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The Best John Candy Movies of All Time, Ranked

Updated March 22, 2021 14.9k votes 3.1k voters 269.8k views47 items

List RulesVote for your favorite John Candy movies, regardless of critic reviews or how big the role was.

When you're watching the best John Candy movies, you can't help but love the big guy. Though he died more than 20 years ago in 1994, his roles and characters are still remembered to this day. For example, Planes, Trains and Automobiles just wouldn't be the same without him. But narrowing down the best John Candy movies into a list is tough, mainly because he hit it out of the ballpark in many of his roles. But fans such as yourself have taken on the task of voting on their favorite John Candy movies below.

Candy honed his comedy skills at Second City before starring in such films as The Great Outdoors and Uncle Buck, and his highest grossing movies have received plenty of accolades over the years, earning millions upon millions around the world. But the greatest John Candy performances didn't necessarily come from the best movies, as he was also a great in Camp Candy, which aired from 1989 to 1992.

If you've ever wondered what are the best John Candy movies are or what the greatest John Candy roles of all time are, this list provides a great crowd-sourced answer. Some people are more interested in comedies starring a young John Candy, while others want to know about the films he made in the final years of his life. If you think the funniest John Candy role isn't at the top, then vote it up so it has the chance to become number one.

You might also enjoy our list of best Steve Martin movies and best Dan Aykroyd movies. After all, they often costarred in the best John Candy movies.

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  • 1
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    Uncle Buck

    Macaulay Culkin, John Candy

    Released1989

    Directed byJohn Hughes

    Character: Buck Russell

    Uncle Buck is a 1989 American comedy film directed by John Hughes and starring John Candy and Amy Madigan, with Jean Louisa Kelly, Gaby Hoffmann, Macaulay Culkin, Jay Underwood, and Laurie Metcalf in...  more

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  • 2
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    Planes, Trains and Automobiles

    Steve Martin, Kevin Bacon

    Released1987

    Directed byJohn Hughes

    Character: Del Griffith

    Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a 1987 American comedy film written, produced and directed by John Hughes. The film stars Steve Martin as Neal Page, a high-strung marketing executive, who meets Del...  more

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    #15 of 26 The Best F-Bombs In Movie History#55 of 115 The Best Movies to Watch on Mushrooms

  • 3
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    The Great Outdoors

    Annette Bening, Dan Aykroyd

    Released1988

    Directed byHoward Deutch

    Character: Chester "Chet" Ripley

    The Great Outdoors is a 1988 American comedy film starring Dan Aykroyd and John Candy. Annette Bening and Stephanie Faracy co-star. Robert Prosky, Lucy Deakins and Lewis Arquette have supporting...  more

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    #158 of 541 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies#99 of 152 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

  • 4
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    Stripes

    Bill Murray, John Candy

    Released1981

    Directed byIvan Reitman

    Character: Dewey "Ox" Oxberger

    Stripes is a 1981 American comedy film directed by Ivan Reitman, starring Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Warren Oates, P. J. Soles, and John Candy. It also featured several actors in their first...  more

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  • 5
    566
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    Summer Rental

    John Candy, Joey Lawrence

    Released1985

    Directed byCarl Reiner

    Character: Jack Chester

    Summer Rental is a 1985 comedy film, directed by Carl Reiner and starring John Candy. The film's screenplay was written by Mark Reisman and Jeremy Stevens. An original music score was composed for...  more

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    #26 of 105 The Best Movies About Summer#11 of 95 The Best Movies About Vacations

  • 6
    557
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    Cool Runnings

    John Candy, Malik Yoba

    Released1993

    Directed byJon Turteltaub

    Character: Irving "Irv" Blitzer

    Cool Runnings is a 1993 American sports film directed by Jon Turteltaub, and starring Leon, Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis, Malik Yoba and John Candy. The film was released in the United States on...  more

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  • 7
    537
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    Spaceballs

    Joan Rivers, John Hurt

    Released1987

    Directed byMel Brooks

    Character: Barf

    Spaceballs is a 1987 American parody film co-written and directed by Mel Brooks and starring Brooks, Bill Pullman, John Candy and Rick Moranis. It also features Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, and...  more

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  • 8
    447
    80

    The Blues Brothers

    Carrie Fisher, Aretha Franklin

    Released1980

    Directed byJohn Landis

    Character: Parole Officer Burton Mercer

    The Blues Brothers is a 1980 American musical comedy film directed by John Landis and starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as "Joliet" Jake and Elwood Blues, characters developed from "The Blues...  more

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  • 9
    457
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    Vacation

    Chevy Chase, Christie Brinkley

    Released1983

    Directed byHarold Ramis

    Character: Russ Lasky

    National Lampoon's Vacation, sometimes referred to as Vacation, is a 1983 Technicolor comedy film directed by Harold Ramis and starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid, Dana Barron, and...  more

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    #45 of 375 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime#16 of 16 Movies That Completely Changed Their Endings After Everyone Freaked Out

  • 10
    341
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    Brewster's Millions

    Richard Pryor, John Candy

    Released1985

    Directed byWalter Hill

    Character: Spike Nolan

    Brewster's Millions is a 1985 comedy film starring Richard Pryor and John Candy based on the 1902 novel of the same name by George Barr McCutcheon. It is the seventh film based on the story, with a...  more

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    #35 of 112 The All-Time Best Baseball Films#32 of 64 The Greatest Movies About Making Money

  • 11
    321
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    Splash

    Tom Hanks, John Candy

    Released1984

    Directed byRon Howard

    Character: Freddie Bauer

    Splash is a 1984 American fantasy romantic comedy film directed by Ron Howard, written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, and starring Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, John Candy, Eugene Levy, and Dody...  more

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  • 12
    370
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    Who's Harry Crumb?

