Posted by vp19 on 2015.06.03 at 21:19
Current mood: annoyed
What do Carole Lombard’s films “Twentieth Century,” “My Man Godfrey” and “To Be Or Not To Be” have in common? Well, it’s safe to say all are considered classics of comedy…although there apparently are some pockets of resistance.
At the entertainment magazine Time Out London, for instance. It recently conducted a cinematic poll:
‘What are the best comedy movies of all time?’ That’s the simple question we posed to hundreds of comedians, writers, actors and movie experts.
None of the three above films made the list. In fact, of Time Out’s 100, only eight were made before World War II (and that includes “Arsenic and Old Lace,” filmed in 1941 but not released until a few years later under an arrangement with the Broadway production). Of the other seven, only one (“His Girl Friday,” 1940) could be deemed a traditional romantic comedy — and given that genre’s poor reputation these days, it easy to understand why more of the classic examples of the genre might have been overlooked.
So Carole should consider herself in pretty good company. Consider the other stars similarly snubbed — William Powell, Myrna Loy, Jean Harlow and Spencer Tracy…
…Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert…
…and quite a few directors were ignored, notably Ernst Lubitsch:
Even some talented comic stars of more recent decades didn’t get a nod, including Goldie Hawn:
I hope this doesn’t come off as an old man’s “keep off my lawn” harangue, because there have been many comedies of the post-classic era that deserve to be listed — not just romantic comedies such as the brilliant “Groundhog Day,” but “Airplane!”, “Annie Hall” and several others. However, just as those “all-time top 300” (or 500, or whatever) surveys Top 40 stations used to conduct only served to prove the short-term memory of its listening audience, so will this list appear absurdly obsolete less than a decade from now. (“Ace Ventura, Pet Detective”? “Old School”? “Zoolander”?)