Here’s the Bit Comedy selection of 75 wonderful comedy films in no particular order. We hope you find a few gems you’ve not seen before and you discover new comedy film favourites.
We’ve listed the writers and not the performers because they seldom receive the credit for their work.
Funny Clips and Funny Lines
Sometimes we’ve mentioned our favourite funny clip or funny line or both. Hunt them down and view them on YouTube or buy them for your laughing film collection.
1. Monty Python’s: Life of Brian 1979 Written by: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin. Why: So you’ve just been crucified? Sing you buggers.
Top funny clip: Biggus Dickus
2. The Princess Bride 1987 Written by: William Goldman Why: Magical story told elegantly
Top funny line: “When I was your age television was called books.”
3. A Shot in the Dark 1964 Written by: Blake Edwards, William Peter Blatty, Harry Kurnitz, Marcel Achard Why: Peter Sellars.
Funny clip: Sellers trying to be suave while playing snooker with George, ‘Tiger,’ Sanders.
4. Ghostbusters 1984 Written by: Dan Ackroyd and Harold Ramis Why: Underplaying seriously for the good of comedy.
Funny clip: Enter large ‘marsh mellow’ man.
5. Father of the Bride 1950 Written by: Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett Why: Spencer Tracy
Funny clip: Tracy making drinks.
6. Young Frankenstein 1974 Written by: Mel Brooks Why: The poor monster and the soup. The song and dance routine.
Best funny line: “Werewolf?”
7. Madagascar 2 2008 Written by: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath Why: The greatest characterization of animals in animation.
Funny clips: the whole film especially the Penguins reaction to finally reaching the South Pole.
8. Caddyshack 1980 Written by: Brian Doyle-Murray, Harold Ramis, Douglas Kenny Why: A conservative sport being undermined by the surreal and the profane. Step forward Mr Dangerfield and Mr Murray.
Funny moments: The war with the gophers.
9. Bringing Up Baby 1938 Written by: Dudley Nicols, Hagar Wilde Why: Sophisticated wordplay, subtext between Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn and of course the animals including that wonderful dog, ‘Asta.’
Funny moments: Singing to a wild leopard.
10. We’re No Angels 1955 Written by: Albert Husson, Ranald MacDougall Why: A bit of black humour, romance and the oppressed winning through with the aid of wit and a snake.
Funny Moments: The fusion of the characters: Bogart, Ustinov and the great Aldo Ray.
11. Arsenic & Old Lace 1944 Written by: Julius J Epstein, Philip G Epstein Why: Sublime dark farce with wonderful film references.
Funny Looks: The great Raymond Massey tired of ‘the Karloff’ comparison.
12. MASH 1970 Written by: Richard Hooker, Ring Lardner Jr. Why: War is stupid. This stupid.
Funny Song: ‘Suicide is Painless.’
13. A Fish Called Wanda
Written by: John Cleese, Charles Crichton Why: How a British comedy can shine.
Funny moments: Those poor Yorkshire Terriers plus chips up the nose.
14. The Lady Killers 1955 Written by: William Rose and an uncredited Jimmy O’Connor Why: Talent everywhere in this black farce
Funny Moments: The combatants try to finish each other off.
15. Harold and Maude 1971 Written by: Colin Higgins Why: The ‘God damn you’ attitude of Maude (Ruth Gordon)
Best bit: The tone of the whole piece as old and new battle the world.
16. Duck Soup 1933
Written by: Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, Arthur Sheekman, Nat Perrin Why: 1933! Over 70 years and it benchmarks outrageous farce.
Best Bits: The mirror routine.
17. Some Like it Hot 1959 Written by: Billy Wilder, I.A.L Diamond, Rogert Thoeren, Michael Logan Why: The greatest romantic comedy ever made.
Funny moments: All of it culminating in “Well, nobody’s perfect.”
18. Shrek 2001 Written by: Ted Elliot, Terry Rossio, Joe Stillman, Roger Schulman, Cody Cameron, Conrad Vernon, Chris Millar Why: A cantankerous ogre struggling with life.
Best moments: Donkey’s enthusiasm for everything!
19. Ice Age 3 2009
Written by: Peter Ackerman, Yoni Brenner, Michael Berg, Jason Carter Eaton, Mike Reiss
Why: Every moment is spot on and has a depth of film references and great moments.
Funny Moments: All of it!
20. Animal House 1978 Written by: Harold Ramis, Douglass Kenny, Chris Miller Why: Gross, energetic, silly and profane and apparently all true.
Funny Moment: John Belushi impersonates a zit.
21. The Wrong Box 1966 Written by: Larry Gelbart, Burt Shevelove Why: Just very silly and full of 1960s comic talent.
Funny Moment: Doctor Pratt (Peter Sellers) and the kitten.
