The 40 grrrrreatest comedy films ever!by drystyx | created - 17 Jul 2011 | updated - 17 Jul 2011 | Public
Everything goes in comedy. There are no rules, just what makes you laugh, and what makes you laugh hardest. After all, this is comedy, and it isn't really harder than dying.
- Instant Watch Options
- Movies or TV
- IMDb Rating
- In Theaters
- On TV
- Release Year
1. Room Service (1938)
Approved | 78 min | Comedy
A penniless theatrical producer must outwit the hotel efficiency expert trying to evict him from his room, while securing a backer for his new play.
This is non stop laughter, the best (the Marx Brothers) at their best, and that's saying a lot. In this one, the show must go on, no matter who dies in the process.
2. At the Circus (1939)
Not Rated | 87 min | Comedy, Musical
The Marx Brothers try to help the owner of a circus recover some stolen funds before he finds himself out of a job.
Non stop hilarity and gags. It will never be known how many people literally laughed themselves to death watching Groucho save a circus.
3. The Inspector General (1949)
Approved | 102 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
A town's corrupt officials think a fool is actually an investigator in disguise.
Danny Kaye may have been the all around most talented performer ever in major films. He's great as a bumbler who gets mistaken for a mighty man.
4. Father Goose (1964)
Approved | 118 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance
During World War II, a man persuaded to live on an isolated island and spot aircraft finds himself responsible for a teacher and several students, all female.
Votes: 8,286 | Gross: $12.50M
This is hilarious, and we get a breathtaking beauty to look at while we laugh. Humor comes from many angles here, particularly from the three leads as Trevor cajoles Cary into becoming a reluctant patriot.
5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
PG | 91 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table embark on a surreal, low-budget search for the Holy Grail, encountering many, very silly obstacles.
Votes: 434,485 | Gross: $1.23M
Anything for a laugh. This is the true story of King Arthur and his holy hand grenade.
6. Blazing Saddles (1974)
R | 93 min | Comedy, Western
In order to ruin a western town, a corrupt politician appoints a black Sheriff, who promptly becomes his most formidable adversary.
Votes: 108,901 | Gross: $119.50M
Rock Ridge gets law and order against an evil land snatcher. Vaudeville style non stop comedy that would make the Marx Brothers proud. In essence, Mel Brooks does play a Groucho character, and Gene Wilder is a speaking Harpo.
7. A Night at the Opera (1935)
Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Music, Musical
A sly business manager and two wacky friends of two opera singers help them achieve success while humiliating their stuffy and snobbish enemies.
More zany hilarity from the Marx Brothers as they save an opera singer's career.
8. The Court Jester (1955)
Approved | 101 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family
A hapless carnival performer masquerades as the court jester as part of a plot against an evil ruler who has overthrown the rightful king.
Spectacle and jokes, as Danny Kaye fumbles around in the Middle Ages to save a kingdom from evil.
9. National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
R | 98 min | Adventure, Comedy
The Griswold family's cross-country drive to the Walley World theme park proves to be much more arduous than they ever anticipated.
Votes: 81,045 | Gross: $61.40M
Modern day vacation for the Griswalds (Chevy Chase as the father), which not only shows stumbling blocks many of us have experienced, but also does it in perfect vaudeville style comedy.
10. The Smiling Ghost (1941)
Passed | 71 min | Comedy, Mystery
An heiress seems to be cursed as each of her intended grooms meets with a horrible end.
The Smiling Ghost is killing a young maiden's suitors, and so an uninformed bungler is hired to be her next one. Best of the haunted house comedies by far.
11. Sorrowful Jones (1949)
88 min | Comedy, Drama
A young girl is left with the notoriously cheap Sorrowful Jones as a marker for a bet. When her father doesn't return, he learns that taking care of a child interferes with his ... See full summary »
Hope can make rehearsed lines seem like he just made them up. The girl is the cuddliest of the Miss Markers, and this standard story of a bookie who is stuck with a little girl for a marker is always hilarious.
12. It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947)
Approved | 116 min | Comedy, Music, Romance
A homeless New Yorker moves into a mansion and along the way he gathers friends to live in the house with him. Before he knows it, he is living with the actual home owners.
Charm and humor as a bum inhabits a tycoon's mansion while he takes his annual Christmas vacation.
13. Airplane! (1980)
PG | 88 min | Comedy
A man afraid to fly must ensure that a plane lands safely after the pilots become sick.
Votes: 180,486 | Gross: $83.40M
Can the unselfish heroes and heroines save a plane from crashing? Surely, you can't be serious.
