My Top 15 Favorite Screwball Comedies

I love screwball comedies. They are so crazy and fun and over-the-top! I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, and I finally decided to do it, simply because I’ve been waiting too long, so I just thought ‘why not now?’

CRITERIA

This is my personal list of favorite screwball comedies. I am not claiming these are the best, in this particular order, these are just MY favorites.

This list is open for an update, because these things always change.

Some comedies don’t necessarily fit into the screwball comedy genre. There are tons of sub-genres, screwball, romantic, sophisticated, dark, supernatural, etc… There are many comedy films that I absolutely love and do not consider to be screwballs, like for instance The Philadelphia Story (1940), which is mostly a romantic/sophisticated comedy, or The Thin Man (1934), which is a regular comedy with elements of mystery/drama. These 15 films are the ones that I think are closest to the accepted definitely screwball comedy genre.

Here we go!

 

15. Nothing Sacred (1937)

      Dir. William A. Wellman

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Carole Lombard and Fredric March are fantastic together. What a great duo!

 

14. His Girl Friday (1940)

     Dir. Howard Hawks

 

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Fast, frantic and full of lines!

 

13. Midnight (1939)

     Dir. Mitchell Leisen

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Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett wrote the screenplay for this, so obviously it’s brilliant.

 

12. The Pam Beach Story (1942)

      Dir. Preston Sturges

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I love Claudette Colbert and Joel McCrea’s relationship in this. It’s so sweet!

 

11. The More the Merrier (1943)

     Dir. George Stevens

 

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I think I developed a slight crush on Joel McCrea after watching this. Also Jean Arthur is perfect in everything.

 

10. Trouble in Paradise (1932)

    Dir. Ernst Lubitsch

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Trouble in Paradise is, in many ways, the originator of all of these. I think it’s probably fair to say it’s the original screwball comedy, but that’s likely up for debate.

 

9. Merrily We Live (1938)

   Dir. Norman Z. McLeod

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My Man Godfrey’s younger cousin. Pretty much the same plot, but it is sooo lovely!

 

8. It Happened one Night (1934)

  Dir. Frank Capra

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The only Best Picture on the list, and how deserving! It’s extraordinary.

 

7. Ball of Fire (1941)

   Dir. Howard Hawks

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Barbara Stanwyck’s Sugarpuss is one of my all-time favorite movie characters. Wilder and Brackett also wrote this.

 

6. Easy Living (1937)

    Dir. Mitchell Leisen

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The taxi cab scene, Louis, the enourmous bedroom, Jean Arthur and Ray Milland’s relationship… Everything about Easy Living is fantastic.

 

5. Twentieth Century (1934)

  Dir. Howard Hawks

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It was so close! This and Easy Living were almost tied, but in the end, I had to put this one higher because I saw it on the big screen, so it has sentimental value for me.

 

4. The Awful Truth (1937)

   Dir. Leo McCarey

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Irene Dunne’s performance is the greatest screwball comedy performance by an actress in my opinion. It is incredibly complex once you analyze it.

 

3. My Man Godfrey (1936)

   Dir. Gregory LaCava

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The craziest family ever? I think so. Mind you, in a weird way, I would kind of like to live in that house for like a day or two. Sounds fun!

 

2. The Lady Eve (1941)

  Dir. Preston Sturges

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Big debate between this and Godfrey as well, but in the end, I had to go with Eve. It’s just slightly more convoluted, which is perfect for screwball.

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1. Bringing Up Baby (1938)

  Dir. Howard Hawks

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Well, of course. You all knew it. It is the greatest of them all, in my opinion, and one of my absolute favorite films in any genre, ever.

 

Happy Screwball! (don’t really know what that means, but let’s go with it)

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16 thoughts on “My Top 15 Favorite Screwball Comedies

  1. So many funny and great films on your list. Midnight. It Happened One Night. Twentieth Century and More The Merrier are also great favourites of mine. Bringing Up Baby is a film that has never done anything for me personally; I can totally see why it is so important to the genre though. I don’t consider it a favourite and I’ve never really got the major fuss about it.

    You’ve really put me in the mood to settle down and enjoy some Screwball comedy later. Thanks. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yay Bringing Up Baby!! 😀 Screwball comedy is my favourite genre 🙂
    Glad that you inclded Easy Living and Nothing Sacred!
    I thought you once told me that you didn’t like His Girl Friday so much. But I’m probably confusing with someone else. O_o

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, it was me. The thing is, I actually don’t like the second half of it that much. It’s the first half that’s the reason why it’s on the list. Otherwise, I actally think it’s a bit overrated.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You can’t avoid falling in love with Joel McCrea! *swoons*
    love many of these, like It Happened One Night, Ball of Fire and, of course, Bringing Up Baby. There are a few I still have to watch, like Midnight and 20th Century.
    Great list!
    Kisses!
    Le

    Liked by 1 person

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