22. This is Spinal Tap 1984 Written by: Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry, Rob Reiner Why: Ultimate band send up (apart from the Bad News)
Funny moments: Stonehenge and “11.”
23. Zombieland 2009 Written by: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick Why: Thrilling comedy, surprising, funny and a hoot.
Funny Moments: Lots but Mr Bill Murray is the man. Sorry Bill.
24. Plans, Trains and Automobiles 1987 Written by: John Hughes
Why: Wonderful comedy interplay from Steve Martin and John Candy.
Funny Moments: “Those aren’t pillows!” The slow death of the car.
25. Hot Fuzz 2007 Written by: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg Why: Very clever and brilliantly executed modern British comedy.
Funny Moments: The final chase down.
26. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 1964 Written by: Stanley Kubrick, Terry Southern, Peter George Why: It’s madness and Kubrick makes it funny.
Funny Moments: Peter Sellers as Dr Strangleove can’t put the past behind him.
27. Airplane 1980 Written by: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker Why: Those gags will hunt you down and force you to laugh.
Funny Moments: “Do you like Gladiators?
28. Monty Python and The Holy Grail 1975 Written by: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin Why: It’s just silly.
Funny Moments: Those Knights that say “Ni!”
29. The General 1926 Written by: Buster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman Why: Sublime and masterful stunts, expressions and humanity.
Funny Moments: Breath Taking throwing of the railway sleepers.
30. Silver Bears 1977 Written by: Peter Stone Why: Good natured romp with underplay, charm and wit.
Best Moments: Jay Leno in every one of his scenes.
31. Black Cat, White Cat 1998 Written by: Emir Kusturica, Gordan Mihic Why: Fantastic energy and spiraling exaggeration of culture.
Best Moments: The wonderful climax.
32. Kind Hearts & Coronets 1949 Written by: Robert Hamer & John Dighton Why: The glory of Alec Guinness and Denis Price
Best Moment: The sophisticated voice over The hangman.
33. His Girl Friday 1940 Written by: Charles Lederer (from the play by Ben Hecht & Charles MacArthur Why: The precision of the dialogue from Gary Grant and Rosalind Russell
Best Moment: Everything including every minor character being spot on.
34. Muriel’s Wedding 1994 Written by: PJ Hogan Why: We all have ambition.
Best moment: Abba and dreams.
35. Shaun of the Dead 2004 Written by: Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright Why: A new genre, fresh and involving.
Best Moments: ‘Don’t stop me now!’
36. O’ Brother, Where Art Thou? 2000 Written by: Ethan & joel Coen Why: A homage full of charm and surprise.
Best moments: “Down to the River.”
37. Back to the Future 1985 Written by: Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale
Why: Meeting your parents when they were kids…
Best moments: All of Christopher Lloyd’s scenes.
38. In Bruges 2008 Written by: Martin McDonagh
Why: The only thing to do in Bruges is murder.
Best moments: Karate chop anyone?
39. Big 1988 Written by: Gary Ross & Anne Spielberg Why: Tom Hanks
Best Moments: Playing the BIG piano
40. Ferris Buller’s Day Off 1986 Written by: John Hughes Why: We all want to have a day like this.
best moments: The parade.
41. Little Miss Sunshine 2006 Written by: Michael Arndt Why: We’re all dysfunctional and love heals all.
Best moments: Lots but the running gag of running to get on the van says it all.
42. Midnight Run 1988 Written by: George Galio Why: Always moving, always talking, always alive.
Best moments: The collusion of the 2 leads to get some money.
43. Bad Santa 2003 Written by: Glenn Ficarra & John Requa Why: Because this is a real Christmas
Best moments: Teaching the kid to defend himself.
44. Dumb & Dumber 1994 Written by: Peter & Bobby Farrelly and Bennett Yellin Why: Because we need the truly dumb to show how brilliant we are.
Best Moments: Tongue sticking
45. Withnail and I 1987 Written by: Bruce Robinson Why: Debauchery is always topical.
Best moments: “Finest wines!” And urine test.
46. Love Actually 2003 Written by: Richard Curtis Why: Well love is important.
Best moments: Hugh dances, Martine swears and stories converge. Thank you Richard for making the world a better place.
47. Notting Hill
1999 Written by: Richard Curtis Why: We need fairy tales.
Best moments: ‘Spike’ the restaurant and ‘city boys’ The brownies.
48. Peter’s Friends 1992 Written by: Rita Rudner & Martin Bergman Why: You have friends don’t you?
Best moments: All the characters change for the better.
49. The Three Musketeers (Richard Lester) 1973 Written by: George McDonald Fraser Why: Romp and detail combine for total film pleasure (RIP Roy).
Best moments: Richard Lester creates a film that is one long moment of bliss. Thank you Richard.
