Thursday, 15 November 2018
BREAKING NEWS

As BFI unveils a new season of comedy movies, Mirror experts list their 10 funniest films

As BFI unveils a new season of comedy movies, Mirror experts list their 10 funniest films
24 Aug
2:05

They have us rolling in the aisles and choking on our popcorn.

To mark a new season of comedy movies at the BFI this autumn, critic Chris Hunney­sett picks his 10 funniest films… and four Mirror columnists have their say, too.

1 Airplane!

No comedy crams in as many jokes as this disaster movie spoof.

With fast-paced slapstick, surreal asides, glorious puns, sight gags, general nonsense and a girl guides’ punch-up in a disco, it’s a non-stop flight of fun.

Robert Hays stars as Ted Striker, a flyer with a drink problem who has to take control when the pilots of his flight are incapacitated.

Former leading man Leslie Nielsen reinvents himself as a deadpan comic genius by forever insisting he is serious. And not to call him Shirley.

2 Monty Python’s Life of Brian

This third feature film by TV’s surreal comedy troupe is a crucifyingly funny religious satire and was massively controversial in 1979.

Monty Python’s Life of Brian
(Image: Paramount Pictures)

Among its many famous interludes there’s a cameo from Spike Milligan, praise for the benefits of Roman occupation and random alien spaceships.

The Church was furious and the Pythons were accused of blasphemy leading to their masterpiece being banned by various UK councils.

Norway and Ireland refused to show it anywhere at all. Which wasn’t very Christian of them.

3 Some Like It Hot

Marilyn Monroe is on sparkling form as the sweet-natured gold-digger in this 1959 sensation.

Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon play jazz musicians disguised as women on the run from gangsters and the three generate comic electricity despite widely reported tensions. Curtis said smooching Monroe was “like kissing Hitler”.

Some Like It Hot

Writer-director, Billy Wilder was double Oscar nominated for his efforts and among his many great films, this is his funniest, most uplifting and popular.

4 Groundhog day

Bill Murray is the weatherman stuck living the same day over and over again in this inventive, brisk and brilliantly performed romcom. With his cynical on-screen persona already familiar from Ghostbusters, the clever and funny script allows him to showcase a kinder, richer and more contemplative edge to his comedy.

Although only a modest success at the time, it’s now considered a classic and is hugely influential.

5 His Girl Friday

Cary Grant is at his fast-talking best as a hack trying to land a big scoop and win back his ex in this superlative 1940 screwball comedy.

Directed by the extraordinary Howard Hawks, its furious pace, dynamite charm and verbal battles ensued it was an instant hit.

If real newspapers were like this, I wouldn’t go to the movies.

6 Blazing Saddles

Mel Brooks rode where others feared to tread with a glorious stampede of bad taste in his riotous 1974 western spoof.

Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder star as cowboys intent on clearing up the frontier town of Rock Ridge.

Blazing Saddles

Breaking every rule he could think of, Brooks created his own foul-mouthed and lunatic version of the Wild West which features Nazis and an all-male chorus line.

7 The General

Buster Keaton’s Hollywood career as an independent film-maker came to a crashing end when his hugely expensive 1926 epic failed to recoup its budget.

The General

The only silent comic greater than Charlie Chaplin, Keaton plays a railway engineer during the US civil war who has to rescue his love who is on board his locomotive – the General – when it is captured.

The former child star performs all the his own breathtaking stunts.

8 When Harry Met Sally

1989’s lively, witty and charming New York romcom made a star of Meg Ryan, partly for her astute comic delivery and chemistry with Billy Crystal, but mostly for her infamous public display of ecstasy.

When Harry Met Sally

The pair meet on a cross-country drive and through 12 years keep us guessing: Will they or won’t they? As fresh and relevant as ever, it’s the best of the comedies written by Nora Ephron.

9 Working Girl

This 1988 box office smash saw its trio of brilliant female performances all up for Oscars. Melanie Griffith was thrust to super­­­stardom as the secretary who dreams of big city suc­­cess, aided by best friend Joan Cusack and thwarted by a scheming Sigourney Weaver.

10 Carry On Cleo

Sets and costumes borrowed from Elizabeth Taylor’s Roman epic Cleopatra lend it an uncharacteristic gloss. As Sid James and Co revel in the trademark seaside humour, slapstick and occasional wit, Kenneth Williams’s Ceasar steals it with: “Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it in for me.”

  • The Comedy Genius season runs at the BFI Southbank, London, from October 22 until the end of January 2019.

Brian Reade

  1. Withnail & I, 1987
  2. Sideways, 2004
  3. Nuts In May, 1975
  4. In Bruges, 2008
  5. Pulp Fiction, 1994
  6. Borat, 2006
  7. Young Frankenstein, 1974
  8. Bridesmaids, 2011
  9. In The Loop, 2009
  10. 10. Airplane!, 1980

Ian Hyland

  1. There’s Something About Mary, 1998
  2. Dumb And Dumber, 1994
  3. Withnail And I, 1987
  4. Trading Places, 1983
  5. The Man With Two Brains, 1983
  6. The Life Of Brian, 1979
  7. Airplane!, 1988
  8. Carry On Up The Khyber, 1968
  9. The Flying Deuces, 1939
  10. Bridesmaids, 2011

Polly Hudson

  1. When Harry Met Sally, 1989
  2. Zoolander, 2001
  3. Take The Money And Run, 1969
  4. Superbad, 2007
  5. Anchorman, 2004
  6. Mean Girls, 2004
  7. Planes, Trains and Automobiles, 1987
  8. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986
  9. The Man With Two Brains, 1983
  10. Elf, 2003

Jessica Boulton

  1. Meet The Parents, 2000
  2. The Hangover Part II, 2011
  3. Clueless, 1995
  4. Deadpool, 2016
  5. Back To The Future, 1985
  6. Back To The Future Pt III, 1990
  7. 21 Jump Street, 2012
  8. Wedding Crashers, 2005
  9. The Lego Batman Movie, 2017
  10. Road Trip, 2000

Source: https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/bfi-unveils-new-season-comedy-13128661

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