Monday, August 24, 2009

Top Ranked Society Comedy Films

We're designating "society comedies" those whose humor comes from society, social classes, culture, history, life in general - anything but romance (see previous post), crime (to follow), and some other miscellaneous genres, such as children's comedies, fantasy and horror comedies; those we'll group in one list to catch all the missing genres. We're listing war comedies below these, as war is a condition of society, but I separated them since there aren't very many and they're definitely a rare breed in critics lists. 38 society comedies made the top 1000, 51 were mentioned; only 6 war comedies made the top 1000.

Top Ranked Society Comedies
1. Modern Times [Chaplin, Charles, 1936] #36
2. Gold Rush, The [Chaplin, Charles, 1925] #39
3. His Girl Friday [Hawks, Howard, 1940] #130 [photo top]
4. Forrest Gump [Zemeckis, Robert, 1994] #206
5. Playtime [Tati, Jacques, 1967] #210
6. Monty Python and the Holy Grail [Gilliam, Terry/Terry Jones, 1975] #224
7. Sullivan's Travels [Sturges, Preston, 1941] #246 [photo rt]
8. To Be or Not to Be [Lubitsch, Ernst, 1942] #257
9. Amarcord [Fellini, Federico, 1973] #274 [photo below rt]
10. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls [Meyer, Russ, 1970] #320

11. Mr. Hulot's Holiday [Tati, Jacques, 1953] #330
12. Ninotchka [Lubitsch, Ernst, 1939] #344
13. Diner [Levinson, Barry, 1982] #347
14. À nous la liberté [Clair, René, 1931] #383
15. Producers, The [Brooks, Mel, 1968] #406
16. Mon oncle [Tati, Jacques, 1958] #413
17. Monsieur Verdoux [Chaplin, Charles, 1947] #423
18. Boudu Saved from Drowning [Renoir, Jean, 1932] #513
19. It's a Gift [McLeod, Norman Z., 1934] #523
20. Local Hero [Forsyth, Bill, 1983] #535

21. My Man Godfrey [La Cava, Gregory, 1936] #552
22. Tom Jones [Richardson, Tony, 1963] #581
23. Breakfast at Tiffany's [Edwards, Blake, 1961] #595
24. Life of Brian [Gilliam, Terry/Terry Jones, 1979] #599
25. Stand by Me [Reiner, Rob, 1986] #620
26. Harvey [Coster, Henry, 1950] #649
27. Miracle of Morgan's Creek, The [Sturges, Preston, 1944] #656
28. Monty Python's Life of Brian [Jones, Terry, 1979] #677
29. Gosford Park [Altman, Robert, 2001] #684
30. Truman Show, The [Weir, Peter, 1998] #688

31. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan [Cohen, Sasha Baron, 2006] #714
32. Party, The [Edwards, Blake, 1968] #723
33. Barton Fink [Coen, Joel and Ethan Coen, 1991] #735
34. Safety Last! [Newmeyer, Fred C. & Taylor, Sam, 1923] #749
35. Chicken Run [Park, Nick & Lord, Peter, 2000] #782
36. Zelig [Allen, Woody, 1983] #859
37. Dazed and Confused [Linklater, Richard, 1993] #982
38. Plácido [Berlanga, Luis García, 1961] #1038
39. Broadway Danny Rose [Allen, Woody, 1984] #1077
40. Airplane! [Abrahams, Jim, 1980] #1083 [Based on the drama Zero Hour, which is hilarious as well if you've seen this, as the doctor tells the stewardess: "We need someone with experience flying a plane who didn't have fish for dinner!" - they find Stryker, played by Dana Andrews]

41. World According to Garp, The [Hill, George Roy, 1982] #1102
42. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town [Capra, Frank, 1936] #1112
43. Man in the White Suit, The [Mackendrick, Alexander1951] #1125
44. Radio Days [Allen, Woody, 1987] #1143
45. Bienvenido Mister Marshall [Berlanga, Luis García, 1953] #1185
46. Bellboy, The [Lewis, Jerry, 1960] #1212
47. Breaking Away [Yates, Peter, 1979] #1219
48. Cyrano de Bergerac [Rappeneau, Jean-Paul, 1990] #1242
49. One, Two, Three [Wilder, Billy, 1961] #1248
50. You Can't Take it with You [Capra, Frank, 1938] #1274

Some of these obviously cross several genres. Man in the White Suit is actually a science fiction comedy romance, yet it's humor came from society's reaction to Guinness' invention of indestructible cloth. All of these could also be called romantic comedies: His Girl Friday (could also be a crime comedy), You Can’t Take It With You, The World According to Garp, The Truman Show, Miracle of Morgan's Creek, Tom Jones, and others – I just felt that their humor as a whole was more about life or culture in general than one particular romance. If you haven't seen a particular comedy listed yet, to follow in the next post are: crime comedy, and those from various genres, such as family, childrens, horror, fantasy.

Top Ranked War Comedies
1. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb [Kubrick, Stanley, 1964] #17
2. General, The [Keaton, Buster/Clyde Bruckman, 1927] #28
3. Duck Soup [McCarey, Leo, 1933] #41 [photo rt]
4. Great Dictator, The [Chaplin, Charles, 1940] #138
5. M*A*S*H [Altman, Robert, 1970] #389
6. Life is Beautiful [Begnini, Roberto, 1997] #494
7. And the Ship Sails On[Fellini, Federico, 1983] #1178

3 comments:

Encore Entertainment said...

Aargh. No mention for THE PHILADELPHIA STORY!!!

PS Could you vote in the polls on my site...http://encorentertainmnt.blogspot.com/2009/08/calling-all-readers_24.html

Jose Sinclair said...

It's ranked #13 on the ROMANTIC COMEDY list, previous post.. I suppose it could also be on the SOCIETY comedy list..

After all the sub-genres are done, I'll list ALL COMEDIES in one big list - there are so many I broke them up this way first.

Jose Sinclair said...

oops, #12 on romantic comedy, and #148 overall on the top 1000..

it's a great comedy, they wouldn't overlook that one! I'm showing ALL FILMS mentioned on ANY poll I used (only big ones, some are surveys of "all the others" - right! when I do this, I get different results.. Citizen Kane falls when you get popular, non-critics lists included like IMDB)