(and Commentary) about the 100 Funniest Films Chosen:
Katharine Hepburn won the title as the most represented
actress on the list with four films in the top 100:
Thanks to the Marx Brothers, Margaret Dumont had three films in the top 100:
Actors appearing in the most films were:
- Cary Grant,
with eight films (none in the top 10), the Marx
Brothers and Woody Allen with five each, Spencer
Tracy, Charlie Chaplin, and Bill Murray with four each
Sellers was represented by three films: Dr. Strangelove (# 3), Being There (# 26), and A Shot in the Dark (# 48)
Monroe, Myrna Loy, Rosalind Russell, and Robin Williams were each
represented by two films
Dustin Hoffman also had two films on the list, but both made the top 10 -- Tootsie (2nd)
and The Graduate (9th)
Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn each appeared
in four of the top 100 comedies: Both were in Adam's
Rib (22nd) and Woman of the Year (# 90); Tracy also
starred in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (# 40) and Father of the Bride (# 83)
also appeared in Bringing Up Baby (# 14) and The Philadelphia Story (# 15)
Danny Kaye, W.C. Fields, Laurel & Hardy, Jerry
Lewis, Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin and Mae West only
made the list once
Ruth Gordon co-wrote the screenplay for
one film on the list -- Adam's Rib (# 22), and starred in another film -- Harold and Maude (# 45)
On the whole, voters found men funnier than women
and verbal jousters such as Groucho Marx, Woody Allen and Bill Murray
funnier than slapstick geniuses, such as Buster Keaton, Jerry Lewis
and Peter Sellers.
Recent comedy star Jim Carrey did not get a mention
Four films, including the top two vote-getters, Some Like It Hot (# 1) and Tootsie (# 2), involved cross-dressing. Also, there were Mrs.
Doubtfire (# 67) and Victor/Victoria (# 76).
Buster Keaton's The General (# 18) was the
highest-ranked film from the silent era. The five other silent era
films were: The Gold Rush (# 25), City Lights (# 38), Sherlock,
Jr. (# 62), The Freshman (# 79), and The Navigator (# 81).
In summary, there were only three silent-era Keaton films
and two silent-era Charlie Chaplin films. (Note: Chaplin's talkie
era films, Modern Times (# 33) and The
Great Dictator (# 37), brought his total to four).
Theoretically, Sherlock, Jr. (# 62) should
have been disqualified - it was only a four-reeler with a run-time
of 44 minutes.
Five Marx Brothers movies made the list:
The 1980s were easily considered the funniest decade,
claiming 22 films on the list, while the 1930s were next on the list
with 19 total. The 1920s (the heyday of slapstick) and the 1990s,
however, were considered unfunny -- each with a total of only five
films on the list.
Woody Allen was the most represented director - he
directed the most films in the top 100 (five total), including the following:
Woody Allen and Billy Wilder both wrote five films in the
top 100, and they both had the most nominations with 11 each. Billy
Wilder also directed three of the top 100 comedies: Some Like It Hot (# 1), The Apartment (# 20), and The Seven
Year Itch (# 51).
Directors of four films included:
( The Philadelphia Story (# 15), Adam's
Rib (# 22), Born Yesterday (# 24) and Dinner
at Eight (# 85))
Charlie Chaplin ( The Gold Rush (# 25), Modern Times (# 33), The
Great Dictator (# 37) and City Lights (# 38))
Preston Sturges ( Sullivan's Travels (# 39), The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (# 54), The Lady Eve (# 55), and The
Palm Beach Story (# 77))
Frank Capra directed/produced three films: It Happened One Night (# 8), Arsenic and Old Lace (# 30), and Mr.
Deeds Goes to Town (# 70), as did Mel Brooks (Blazing
Saddles (# 6), The Producers (# 11), and Young
Frankenstein (# 13)).
Harold Ramis wrote (or co-wrote) four films
on the list: Ghostbusters (# 28), Groundhog
Day (# 34), Animal House (# 36), and Caddyshack (# 71). (And Ramis directed two of these: Caddyshack and Groundhog
Day.) Director Blake Edwards was also represented by two films: A Shot in the Dark (# 48) and Victor/Victoria (# 76).
Mel Brooks was the director with the most top 15
In the list of 500 nominated films, Cary Grant was
the most represented actor with 17 films, and Myrna Loy was the most
represented actress with 10 films. Jack Lemmon (at the time of the
survey) was the most represented living actor with 14 films, and Shirley
MacLaine was the most represented living actress with nine movies.
Was the dark film Fargo (# 93) really a comedy with lots of laughs?
The Farrelly brothers' 1998 gross-out There's
Something About Mary (# 27) was the most recent film on
the list, while silent film star Buster Keaton's two 1924 films Sherlock
Jr. (# 62) and The Navigator (# 81) were the oldest.
Unfortunately, there were no comedies from Ron Howard
(e.g., Night Shift (1982), Splash (1984), Cocoon
(1985), and Parenthood (1989)) or from John Hughes (e.g. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), Sixteen Candles (1984), Home Alone (1990) (as producer), The Breakfast Club (1985), Weird Science (1985) and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
A number of other great "comedy" omissions included
the following (in alphabetical order):
All of Me (1984)
Back to the Future (1985)
The Blues Brothers
A Christmas Story (1983)
The Circus (1928)
Dumb and Dumber (1994)
The Great Race (1965)
Hail the Conquering
The Kid Brother (1927)
Life with Father
Married to the Mob (1988)
Mary Poppins (1964)
Midnight Run (1988)
No Time for Sergeants (1958)
Two, Three (1961)
Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)
The Princess Bride (1987)
Romancing the Stone (1984)
Safety Last (1923)
Smokey and the Bandit
The Sting (1973)
Support Your Local Sheriff!
Toy Story (1995)
Trading Places (1983)
Trouble in Paradise (1932)
The Truth About Cats and Dogs
Unfaithfully Yours (1948)