Friday, August 25, 2017

That BBC list

So apparently a lot of people are talking about a list the BBC compiled of the 100 greatest comedies. As always when I see such lists, my first opinion is that there's a reason why I'm not a film critic by profession.

Well, besides not being a particularly good writer. It's more that when lists like this come up, I find that I have some huge disagreements with the results. Four Chaplin movies, three Buster Keaton, and only one Harold Lloyd. Chaplin's always been way overrated in my opinion, and I can't help but think it's in part because he fought against those evil moguls in the studio system and his later visa problems with the US government.

And then there's Peter Sellers. Dr. Strangelove (#2 on the list) is pretty good until it gets to the scenes in the War Room with Strangelove himself, at which point the mugging for the camera brings the movie to a screeching halt. Even more glaring is the presence of The Party on the list at all, never mind it being up there at #23. I think I only saw one Alec Guinness movie: Kind Hearts and Coronets at #86; no Ladykillers (not my favorite but most other people seem to find it one of their favorites from that era) or The Lavender Hill Mob or even The Man in the White Suit. And where's Terry-Thomas?

The The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (#49) isn't a comedy or even particularly good. But it's Luis Buñuel (let's name drop!) making Sirk-like commentary about the aspirations of the middle class.

But you know what they say about opinions....

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