14. The Princess and the Pirate (1944)
Approved | 94 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance
Princess Margaret is travelling incognito to elope with her true love instead of marrying the man her father has betrothed her to. On the high seas, her ship is attacked by pirates who know... See full summary »
Bob Hope plays a vaudeville performer who has to sail away from anwhere he performs, but he saves a princess from pirates with the help of Walter Brennan, who is half of a half wit, yet still outsmarts Hope.
15. A Day at the Races (1937)
Not Rated | 111 min | Comedy, Musical, Sport
A veterinarian posing as a doctor and a race-horse owner and his friends struggle to help keep a sanitarium open with the help of a misfit race-horse.
A Sanitarium is a good place for Groucho, Chico, and Harpo to think about horses. Great scenes make this a laugh riot.
16. Horse Feathers (1932)
Not Rated | 68 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
Quincy Adams Wagstaff, the new president of Huxley University, accidentally hires bumblers Baravelli and Pinky to help his school win the big football game against the rival Darwin University.
College sports and antics are just a front for great gags by the Marx Brothers.
17. Cat Ballou (1965)
Not Rated | 97 min | Comedy, Romance, Western
A woman seeking revenge for her murdered father hires a famous gunman, but he's very different from what she expects.
Votes: 11,648 | Gross: $20.67M
This is hilarious enough before Lee Marvin's famous drunken gunfighter enters, and after that it will make you roll on the floor with laughter.
18. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
Not Rated | 118 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller
A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.
This is one of the mainstay comedies done by most schools, and guaranteed for laughs because of the great writing, so when you add superstars like Cary Grant and Peter Lorre into it, you won't be disappointed.
19. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)
Approved | 110 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
A clumsy daydreamer gets caught up in a sinister conspiracy.
Danny Kaye again, as the short story is expanded to show the meek everyday man's dreams, but in this movie, it is mixed with reality. Kaye's perfromance makes this a classic.
20. Brazil (1985)
R | 132 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
A bureaucrat, in a retro-future world, tries to correct an administrative error, and becomes an enemy of the state.
Votes: 167,793 | Gross: $9.93M
The remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, but done with a definite "style", and truer to the Kaye film than the short story. We enter a fantastic fantasy world which combines humor with spectacle and splendor.
21. National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985)
PG-13 | 95 min | Adventure, Comedy
The Griswolds win a vacation tour across Europe where the usual havoc ensues.
Votes: 48,621 | Gross: $49.40M
This sequel about a family vacation to Europe doesn't disappoint. There's enough fresh material to make it different, while we still get to laugh at the charming naivette of the man who thinks he knows it all.
22. My Favorite Brunette (1947)
Approved | 87 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery
Shortly before his execution on the death row in San Quentin, amateur sleuth and baby photographer Ronnie Jackson, tells reporters how he got there.
Hope tries his hand at being a gumshoe, film noir meets vaudeville, but he winds up on Death Row, and a great finale as a heartless executioner is about to throw the switch
23. The Paleface (1948)
Approved | 91 min | Comedy, Family, Western
Calamity Jane is despatched to find out who's smuggling rifles to the Indians, and winds up married to a hapless correspondence school dentist as part of her cover.
Bob Hope experiences the Wild West West. Who wins this match up?
24. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)
PG-13 | 95 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
Dr. Evil is back and has invented a new time machine that allows him to go back to the 1960s and steal Austin Powers' mojo, inadvertently leaving him "shagless".
Votes: 195,799 | Gross: $206.04M
Meyers is perhaps the closest we come to a modern day Danny Kaye, and he doesn't disappoint in his depiction of what James Bond is really like.
25. The Front Page (1974)
PG | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
As a tabloid newspaper editor tries to prevent his top reporter from retiring, an escaped death row convict shows up at the office trying to convey his innocence.
Votes: 10,321 | Gross: $17.30M
The screenplay is a standard that guarantees success. Mattheau and Lemmon give it that extra punch. Hilarious story of heartless reporters covering a prison break
26. Little Miss Marker (1934)
Passed | 80 min | Comedy, Drama, Family
Little Martha Jane, aka Little Miss Marker (Temple) is left with the bookmaker Sorrowful Jones by her dad as part of a bet on a horserace. Sorrowful (Menjou) and his group of fellow bookies... See full summary »
If you can't catch Sorrowful with Hope, Ball, and Cabot, you can still enjoy this version. The story is a standard, as a bookie is saddled with a girl for a marker, and this one is hilarious, too.
27. His Girl Friday (1940)
Not Rated | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying.
Likewise, the other Front Page story has charm, too. Great script.
28. Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)
PG-13 | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
Upon learning that his father has been kidnapped, Austin Powers must travel to 1975 and defeat the aptly named villain Goldmember, who is working with Dr. Evil.
