Special Report

This Is the Funniest American Movie of All Time

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

40. It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963)
> Starring: Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney

A driver dying from a car accident tells other motorists he’s buried a fortune under what he calls “a Big W,” setting off the longest and wildest chase in movie history. The list of famous actors and comedians in this Stanley Kramer-directed romp might be the longest in filmdom. Peter Falk, Buster Keaton, Jack Benny, and Jerry Lewis are just a few of them.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

39. Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
> Starring: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick, William Demarest

One of Preston Sturges’s greatest cinematic triumphs tells the story of a movie director (Joel McCrea) who believes he needs to experience life at its lowest level to create a motion picture masterpiece. To do so, he dresses like a hobo, gets into trouble, and is put on a chain gang. The film holds a 100% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes from 35 reviewers.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

38. City Lights (1931)
> Starring: Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee, Harry Myers

“City Lights” registered a Freshness rating of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s the story of a luckless tramp in love with a blind flower girl who is thwarted in his attempts to keep her and her family from getting evicted. But their fortunes change when a millionaire rewards them for saving his life.

Source: Courtesy of The Criterion Collection

37. The Great Dictator (1940)
> Starring: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner

In his first full talking picture, Charles Chaplin altered his trademark mustache to resemble that of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in this comedic rebuke of fascism. Chaplin’s dictator character is the spitting image of a Jewish barber and eventually the two become mixed up.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

36. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)
> Starring: John Belushi, Karen Allen, Tom Hulce, Stephen Furst

Though he didn’t have a huge role in “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” John Belushi stole the film, which tells the story of a fun-loving dissolute college fraternity about to be kicked off campus. Other stars include Kevin Bacon and Donald Sutherland.

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