
18. Sherlock Jr (Buster Keaton, 1924)
19. The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, 1941)
20. Blazing Saddles (Mel Brooks, 1974)
21. City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931)
22. Young Frankenstein (Mel Brooks, 1974)
23. The Party (Blake Edwards, 1968)
24. Withnail and I (Bruce Robinson, 1987)
25. The Gold Rush (Charlie Chaplin, 1925)
Following the 100 greatest comedies poll, BBC Culture will feature more analysis and stories on the results including Why Some Like It Hot is the funniest film of all time; Why comedy isn’t universal; Do men and women find different films funny? and The people who voted for the 100 greatest comedies.
The full list of the world’s top 100 comedies is available on bbc.com/culturePowered by Sidelines