What makes a great comedy? Is it a film that makes you laugh until you can’t breathe, or one that combines humor with heart in a perfect mixture? That was the question posed to 253 film critics by BBC Culture, who has now unveiled the fruit of their labor: the 100 greatest comedies of all time. The critics who participated come from 52 countries and six continents, and the makeup of the group of 118 women and 135 men, all from reputable outlets across the globe. They were asked to create a list of the 10 best comedies of all time, and the results were then tabulated to result in this here combined list.
The result is a refreshingly diverse pack of films, ranging from serio-comedies to farces to incredibly silly larks. The most recent release that scored the highest ranking is, unsurprisingly, Anchorman at #33, while other recent films like Step Brothers, What We Do in the Shadows, Mean Girls, and Bridesmaids made the cut. Edgar Wright has two films on the list, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, while four Charlie Chaplin films appear: The Gold Rush, City Lights, The Great Dictator, and Modern Times.
The full list is a great mixture of different types of comedies, and that even extends to the Top 10, which ranges from The General to Airplane! to Life of Brian. While everyone is going to have their own issues with this list (Mine: Where’s Popstar and why isn’t Broadcast News higher?), as far as sweeping lists go, this one’s pretty agreeable.