Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Discussing Premiere's List of the 50 Greatest Film Comedies Of All Time

I'm a little behind on my magazine reading; last month's Premiere ("The Comedy Issue" with Steve Carell on the cover) includes a list and because I, like every other American male between the ages of 18 and 35 is obsessed with any list of anything, here is an analysis. I invite you to play along — that's what the comments section is for!

(In keeping with Premiere, all lists are arranged alphabetically with no consideration to personal preferences)

Movies on the List I Have Seen
Safety Last (1923)
The General (1927)
Duck Soup (1933)
It Happened One Night (1934)
A Night at the Opera (1935)
The Awful Truth (1937)
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
His Girl Friday (1940)
The Bank Dick (1940)
To Be Or Not To Be (1942)
Road to Morocco (1942)
The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944)
The Ladykillers (1955)
Some Like it Hot (1959)
The Apartment (1960)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
The Producers (1968)
M*A*S*H (1970)
Sleeper (1973)
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Young Frankenstein (1974)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Annie Hall (1977)
National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)
The Jerk (1979)
Airplane! (1980)
Caddyshack (1980)
My Favorite Year (1982)
Trading Places (1983)
National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
Groundhog Day (1993)
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
The Big Lebowski (1998)
There's Something About Mary (1998)
Rushmore (1998)
Best in Show (2000)
Zoolander (2001)
Wedding Crashers (2005)
The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)

Movies From The List I Really Should Have Seen Already
The Gold Rush (1925)
My Man Godfrey (1936)
A Chump at Oxford (1940)
The Sunshine Boys (1975)

Movies From The List I Haven't Seen And Am In No Rush To See
Big Deal On Madonna Street (1958)
Heaven Can Wait (1978)
The In-Laws (1979)
Private Benjamin (1980)

Movie Even I Can't Believe I Haven't Seen
A Shot in the Dark (1964)

Movies Whose Exclusion Upsets Me Deeply
Trouble in Paradise (1932)
Ghostbusters (1984)
The Naked Gun: From The Files of Police Squad! (1988)
Clerks (1994)
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

Movie That Would Have Surely Been Included If The List Was Released Just One Week Later
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)


Blogger Ed said...

No "Shop Around the Corner"?!

8:22 AM  
Blogger Matt Singer said...

No Shop Around the Corner. No Trouble in Paradise which was the Lubitsch I singled out for its exclusion.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Michael J. Anderson said...

"Trouble in Paradise" is not only the most egregious exclusion -- I would not hesitate to call it the greatest American sound comedy of all-time -- but is cause to invalidate the list entirely. Then again, where are the two best comedies of the 1940s: the noted "Shop Around the Corner" and "Monsieur Verdoux"? How about the finest comedies of the next decade, "Monkey Business" and "The Girl Can't Help It"? And so on... And were one to include foreign films like they do with "Big Deal on Madonna Street," pretty good in fact, the list starts to look even more thin. On the plus side, let's give credit to the inclusion of "Wedding Crashers."

5:41 PM  
Blogger jesse said...

At least it's better than that whoremongering Bravo list. I agree with your suggestions for inclusion, though I can see how they felt like they were "covering" the Zuckers by including Airplane!

The worst thing about the list in my mind was the staff's failure to recognize that Wedding Crashers (good) and 40yo Virgin (even better) are not nearly as good as Anchorman. However, I'd say it's well above-average for that sort of undertaking.

Oh, and Animal House is overrated.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Matt Singer said...

Monsieur Verdoux is pretty good too. Also, I think I'd prefer Wayne's World to Austin Powers (though it's a fairly close call.

And Animal House overrated? Hmmm...possibly. I mean it's funny, but I agree that it sort of has a following that has exceeded the one it deserves for its quality. Everyone has seen Animal House, and that can't be said for some of the superior movies on the list (and even some of the ones off the lists we've mentioned here in the comments).

If I had to single out the MOST overrated movie on the list I'd probably go with The General — it's good, but I've always preferred Sherlock Jr., and never quite understood why everyone else feels the opposite. Also, I love The Apartment but is it really that funny? Wilder's made quite a few funnier movies (including Some Like it Hot, which made the list, plus my personal favorite, The Fortune Cookie, which did not).

5:43 PM  

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