Votes: 176,304 | Gross: $213.31M
The sequel to the James Bond style super spy's story and his nemesis has lots of great gags.
29. My Favorite Blonde (1942)
Passed | 78 min | Comedy
Karen Bentley, an English secret agent, links up with Larry Haines and his star penguin Percy in an attempt to outwit German spies.
Give Bob Hope a script, and he makes it look like improv. A comic genius.
30. ¡Three Amigos! (1986)
PG | 104 min | Comedy, Western
Three actors accept an invitation to a Mexican village to perform their onscreen bandit fighter roles, unaware that it is the real thing.
Votes: 59,324 | Gross: $39.25M
One of the best to come out of the old Saturday Nigh Live ensemble, though you don't hear about it much. Three singing cowboys save a Mexican village from bandidos. We don't care if it's predictable, so long as it's fun. And this is fun.
31. History of the World: Part I (1981)
R | 92 min | Comedy, History
Mel Brooks brings his one-of-a-kind comic touch to the history of mankind covering events from the Old Testament to the French Revolution in a series of episodic comedy vignettes.
Votes: 40,636 | Gross: $31.67M
Mel Brooks does a vaudevill style History of mankind, but mostly deals with ancient Rome and the French Revolution, and he needs a miracle to save him from trouble.
32. The Pink Panther (1963)
Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance
The bumbling Inspector Clouseau travels to Rome to catch a notorious jewel thief known as "The Phantom" before he conducts his most daring heist yet: a princess' priceless diamond with one slight imperfection, known as "The Pink Panther".
Votes: 42,400 | Gross: $10.88M
The story of a bungling inspector and a master thief is only funny because the performances, directing, and film crew are masterful. I wouldn't advise amateurs trying to make this work. It works because Sellers is a pro.
33. Babes in Toyland (1934)
Passed | 77 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Opposing the evil Barnaby, Ollie Dee and Stanley Dum try and fail to pay-off Mother Peep's mortgage and mislead his attempts to marry Little Bo. Enraged, Barnaby's boogeymen are set on Toyland.
Best of the Laurel and Hardy films, because they are the backdrop, and the backdrop is the main part in most films. They help save a magical land from an evil doer.
34. Jack and the Beanstalk (1952)
Approved | 70 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Abbott & Costello's version of the famous fairy tale, about a young boy who trades the family cow for magic beans.
Lots of good visuals here as Abbott and Costellos meet the giant. In most of their movies, Abbott's sadistic cruelty to Lou was way overboard, but here it is tolerable enough to allow some humor.
35. Three O'Clock High (1987)
PG-13 | 101 min | Comedy
A nerd gets himself in hot water with the new bully, a quiet bad boy who challenges him to fight on the grounds of their high school after the day's end.
Votes: 9,293 | Gross: $3.69M
Hard to classify this as either "comedy" or "drama", as it makes sort of a combination in a mystical world, much like "Brazil", but the situations are definitely humorous as a young boy feels like High Noon is coming when a maniac tough kid threatens to douse his lights at closing time.
Approved | 99 min | Comedy, Musical
A wily slave must unite a virgin courtesan and his young smitten master to earn his freedom.
Lots of laughs with great comedians. You probably won't remember a lot, but you'll laugh as Zero Mostel tries to obtain freedom in this sowrd and sandals affair.
37. Airplane II: The Sequel (1982)
PG | 85 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi
A faulty computer causes a passenger space shuttle to head straight for the Sun. Can Ted Striker save the day and get the shuttle back on track - again?
Votes: 42,351 | Gross: $27.15M
Again, brave men and women must save an air disaster. Just enough fresh parodies to make this sequel work.
38. The Man with One Red Shoe (1985)
PG | 92 min | Comedy, Thriller
A man picked randomly out of a crowd is made the target of CIA survelliance and pursuit.
Votes: 13,170 | Gross: $8.60M
Spy thriller, a parody of Hitchcock, but it is funny. This does work.
39. The President's Analyst (1967)
Not Rated | 103 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi, Thriller
When the overworked and stressed-out White House presidential shrink runs away, the CEA and the FBR scramble to retrieve him before he could be abducted by various competing foreign intelligence services.
I know I'm into real humor, but to placate the dry wit crowd, the crowd that doesn't like to laugh, but wants something with wit, I think of this film, the cult classic for the generation just before mine, those born 1950-1955. This is their cult classic, their baby. A psychiatrist for the president goes on a bizarre odyssey, beset by a parody of the factions of the day.
40. A Night in Casablanca (1946)
Passed | 85 min | Comedy
The Marx Brothers are employed at a hotel in postwar Casablanca, where a ring of Nazis is trying to recover a cache of stolen treasure.
The Marx brothers deal with nazis as only they can. Hilarious.