    John Candy, Jeffrey Jones

    Released1989

    Directed byPaul Flaherty

    Character: Harry Crumb

    Who's Harry Crumb? is a comedy-mystery film featuring John Candy as the title character. Paul Flaherty directed the film, which co-stars Annie Potts, Jeffrey Jones and Shawnee Smith. An uncredited...  more

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    #140 of 305 The Funniest '80s Movies#110 of 165 The Funniest Slapstick Movies Ever Made

  • 13
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    Home Alone

    Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci

    Released1990

    Directed byChris Columbus

    Character: Gus Polinski - Polka King of the Midwest

    Home Alone is a 1990 American Christmas family comedy film written and produced by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus. The film stars Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, a boy who is...  more

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  • 14
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    Armed and Dangerous

    Meg Ryan, John Candy

    Released1986

    Directed byMark L. Lester

    Character: Frank Dooley

    Armed and Dangerous is a 1986 American action-crime comedy film starring John Candy, Eugene Levy, Robert Loggia and Meg Ryan. It was directed by Mark L. Lester and filmed on location in and around...  more
  • 15
    168
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    JFK

    Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman

    Released1991

    Directed byOliver Stone

    Character: Dean Andrews Jr. 

    JFK is a 1991 American historical legal-conspiracy thriller film directed by Oliver Stone. It examines the events leading to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and subsequent cover-up...  more

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  • 16
    278
    81

    Only the Lonely

    Macaulay Culkin, John Candy

    Released1991

    Directed byChris Columbus

    Character: Danny Muldoon

    Only the Lonely is a 1991 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Chris Columbus and starring John Candy, Maureen O'Hara, Ally Sheedy and Anthony Quinn. The plot is similar to the...  more
  • 17
    198
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    Delirious

    John Candy, Robert Wagner

    Released1991

    Directed byTom Mankiewicz

    Character: Jack Gable

    Delirious is a 1991 fantasy comedy film starring John Candy, Mariel Hemingway, Emma Samms and Raymond Burr with a title theme by Prince. It was a commercial failure after its release. Despite this,...  more
  • 18
    196
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    Nothing but Trouble

    Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd

    Released1991

    Directed byDan Aykroyd

    Character: Deputy Dennis / Eldona

    Nothing but Trouble is a 1991 American horror comedy film directed by Dan Aykroyd. A businessman (Chevy Chase) and his friends are captured by a sadistic judge (Dan Aykroyd) and his equally odd...  more

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    #355 of 440 The Best Movies Of The 1990s#7 of 15 The Best Movies Below 20% On Rotten Tomatoes

  • 19
    188
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    Canadian Bacon

    Dan Aykroyd, John Candy

    Released1995

    Directed byMichael Moore

    Character: Sheriff Bud Boomer

    Canadian Bacon is a 1995 comedy film which satirizes Canada–United States relations along the Canada–United States border written, directed, and produced by Michael Moore. It was screened in the Un...  more

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    #17 of 62 The Funniest Movies About Politics#241 of 334 The Best Political Films Ever Made

  • 20
    165
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    Volunteers

    Tom Hanks, John Candy

    Released1985

    Directed byNicholas Meyer

    Character: Tom Tuttle

    Volunteers is a 1985 American comedy film directed by Nicholas Meyer and starring Tom Hanks and John Candy in their second film together after Splash....  more
  • 21
    148
    62

    Rookie of the Year

    Gary Busey, John Candy

    Released1993

    Directed byDaniel Stern

    Character: Cliff Murdoch (announcer)

    Rookie of the Year is a 1993 American sports comedy film starring Thomas Ian Nicholas and Gary Busey as players for the Chicago Cubs baseball team. The cast also includes Albert Hall, Dan Hedaya,...  more

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  • 22
    174
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    Little Shop of Horrors

    Bill Murray, Steve Martin

    Released1986

    Directed byFrank Oz

    Character: Wink Wil

    Little Shop of Horrors is a 1986 American rock musical horror comedy film directed by Frank Oz. It is a film adaptation of the off-Broadway musical comedy of the same name by composer Alan Menken and...  more

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  • 23
    138
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    1941

    Mickey Rourke, Christopher Lee

    Released1979

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Character: Pvt. Foley

    1941 is a 1979 period comedy film directed by Steven Spielberg, written by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, and featuring an ensemble cast including Dan Aykroyd, Ned Beatty, John Belushi, John Candy,...  more

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  • 24
    116
    38

    Hostage for a Day

    John Candy

    Released1994

    Directed byJohn Candy

    Character: Yuri Petrovich

    Hostage for a Day is a 1994 comedic film starring and directed by Canadian comedian and actor John Candy. Though the film is billed as "starring" Candy, it in fact only features him as a minor...  more
  • 25
    101
    38

    Lost and Found

    John Candy, Martin Short

    Released1979

    Directed byMelvin Frank

    Character: Carpentier

    Lost and Found is a 1979 film co-written and directed by Melvin Frank and starring George Segal and Glenda Jackson. Featuring much of the same cast and crew as Frank's 1973 film A Touch of Class,...  more