50. Local Hero 1983 Written by: Bill Forsyth Why: Cinema magic from real vulnerable and perhaps mythical characters.
Best Moments: So very many. The villagers leaving the church, webbed feet, the end of the rabbit and Fulton, Burt, Peter and the wonderful Peter Riegert. Sublime Mr Bill does it all.
51. Gregory’s Girl 1981 Written by: Bill Forsyth Why: We all need a first love like this.
Best moments: Dancing on the grass, love is revealed. O’ and the ‘penguin.’
52. The Thin Man 1934 Written by: Albert Hackett & Francis Goodrich Why: It’s sophisticated and involves drink.
Best moments: The dialogue and scene stealing doggie.
53. About a Boy 2002 Written by: Peter Hedges, The Weitz boys Why: We all have to face up to stuff Will.
Best moments: “Get off.” FREEZE FRAME
54. School for Scoundrels 1960 Written by: Patricia Moyles & Hal E Chester Why: A film that exposes what the English think about themselves.
Best Moments: The two tennis matches.
55. Whisky Galore 1949 Written by: Compton MacKenzie & Angus MacPhail Why: Where would you hide your stash?
Best moments: Gordon Jackson establishes his freedom.
56. Geordie 1955 Written by: Sidney Gilliat & Frank Launder Why: A simple good natured tale, plus Alastair Sim.
Best moments: “Come away Geordie.”
57. The Full Monty 1997 Written by: Simon Beaufoy Why: When you’re down get up and do something.
Best moments: The final ‘show up.’
58. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story 2004 Written by: Rawson Marshall Thurber Why: We love underdogs.
Best moments: Throwing anything at man fruit can raise a laugh.
59. The Hangover 2009 Written by: Jon Lucas & Scott Moore Why: The mystery elements and mates looking after each other.
Best moments: Good morning Mr Tyson.
60. Bridget Jones Diary 2001 Written by: Helen Fielding, Andrew Davis, Richard Curtis Why: Another comic fairy tale to love.
Best moments: The boys fight.
61. Monte Carlo or Bust 1969 Written by: Jack Davis & Ken Annakin Why: A long feast of comedy, never to be repeated.
Best moments: Peter Cook and Dudley Moore being ‘English.’
62. Road to Morocco 1942 Written by: Frank Butler,& Don Hartman Why: Bing and Bob at the top of their game.
Best moments: The ad lib camel joke.
63. Adam’s Rib 1949 Written by: Ruth Gordon & Garson Kanin Why: Chemistry and talent from the very best screen performers.
Best moments: All the dialogue exchanges between the two leads.
64. The Belles of St Trinians 1954 Written by: Sidney Gilliat & Frank Launder Why: Alastair Sim
Best moments: The neat sidestep as the headmistress enters her study.
65. My Favourite Year 1982 Written by: Norman Steinberg & Dennis Palumbo Why: Peter O’Toole is a winner unlike Charlie Sheen.
Best quote: ‘…but every now and then I have to run a little water through it.’
66. Trading Places 1983 Written by: Timothy Harris & Herschel Weingrod Why: A comedy fairy tale to watch every Christmas.
Best moments: Many and often like the gorilla ending.
67. Roxanne 1987 Written by: Steve Martin Why: A classic story updated with charm
Best moments: Taxi interference, hose training and insults.
68. An American Werewolf in London 1981 Written by: John Landis Why: It’s scary, funny and tragic.
Best moments: The ‘Slaughtered Lamb’ and the transformation.
69. City Slickers 1991 Written by: Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel Why: Zippy one-liners and Jack Palance
Best moments: Enter Jack Palance.
70. Monsters, Inc. 2001 Written by: Peter Doctor, Jill Culton, Jeff Pidgeon, Ralph Eggleston Why: It hits a nostalgic nerve.
Best moments. Sully being trained by Mike and Boo is saved.
71. The Blues Brothers 1980 Written by: John Landis & Dan Aykroyd Why: The only cool comedy because it doesn’t try too hard.
Best moments: The music, the ‘penguin’ and Carrie getting serious.
72. Father Goose 1964 Written by: Peter Stone, Frank Tarloff and SH Barnett Why: Charm and danger mix.
Best moments: Searching for the drink.
73. I Was a Male War Bride 1949 Written by: Charles Lederer, Leonard Spigelgass and Hagar Wilde Why: Solid charmer of a movie.
Best moments: Gary Grant in drag.
74. Four Lions 2010 Written by: Chris Morris, Simon Blackwell, Sam Bain, Jesse Armstrong Why: Extremists are stupid.
Best bits: The marathon costumes and a raven.
75. Bend it Like Beckham
2002 Written by: Gurinder Chadha, Guljit Bindra and Paul Mayeda Berges Why: Feel good living your dream. It’s easier if your parents are onside.
Best moments: The park, the mums, the game/wedding.
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