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The 100 funniest movies of all time? BBC reveals critics’ choices

Last year, the BBC polled 177 film critics to determine the 100 greatest films of the 21st century. Landing at the number one spot on that poll was David Lynch’s 2001 mystery film Mulholland Drive.

This year, the BBC is serious about comedy, and has asked 253 film critics – 118 women and 135 men from 52 countries and six continents – for their top ten comedy films. The BBC put no restrictions on release dates, the definition of comedy, or language/country of origin.

Daily Review’s Luke Buckmaster was one of the critics who participated in the poll. Here are his top 10 picks:

1. Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967)
2. The General (Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton, 1926)
3. Sullivan’s Travels (Preston Sturges, 1941)
4. City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931)
5. Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993)
6. Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977)
7. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2000)
8. Arsenic and Old Lace (Frank Capra, 1944)
9. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, 1975)
10. The Dinner Game (Francis Veber, 1998)

The films in the final 100 reach all the way back to 1923’s silent rom-com Safety Last, and right up to 2016’s Toni Erdmann. Landing in the top spot is Billy Wilder’s enduring 1959 flick Some Like it Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon.

See the top 25 below, or the full top 100 here.

25. The Gold Rush (Charlie Chaplin, 1925)
24. Withnail and I (Bruce Robinson, 1987)
23. The Party (Blake Edwards, 1968)
22. Young Frankenstein (Mel Brooks, 1974)
21. City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931)
20. Blazing Saddles (Mel Brooks, 1974)
19. The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, 1941)
18. Sherlock Jr (Buster Keaton, 1924)
17. Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938)
16. The Great Dictator (Charlie Chaplin, 1940)
15. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, 1975)
14. His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, 1940)
13. To Be or Not To Be (Ernst Lubitsch, 1942)
12. Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin, 1936)
11. The Big Lebowski (Joel and Ethan Coen, 1998)
10. The General (Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton, 1926)
9. This Is Spinal Tap (Rob Reiner, 1984)
8. Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967)
7. Airplane! (Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, 1980)
6. Life of Brian (Terry Jones, 1979)
5. Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, 1933)
4. Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993)
3. Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977)
2. Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 1964)
1. Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959)

14 responses to “The 100 funniest movies of all time? BBC reveals critics’ choices

  1. What About Bob and Death at a Funeral should be in there.
    It’s so hard to whittle the number down to ten, but my list includes:
    The Producers
    Duck Soup
    Sons of the Desert
    The Gold Rush
    The General
    Johnny Stecchino
    The Party
    The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe.

  2. What About Bob and Death at a Funeral should be in there.
    It’s so hard to whittle the number down to ten, but my list includes:
    The Producers
    Duck Soup
    Sons of the Desert
    The Gold Rush
    The General
    Johnny Stecchino
    Blazing Saddles
    The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe.

  3. 1)Modern Times
    2)The Kid
    3) Bringing up Baby
    4) Arsenic and Old Lace
    5) Blazing Saddles
    6) Jumping Jacks
    7) Artists and Models
    8) Rock-a-bye Baby
    9) Young Frankenstein
    10) What About Bob

  4. I’ll have a go (I’m admittedly low-brow on occasions):
    1. Life of Brian
    2. Animal House
    3. Blues Brothers
    4. Austin Powers MOM
    5. Ghostbusters
    6. Young Frankenstein
    7. Spinal Tap
    8. Holy Grail
    9. Christmas Vacation
    10. Something about Mary

  5. I am surprised The Lady Killers does not appear in any list. It is one of the funniest black comedies that I have ever seen.

  6. Oh, I would have to add: A Night at the Opera, any list than doesn’t include a Marx Brothers film can’t be serious.

  7. OK, here goes:

    1. Annie Hall
    2. Modern Times
    3. Broadcast News
    4. This Is Spinal Tap
    5. The Blues Brothers
    6. Life of Brian
    7. Heathers
    8. Withnail and I
    9. Raising Arizona
    10. Repo Man

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