Just Sayin’ ~ The Top 30+ Funniest Movies of all Time! :)

Cover of "Road to Morocco"

Cover of Road to Morocco

What’s your all-time favorite funny movie? Do you have trouble picking just one? So did I! This upcoming holiday weekend I am planning on enjoying every minute of it by hanging out at home and watching some of the funniest movies that have ever been made. Here is my list (so far!), What would you suggest???

  1. THE ROAD TO MOROCCO (1942) “Like Webster’s Dictionary, we’re Morocco bound,” croon Bing Crosby and Bob Hope as they board a camel and head for adventure. Along the way, as always, they encounter Dorothy Lamour, triggering, as always, a battle of one-upmanship to see who gets the girl. In this, the best of the seven “Road” movies, the comedian and singer knock down the “fourth wall” to talk to the audience, kid Paramount studios, and ad lib relentlessly with the movie’s splendid heavy, Anthony Quinn
  2. ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948) Universal Studios had the ingenious idea of mixing its comedy duo with its horror stars. Result: unsubtle but explosive humor, with Bud and Lou as baggage clerks delivering packages to a haunted house. The occupants are Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Jr., Vincent Price and other ghouls who want to replace Frankenstein’s malfunctioning brain with Costello’s minuscule one.
  3. HARVEY (1950) Jimmy Stewart plays a slightly addled gentleman, fond of the bottle and of a six-foot rabbit only he can see. Josephine Hull is his concerned sister; Cecil Kellaway is a shrink who comes to realize that the patient is saner than his critics.
  4. SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (1952) It’s the end of the 1920s, and the beginning of the end for silent movies. All very well for the mellifluous Gene Kelly, not so good for the adenoidal Jean Hagen. Young Debbie Reynolds is hired to supply the diva’s offscreen voice, and thereby hangs the tale of the funniest musical ever made. Donald O’Connor’s “Make ‘Em Laugh” is a gem; Kelly’s title song became his trademark. Adolf Green and Betty Comden wrote the knowing scenario; Stanley Donen, a former hoofer, directed nimbly
  5. IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (1963) Stanley Kramer’s over-the-top chase movie, with top bananas of comedy, including Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Jimmy Durante, and Jonathan Winters, all outpaced by Mr. Cool himself, Spencer Tracy.
  6. THE NUTTY PROFESSOR (1963) Jerry Lewis usually went overboard when he directed Jerry Lewis, but here he uses a laid-back approach to tell the story of a simpleton who becomes a sophisticate when he partakes of a magic potion. In a dual role, Jerry Lewis is laughable and/or loveable, without employing his customary frantic appeal to the audience. Stella Stevens is diverting; Kathleen Freeman is droll.
  7. M*A*S*H (1970) Robert Altman’s weirdly appealing antiwar comedy that gave birth to the tamer, long-running TV series. With overlapping dialogue, odd camera angles and provocative performances by Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Sally Kellerman et. al.
  8. THE PRODUCERS (1968) The basis for Broadway’s biggest hit musical. Two grotesques (Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder) produce a ghastly show, Springtime for Hitler, hoping it’ll bomb. In the resultant confusion, they plan to steal the backers’ money and get out of town. Behold! The thing turns out to be a smash, and the con men are hoist by their own petard. Mel Brooks’s directorial debut.
  9. THE ODD COUPLE (1968) You know the story. Major slob Oscar Madison (Walter Matthau) allows neat freak Felix Ungar (Jack Lemmon) to move into his apartment. All too soon the divorced men are at each other’s throats. Neil Simon skillfully adapted his sparkling Broadway comedy for a notable cast and director Gene Saks.
  10. AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973) Another coming-of-age movie–with a big difference. George Lucas (Star Wars) directed, and chose a cast of newcomers with real talent, among them Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard and Harrison Ford. 
  11. HARRY AND TONTO (1974) Retired teacher (Art Carney in an Oscar-winning performance) goes cross-country with his cat, calling on his children, and former lovers, with mostly comic but sometimes poignant results. Paul Mazursky’s direction is sensitive; Ellen Burstyn and Larry Hagman are exceptional.
  12. SILVER STREAK (1976) A bright parody of Alfred Hitchcock’s “train” pictures, starring Gene Wilder as a mild-mannered executive who boards the Silver Streak from L.A. to Chicago and finds himself embroiled in mystery and romance. Richard Pryor pushes the humor to a new level; Jill Clayburgh contributes the glamour, Patrick McGoohan the villainy.
  13. CAR WASH (1976) Like L.A.’s teeming freeways, disparate lives intersect in this bubbly ensemble piece abut a white-owned car washery and the African-American and Latino crews who work there. This ’70s time capsule sports an irresistible soundtrack and appearances by some of the era’s top comic talent, including Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Franklyn Ajaye.
  14. SEMI-TOUGH (1977)A satire of professional football would have been funny enough, but this film also dispatches such once-fashionable movements as est and Rolfing. Burt Reynolds and Kris Kristofferson are the players; Jill Clayburgh is the love interest; Bert Convy and Lotte Lenya are the hysterical gurus of self-improvement.
  15. THE JERK (1979) Steve Martin was just one of the “Wild and Crazy Guys” of “Saturday Night Live” when he burst onto the screen in this farce about a white moron adopted by black sharecroppers. Like Forrest Gump in a later era, Martin succeeds in spite of himself, and we laugh all the way to the bank. Director Carl Reiner may not be much on nuance, but he knows how to tell a joke.
  16. AIRPLANE! (1980) The ultimate send-up of the disaster genre. The directors/writers Jim Abrahams, and the brothers Jerry and David Zucker provide an avalanche of visual gags, parodies and puns. (“Surely you can’t be serious.” “I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.”) Don’t like a joke? Wait 10 seconds and there’ll be a new one. With Robert Hays as a failed pilot, Julie Hagerty as a flighty flight attendant, and a grand cast of poker-faced stiffs, including Leslie Nielsen, Lloyd Bridges and Robert Stack.
