Every film buff has their own special movie that they think tops the list of the funniest movies of all time. But humor is a very subjective thing, so deciding upon the funniest movies of all time is no small task. The following list details the movies that have stood the test of time (and humor) and continue to be regarded as the funniest movies of all time by audiences the world over.
Featuring the enduring quartet of comedians that are the Marx Brothers – that’s Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo – Monkey Business (1931) is nothing short of a comedy classic. Directed by Norman McLeod, it was the third feature film starring the Marx Brothers (in addition to Thelma Todd, their female onscreen cohort). Set on an ocean liner treading the Atlantic, it tells the story of four brothers who end up stowing away on a ship and get mixed up with a dangerous group of gangsters. One of the gangsters eventually kidnaps another gangster’s daughter, compelling the four brothers to of course intervene and save the day. The film features many classic comedy bits by the Marx Brothers, including a legendary imitation of Maurice Chevalier.
Bringing Up Baby
Starring the legendary duo of Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant, Bringing Up Baby is a film in the tradition of the great screwball comedies of the 1930s and 40s. The story centers around the interaction between a paleontologist (played by Grant) and an intriguing young woman named Susan Vance (played by Hepburn) who has an interesting take on every subject. The main plot revolves around Susan’s attempts to get her scientist companion to help her raise Baby (a tame Brazilian leopard) and her realization that she has fallen in love with him when he happens to be engaged to her colleague.
The Pink Panther
Currently ranked #62 on Bravo’s list of “100 Funniest Movies”, The Pink Panther is a 1963 feature comedy starring Peter Seller, David Niven, Robert Wagner and Claudia Cardinale. The film also marks the first appearance of the cartoon character known as “the pink panther”. In the film, however, the Pink Panther is the world’s largest diamond and is gifted to the Princess Dala (Claudia Cardinale) from her father, the Shah. Of course, the diamond is the object of the villainous Phantom’s designs. The Phantom can only be stopped by the intervention of Inspector Clouseau, an inept and bumbling detective. You know how the rest goes . . .
One of the all-time greatest laugh-till-you-fall-down cinematic farces ever released, Airplane is an unforgettable story of human stupidity and foolishness. Released in 1980 and starring the irrepressible Leslie Nielsen, the film is a spoof of disaster films that were popular throughout the 1950s and 60s. Many critics have noted it for its sublime use of absurdist humor as many films since have tried to recapture what Airplane did so well. It is currently ranked the tenth funniest film on AFI’s list of the top 100 Hollywood comedies.
The Full Monty
The Full Monty is a modern comedy masterpiece telling the story of six British workers who team up to form a male striptease act that promises to be better than all previous male stripteases. Why is it so superior? Because these six vow to go “the full monty” – in other words, they will strip down completely. Why do they want to become strippers? For a noble cause, indeed: to raise money so that the main character Gaz can go to see his son. A true comic delight.