It appears that the ‘Writer’s Guild of America’ has just voted Woody Allen’s 1977 cinematic classic, Annie Hall, the funniest screenplay in history – in a list that counted down the 101 greatest of all time.
Woody Allen is certainly no stranger to the list compiled by members of the elite writers guild, especially considering his work ranked seven times on the list, but despite the filmmakers undeniable gift for comedic writing, is Annie Hall worthy of the top spot? And why are there no twenty-first century screenplays represented in the top ten?
Annie Hall certainly deserves its high ranking, especially considering the cult following that the film has generated since its release back in 1977, not to mention the fact that it won four Academy Awards, including Best Screenplay – but perhaps there are films on the list, and not on the list for that matter, that would rank higher were the votes left in the hands of the public.
Take Groundhog Day for instance – the Bill Murray led comedy is a ‘timeless’ classic (no pun intended) that still captivates new generations, and remains to this day, a beautifully crafted story that offers something for everyone, not to mention an abundance of comedy. It’s worth pointing out that Groundhog Day did finish third on the list, but perhaps it deserves a higher spot due to its incredible reach with audiences. Annie Hall, as incredible a film as it is, is still relatively niche, often known only to select audiences or film buffs.
Another film to hit the top three is the cinematic masterpiece Some Like It Hot (1959) – starring the unforgettable screen-siren Marilyn Monroe, the Award-winning comedy is a bench mark example of the perfect comedy and one that’s studied by film students the world over (myself included). But should it be top?
Perhaps the main talking point of this list, published by the ‘Writer’s Guild of America’, is the obvious comedy classics that didn’t make the top ten. Take the recently released gem, 3 Idiots – the now Bollywood classic is a modern masterpiece of comedy that has seen it rank higher on IMDb’s Top 250 list than any other film featured in the WGA‘s top ten list, yet, like many other twenty-first century masterpieces, has seen itself excluded (*cough* The Big Lebowski *cough*).
Good news however comes with the inclusion famous ‘National Lampoon‘ franchise, though perhaps they’ve included the wrong film, as I’m sure many would agree that the ‘Christmas Vacation‘ screenplay exceeds that of ‘Animal House‘, which made the number ten spot. We all love Chevy Chase, lets be honest.
Nether-the-less, all those that made the list, especially the top ten, are worthy films that will stand the test of time.
View the top ten list below:
National Lampoon’s Animal House
Written by: Harold Ramis, Chris Miller, Douglas Kenney
Year released: 1978
Starring: John Belushi, Karen Allen
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Written by: John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin
Year released: 1975
Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese
Written by: Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, Norman Steinberg…
Year released: 1959
Starring: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder
Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Written by: Stanley Kubrick, Terry Southern, Peter George
Year released: 1964
Starring: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott
Written by: Gene Wilder, Mel Brooks
Year released: 1974
Starring: Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn
Written by: Larry Gelbart, Murray Schisgal
Year released: 1982
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange
Written by: James Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker
Year released: 1980
Starring: Robert Hays, Leslie Nielson
Written by: Danny Rubin, Harold Ramis
Year released: 1993
Starring: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell
Some Like It Hot
Written by: Billy Wilder, IAL Diamond
Year released: 1959
Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis
Written by: Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman
Year released: 1977
Starring: Diane Keaton, Woody Allen
So do you think Annie Hall is a worthy winner? Have your say in our poll below: