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The Best Screwball Comedies 

Ranker Film
Updated December 28, 2019 7.7k votes 648 voters 48.1k views 113 items

List Rules Vote for your personal favorite screwball comedy films, regardless of how popular or successful they were at the box office.

A list of all the best screwball comedy movies ever made, many of which are streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime. OK well maybe this isn't every screwball comedy film - it's not like there is an exact definition that you can perfectly put a movie into here - but we have tried to start this list with "classic" Cary Grant-style screwball comedies, and continue it to films of the present day. This screwball comedy movie list is ranked by user votes but can be sorted by cast, year, director, and more, and it also contains screwball comedy movie titles that can be clicked on for more information about the film.

This list contains the best screwball comedy movies of all time, as voted on by fans of the films and is currently ordered from best to worst. Downvote your least favorite movies, and upvote the best ones to see your favorites rise to the top.

If you like Inbred Rednecks or Chain of Fools, then make your voice heard. If we missed any screwball comedy movies on this list, please add them to the list yourself, as this is an open list, which means you can add any movies whenever you like (choices are subject to moderation). The films on this list cover the most famous screwball comedy movies of all time and are voted on by people who really care about screwball comedy movie lists.

Items here include everything from Phffft! to My Best Friend's Wedding.

Whether you're at home and want to watch these screwball comedy movies on DVD, streaming Blu-ray or streaming on Netflix or Amazon Prime, or if you're seeing them in theatres for the first time, this is a list of good screwball comedy movies that can be helpful in either situation to see where they all stack up. So from the latest, to the greatest screwball comedy movies, here is the full screwball comedy movies list, ordered from best to worst.

Also, be sure to take a peek at the All-Time Best Comedy Movies, The Best Romantic Comedies, and the Best Stand-Up Comedies on Netflix Instant

Screwball comedy movies have been directed by some pretty famous names, including Woody Allen and Jodie Foster.

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list ordered by
1
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Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Barry Fitzgerald

Released: 1938

Directed by: Howard Hawks

Bringing Up Baby is a 1938 American screwball comedy film directed by Howard Hawks, starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The film tells the story of a ...more

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#228 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #187 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #355 of 693 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

2
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Cary Grant, Peter Lorre, Raymond Massey

Released: 1944

Directed by: Frank Capra

Arsenic and Old Lace is a 1944 American dark comedy film directed by Frank Capra, starring Cary Grant, and based on Joseph Kesselring's play Arsenic and Old Lace. The script adaptation was by ...more

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#118 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #123 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #580 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

3
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Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy

Released: 1940

Directed by: Howard Hawks

His Girl Friday is a 1940 American screwball comedy film directed by Howard Hawks, from an adaptation by Charles Lederer, Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur of the play The Front Page by Hecht and ...more

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#171 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #384 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #9 of 51 Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain

4
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Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis

Released: 1959

Directed by: Billy Wilder

Some Like It Hot is a 1959 American comedy film set in 1929, directed by Billy Wilder, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. The film is about two musicians who dress in drag in ...more

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#60 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #84 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
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Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Ward Bond

Released: 1934

Directed by: Frank Capra

It Happened One Night is a 1934 American romantic comedy film with elements of screwball comedy directed by Frank Capra, in which a pampered socialite tries to get out from under her father's ...more

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#222 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #283 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
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Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Stewart

Released: 1940

Directed by: George Cukor

The Philadelphia Story is a 1940 American romantic comedy film directed by George Cukor, starring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and James Stewart and featuring Ruth Hussey. Based on the ...more

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#329 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #266 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
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Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Tara Reid

Released: 1998

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

The Big Lebowski is a 1998 stoner comedy film written, produced, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski, an unemployed Los Angeles ...more

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'The Big Lebowski' Fan Theories That Really Tie The Film Together #232 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #53 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys

8
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Carrie Fisher, Aretha Franklin, Steven Spielberg

Released: 1980

Directed by: John Landis

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 ...more

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#78 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #28 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #92 of 560 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

9
Ferris Bueller's Day Off... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Screwball Comedies
CraigAlarm added Charlie Sheen, Matthew Broderick, Jeffrey Jones

Released: 1986

Directed by: John Hughes

Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a 1986 American comedy film written, produced and directed by John Hughes. The film follows high school senior Ferris Bueller, who skips school and spends the day in ...more

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Behind The Scenes Of The Famous Parade Scene In 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' #3 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #16 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

10
Planes, Trains and Autom... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Screwball Comedies
Steve Martin, Kevin Bacon, John Candy

Released: 1987

Directed by: John Hughes

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 ...more

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#12 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #8 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #152 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