  17. The Blues Brothers (1980) Directed by John Landis and starring John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Cab Calloway. Jake Blues, fresh out of prison, and his brother Elwood are on a mission from God to reunite their band, raise enough money to save their former orphanage and survive run-ins from state police, white supremicists and one angry ex-girlfriend.
  18. Caddyshack (1980) Directed by Harold Ramis and starring Rodney Dangerfield, Harold O’Keefe, Bill Murray. At an exclusive golf club, a new member shakes things up while a gopher & grounds keeper have their own showdown
  19. NINE TO FIVE (1980) When women were women, and men were chauvinists. Three secretaries (Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda) are mercilessly harrassed by their boss (Dabney Coleman). Director Colin Higgins never lets up, and the sexist boss finally gets his well-plotted verbal and visual comeuppance.
  20. VICTOR/VICTORIA (1982) In 1930s Paris, struggling singer Victoria (Julie Andrews) befriends Teddy (Robert Preston) a gay nightclub entertainer. He suggests a career move. Why not tour as Victor, a man posing as a woman? Victor/Victoria becomes a smash–but comic complications attend the gender-bending: pursuit by a gangster (James Garner) and hostility from the thug’s girlfriend (Leslie Anne Warren.) Tastefully directed by Blake Edwards, who might have been vulgar but never goes over the edge.
  21. TOOTSIE (1982) A self-centered actor (Dustin Hoffman) can’t land a job–because the only parts available are for women. So he dresses as one, gets a soap opera part, learns how the other half lives, and becomes a better man/woman for it. Smart direction by Sydney Pollack (who also plays an agent) stresses credibility and gets laughs. So do Bill Murray, Teri Garr, Jessica Lange and Dabney Coleman.
  22. GHOSTBUSTERS (1984) House haunted? Hire Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray, who know how to dispel ghosts and dispense jokes. So do Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis and director Ivan Reitman.
  23. GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM (1987) The story, much exaggerated, of Adrian Cronauer. This one-time disc jockey was the voice of Armed Forces Radio until he was forced out in 1965. Robin Williams takes the bio and runs with it. Uneven but inventive humor with a moral. Forest Whitaker offers strong backup; Barry Levinson directed with heart as well as funnybone.
  24. BIG (1988) An unhappy kid wishes he were a grownup. And voilà! He magically becomes one–except that he retains a 12-year-old mind in an adult’s body. Tom Hanks is just as magical as the premise. Penny Marshall directs a glowing cast.
  25. BEETLEJUICE (1988) A young couple (Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin) are killed in an automobile accent, and return as ghosts, ready to inhabit their dream house. Alas, the place is occupied by live interlopers. The pair isn’t skilled enough to scare a mouse, so they hire the evil Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton). Fine ensemble work, and director Tim Burton supplies so many sight gags and special effects that you might want to view it twice.
  26. HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS (1989) Children accidentally point an experimental ray gun the wrong way and become minuscule and helpless. Smashing special effects, and delicious performances by Rick Moranis and a quartet of talented minors.
  27. CITY SLICKERS (1991) Afflicted by various midlife crises, three urbanites (Billy Crystal, Bruno Kirby, Daniel Stern) try to sort things out on a cattle drive. The complications are unfailingly merry, and Jack Palance–as the rough-hewn, straight-faced head drover–makes John Wayne look like Shirley Temple.
  28. The Birdcage (1996) Directed by Mike Nichols and starring Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, Nathan Lane, Dianne Wiest, Calista Flockhart, Hank Azaria. A gay couple tries to “play it straight” when the son of one of the men shows up for dinner with his fiancee and her very conservative parents.
  29. MEN IN BLACK (1997) Alien conspiracy culture takes some good-natured ribbing in this sci-fi farce. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are the titular men sent to save us from space invaders. Fantastic special effects.
  30. YOU’VE GOT MAIL (1998) An elegant update of The Shop Around the Corner (1940), this time with two competitive bookstore owners sending each other anonymous, hostile e-mails. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan shine under the direction of Nora Ephron, who is singlehandedly reviving the spirit of classic cinema comedy- romance.
  31. MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (1975) The inventive British sketch comedians (John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Eric Idle) do battle with the Arthurian legend, complete with a Trojan Rabbit and a Holy Hand Grenade. Tradition loses. We win.
  32. GALAXY QUEST (1999) Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman and Tony Shalhoub star as the washed-up cast of a long-cancelled TV series. When a marauding race of aliens comes calling, the actors resume their former roles–this time with feeling.
  33. O Brother Where Art Thou (2000) Directed by Joel Coen and starring George Clooney, John Goodman, John Turturro. Convicts escape from prison during the 30’s as they search for jobs and a life away from hell. The problem is, they are being chased by a mysterious warden.
  34. SHREK (2001) Once upon a time there was an Ogre (Mike Myers) whose swamp got overrun by intruders from fairy tales and Disney movies, including Pinocchio, three little pigs and a big bad wolf. All are refugees from the kingdom of the wicked Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow). With the help of an articulate donkey (Eddie Murphy), Shrek sets things right and, along the way, wins the love of Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz), who has a secret but endearing flaw. Computer animation with great humor and, even rarer, heart.

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