Monday, November 15, 2010
At a long evening event with colleagues, and the question has come up: What is the funniest movie of all time? I'm sure your opinions are more interesting than theirs, so give it your most learned effort.
Anything by the Marx Brothers.
I didn't like Blazing Saddles because I don't like westerns. Satire works only for what you like.
I will not say it is the funniest movie, but I found Up In Smoke hilarious because it was so deliberately stupid. I think I was sober when I saw it, but my memory is slipping.
"I was born in Dusseldorf and that is why they call me Ralf."
I second many of the contributions, including Sleeper, anything by the Marx Bros. - though "Horsefeathers" is my favorite -, Spinal Tap, etc.
I would add: Best in Show by the same group who did Spinal Tap.
ANy of the "Naked Gun" series
More recently, "Tropic Thunder" was hilarious.
"Tit for Tat", Laurel and Hardy.
Probably their best non-contrived situation two reeler. Plus the added talents of Charlie Hall and Mae Busch.
It was actually a follow up to "Them Thar Hills", but stands on it's own.
"dying young". naw, not really. you need to be more specific. funniest **scenes**? shooot, where to begin? the "biggus dickus/star wars space battle" sequence from 'life of brian' had me laughing so hard i couldn't breathe. some of the 'inspector clouseau vs. kato' fight scenes are pure gold. (hell, just clouseau's accent itself was hot stuff. "i would lahk a *rheium*." "he had a minkey!") "happy birthday to you" from 'cat ballou'. the "E.T. glowing hooters" and the " 'what's that behind you?!' binocular scene from 'top secret'. the leslie nielsen /pia zadora production number at the oscars from 'naked gun 33&1/3.' and God forgive me, but i DO luh..luhh....love me some 'simple jack'. harold lloyd did some _brilliant_ scenes in his silents. you can do this all day.
funniest *whole movie*, though: tie. "animal house" and 'MP & the holy grail".
Commedy unlike dramas are very time sensitive and do not age well. I cannot stand any of the old movies that many have mentioned here (prior to 1982ish). Commedy is also very individualistic. I can already see that my movies would probably be too vulgar for many of our readers. My laugh out loud favorites were:
Nightshift (Keaton and Winkler)
A few more that may not be "the" one but should not go forgotten:
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (since someone mentioned Steve Martin)
Marx Bros' Monkey Business (not the Cary Grant Monkey Business) - one of the more obscure Marx pictures but one of my favorites. I love the scene where Harpo gets in the middle of the kids' puppet show.
I love most of these movies, but I am surprised that I had the only vote for Austin Powers IMM . I thought The Spy Who Shagged Me and Goldmember were great too. If you love James Bond movies as I do, and they are timeless, then AP is timeless.
I have to nominate one more:
Old School with Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn
I would submit that any of the Marx Brothers are high class slapstick (superior even to the Three Stooges) with a repartee inferior to none.
Then I would also nominate "Bringing Up Baby" with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. Again, the situations and dialog will have you rolling on the floor without resorting to gimics or crudity.
Okay, so maybe To Be Or Not To Be isn't the absolute funniest. But Quaker Cat's bias against oldies notwithstanding, I'll wager it's still a hell of a lot funnier now than when it was released.
I second Bomber Girl's nomination of The God's Must Be Crazy.
As well, Best In Show, Some Like It Hot
Also the mentions of Dr. Strangelove. "Gentlemen. You can't fight here, this is the War Room!"
How many funniest movies is one allowed?