11
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Jeffrey A. Beard added Carole Lombard, Jane Wyman, William Powell

Released: 1936

Directed by: Gregory La Cava

My Man Godfrey is a 1936 American comedy-drama film directed by Gregory La Cava. The screenplay was written by Morrie Ryskind, with uncredited contributions by La Cava, based on 1101 Park ...more
12
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Jeffrey A. Beard added Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Ralph Bellamy

Released: 1937

Directed by: Leo McCarey

The Awful Truth is a 1937 screwball comedy film starring Irene Dunne and Cary Grant. The plot concerns the machinations of a soon-to-be-divorced couple, played by Dunne and Grant, who go to ...more
13
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Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Stephen Fry

Released: 1988

Directed by: John Cleese, Charles Crichton

A Fish Called Wanda is a 1988 film written by John Cleese and Charles Crichton. It was directed by Crichton and stars Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, and Michael Palin. Kline won the ...more

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#59 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #60 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

14
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Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Roddy McDowall

Released: 1987

Directed by: Garry Marshall

Overboard is a 1987 American romantic comedy film starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. It was directed by Garry Marshall, produced by Roddy McDowall, and loosely inspired by the 1974 Italian ...more

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#123 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #88 of 560 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #90 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

15
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Barbra Streisand, Randy Quaid, Madeline Kahn

Released: 1972

Directed by: Peter Bogdanovich

What's Up, Doc? is a 1972 screwball comedy film released by Warner Bros., directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starring Barbra Streisand, Ryan O'Neal, and Madeline Kahn in her first feature film ...more

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#416 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #474 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #1,000 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

16
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O. J. Simpson, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Reggie Jackson

Released: 1988

Directed by: David Zucker

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! is a 1988 American comedy film. It is the first in The Naked Gun series of films starring Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, George Kennedy, and O. ...more

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#159 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #26 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #45 of 560 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

17
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Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin

Released: 1980

Directed by: Colin Higgins

9 to 5 is a 1980 American comedy film written by Patricia Resnick and Colin Higgins, directed by Higgins, and starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, and Dabney Coleman. The film ...more

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#144 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #79 of 560 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #156 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

18
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Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Rob Reiner

Released: 1979

Directed by: Carl Reiner

The Jerk is a 1979 American comedy film directed by Carl Reiner and written by Steve Martin, Carl Gottlieb, and Michael Elias. This was Martin's first starring role in a feature film. The film ...more

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#43 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #90 of 560 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #39 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

19
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Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Herb Edelman

Released: 1968

Directed by: Gene Saks

The Odd Couple is a 1968 American black comedy film written by Neil Simon, based on his play The Odd Couple, directed by Gene Saks, and starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. It is the story ...more

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#74 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #106 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #1,028 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

20
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Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Zeppo Marx

Released: 1930

Directed by: Victor Heerman

Animal Crackers is a 1930 Marx Brothers comedy film, in which mayhem and zaniness ensue when a valuable painting goes missing during a party in honor of famed African explorer Captain Spaulding. ...more
21
Airplane! is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Screwball Comedies
25785 added Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Leslie Nielsen, Ethel Merman

Released: 1980

Directed by: Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker

Airplane! is a 1980 American satirical disaster comedy film directed and written by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker and released by Paramount Pictures. It stars Robert Hays and ...more

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The Funniest Quotes From 'Airplane!' #128 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #16 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

22
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Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Leonard Marx

Released: 1935

Directed by: Sam Wood, Edmund Goulding

A Night at the Opera is a 1935 American comedy film starring Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, and Harpo Marx, and featuring Kitty Carlisle, Allan Jones, Margaret Dumont, Sig Ruman, and Walter Woolf ...more

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#169 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #170 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #546 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

23
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Richard777 added Ann-Margret, Daryl Hannah, Jack Lemmon

Released: 1993

Directed by: Donald Petrie

Grumpy Old Men is a 1993 American romantic comedy film starring Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau and Ann-Margret, with Burgess Meredith, Daryl Hannah, Kevin Pollak, Ossie Davis and Buck Henry. ...more

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#104 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #62 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #869 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

24
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James Stewart, Fess Parker, Cecil Kellaway

Released: 1950

Directed by: Henry Koster

Harvey is a 1950 film based on Mary Chase's play of the same name, directed by Henry Koster, and starring James Stewart and Josephine Hull. The story is about a man whose best friend is a pooka ...more

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#164 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #253 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

25
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Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson

Released: 2000

Directed by: Jay Roach

Meet the Parents is a 2000 American comedy film directed by Jay Roach. Male nurse Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) meets his girlfriend's parents before proposing, but her suspicious father (robert De ...more

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#44 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #41 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #257 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies