The BBC’s List of the 100 Greatest Comedies

by James Wigderson | August 23, 2017 2:49 pm

The BBC has a list of the top #100 comedy films of all time[1]. Here are a few quick thoughts:

I like Billy Wilder but there is no way Some Like It Hot should be ranked #1. I don’t even think it’s the #1 Billy Wilder film.

Dr. Strangelove is arguably #1, with The Gold Rush ranked #2. (I have a feeling a lot of Chaplin films canceled each other out, and too many voted for The Great Dictator because they thought they should.)

I like Ernst Lubitsch, too, but To Be Or Not To Be is probably only ranked that high (or at all) because of Jack Benny. How is Ninotchka ranked lower?

Bringing Up Baby is great but hardly groundbreaking. I say that as a fan of both Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. Just keep The Philadelphia Story on the list.

Why is Broadcast News on the list but Network isn’t? If we have to have a William Hurt movie (debatable), where is The Accidental Tourist?

Why isn’t Metropolitan by Whit Stillman on the list? Or The Last Days of Disco?

I’ve never understood the fascination with Singing in the Rain. It was good, even great, but an American in Paris was better.  Are we putting a musical on the list because of the cartoon mouse? If a cartoon is all we need, let’s put What’s Opera, Doc on the list.

Borat is better than MASH, Animal House, the Blues Brothers or Caddyshack? Seriously?

I like This is Spinal Tap, but this is ranked way too high. I’d also knock The Princess Bride right off the list. Rob Reiner is fine as a director, but let’s not over do it.

South Park and Team America are both on the list. I didn’t know Trey Parker had that many family members who were movie critics.

Where’s Fletch?

And, seriously, if you’re going to call Pulp Fiction a comedy (rolls eyes), where are Sunset Boulevard and Stalag 17 (Billy Wilder films better than Some Like It Hot)? Or let’s put 48 Hours and Beverly Hills Cop on the list, too.

Too much of this list is there because someone thought a film should be on the list, and the ranking is just silly. Bridesmaids, for example, has to be on the list just because they wanted to have more representation for films starring women. Let’s be honest. It doesn’t belong in the top 200. I’d put Christmas Vacation, or even the original Vacation, on the list before I would put Bridesmaids. That’s not an endorsement of either, by the way, but they were funnier and more interesting. Bridesmaids is certainly not a better movie than, say, The Hangover, which is near the bottom of the list, or even the original Ghostbusters. Heck, I’d put Who Framed Roger Rabbit on the list before Bridesmaids.

But where are Gunga Din, The Trouble with Harry, and (if we’re going to include Pulp Fiction as a comedy) and The Third Man?

And, finally, someone please explain to me how The Thin Man is not on the list. Probably #3 or #4 best comedy ever and they don’t even have it ranked. Did the voters hate Myrna Loy?

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