During the groovy 1970s, the world of comedy films was ruled by two comedic legends: Woody Allen and Mel Brooks. But hold your popcorn, because there were plenty of other hilarious flicks that left their mark on the era. Picture this: The Rocky Horror Picture Show and National Lampoon’s Animal House, classics that will tickle your funny bone. And guess what? Some of these gems, like The Bad News Bears, were so fabulous that they were given a modern makeover years later. Talk about timeless!
Now, let’s dive into this groovy list of ’70s comedies and discover the comedy kings of the decade. Woody Allen was on fire, delivering hit after hit with films like Annie Hall, Manhattan, and Sleeper. And let’s not forget about Mel Brooks, who gifted us with two comedy treasures: Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. But wait, there’s more! The real knee-slappers might just be the cult classics, such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Now, here’s a twist: some of these comedy flicks got a face-lift in later years, but not all of them hit the mark. The In-Laws, The Bad News Bears, The Out-of-Towners, Freaky Friday, and The Heartbreak Kid all got the reboot treatment. Do you think any of these movies deserve a spot in the comedy hall of fame? It’s your time to shine, so cast your votes and make your voice heard!
Let’s not forget, the 1970s was a hoot of a decade for comedy. Even films like Meatballs gave us a taste of Bill Murray’s comedic genius in his first leading role. So, grab your popcorn, sit back, and let’s have a blast as we vote for the top ’70s comedy films. Get ready to laugh until your sides ache!
1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
This film is absolutely hilarious and has gained a cult following. It follows King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they search for the holy grail. Along the way, they come across some really bizarre enemies. From the Knights who say “Ni” to a killer rabbit, this movie is packed with unforgettable scenes and lines that are still quoted today. It’s a comedy that effortlessly combines irreverent humor, brilliant writing, and unforgettable characters. If you love comedy, you absolutely have to watch it.
Directed by: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Actors: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam
2. Blazing Saddles
Another gem from the brilliant mind of Mel Brooks, this controversial satire takes aim at classic Westerns. Cleavon Little shines as a Black sheriff thrust into a racist town, while Gene Wilder plays his unexpected ally, the Waco Kid. The film’s uproarious and daring sequences walk a fine line between humor and offense, skillfully exposing the absurdity of racism and prejudice. Even today, this laugh-a-minute masterpiece is celebrated for its boundary-pushing comedy and unforgettable one-liners.
Directed by: Mel Brooks
Actors: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn
3. Young Frankenstein
Directed by the comedic genius Mel Brooks, this parody of classic horror films introduces us to Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, portrayed by the talented Gene Wilder. Inheriting his notorious grandfather’s castle, Dr. Frankenstein embarks on an adventure of his own, creating a monster brought to life by the incredible Peter Boyle.
Joined by an unforgettable ensemble cast featuring the likes of Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, and Teri Garr, this sensational comedic homage expertly weaves together wit, slapstick humor, and zany antics. It strikes the perfect balance between being smart, silly, and spooky, making it an absolute must-watch in the realm of comedy.
Directed by: Mel Brooks
Actors: Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman
4. National Lampoon’s Animal House
This raucous and raunchy romp takes you on a wild journey into the college fraternity scene. John Belushi shines as the iconic Bluto, and you’ll meet a bunch of unforgettable characters and witness their outrageous antics. The story unfolds at Faber College, a fictional institution where the misfit members of Delta Tau Chi take on the uptight Dean Wormer and the snobbish Omega House. Brace yourself for a series of hilarious and unforgettable comedic moments that will leave you in stitches. It’s no wonder that this movie has become the epitome of college comedies, earning its well-deserved spot among the very best in the genre.
Directed by: John Landis
Actors: John Belushi, Kevin Bacon, Donald Sutherland
5. The Jerk
In this uproarious comedy, Steve Martin takes on the role of Navin Johnson. He’s a naïve guy who sets out to discover his purpose in the world, leaving behind his adoptive Black family. Along his journey, Navin stumbles upon a stroke of extraordinary luck and becomes an accidental millionaire.
Throughout the film, you’ll find yourself immersed in a whirlwind of absurd situations and sharp humor. Steve Martin’s unique brand of comedy truly shines, bringing a bright and infectious energy to every scene.
Filled with memorable lines and classic moments, this film is undoubtedly a masterpiece of silliness. Its ability to entertain and make you laugh has yet to be matched.
Directed by: Carl Reiner
Actors: Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Catlin Adams
6. The Pink Panther Strikes Again
Peter Sellers is back as the clumsy Inspector Jacques Clouseau in this hilarious sequel. He finds himself in a face-off with his former boss, Chief Inspector Dreyfus, who has completely lost it and is determined to see Clouseau six feet under. Brace yourself for non-stop slapstick comedy, memorable visual jokes, and lines that you’ll be repeating for years to come. This installment of the Pink Panther series has become a beloved classic, and it’s not just because of the clever script. Sellers’ performance as the hopeless detective is simply iconic.
Directed by: Blake Edwards
Actors: Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom, Colin Blakely
7. Smokey and the Bandit
This action-packed comedy stars Burt Reynolds as the confident and quick-witted Bandit. His mission? Transporting a truckload of illegal beer across state lines, all while trying to outsmart a determined sheriff played by Jackie Gleason. Alongside the stunning Sally Field and a lively group of characters, this movie delivers exhilarating car chases, jaw-dropping stunts, and hilarious conversations. With its undeniable charm and infectious sense of enjoyment, this film is an absolute must-watch for fans of comedic cinema.
Directed by: Hal Needham
Actors: Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason
8. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Roald Dahl’s captivating children’s book is the inspiration for this delightful family comedy. Gene Wilder takes on the role of the eccentric and whimsical candy maker, Willy Wonka, who extends an invitation to five fortunate children for an unforgettable tour of his enchanting factory. Prepare to be transported to a world of imagination as you immerse yourself in the imaginative sets, quirky humor, and unforgettable songs that make this movie so special. It’s not your average comedy; its appeal transcends generations, captivating both kids and adults alike. With its enduring charm and unforgettable scenes, this film has secured its place as a timeless classic that continues to bring joy to audiences of all ages.
Directed by: Mel Stuart
Actors: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum
9. The Return of the Pink Panther
Get ready for a delightful romp as Peter Sellers returns as Inspector Clouseau in this hilarious film. Clouseau is on a mission to solve the mystery of the missing Pink Panther diamond. Brace yourself for disastrous stakeouts and side-splitting moments with his ever-patient housekeeper. Sellers’ incredible talent for physical comedy and character portrayal shines throughout the movie. If you’re a fan of brilliant comedic performances, this installment in the Pink Panther series is an absolute must-see.
Directed by: Blake Edwards
Actors: Peter Sellers, Christopher Plummer, Herbert Lom
10. Slap Shot
This raucous sports comedy stars the legendary Paul Newman as a washed-up hockey player. He stumbles upon a winning formula by encouraging his team’s violent tendencies on the ice. Brace yourself for a wild ride filled with colorful language, wild brawls, and hilarious antics that take place both on and off the rink. No wonder this movie has become a beloved classic in the genre. It’s a one-of-a-kind blend of preposterous situations, compelling characters, and sharp wit that will keep fans laughing from start to finish.
Directed by: George Roy Hill
Actors: Paul Newman, Michael Ontkean, Lindsay Crouse
11. Kelly’s Heroes
This war comedy is quite irreverent, featuring stars like Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, and Donald Sutherland. They portray a group of soldiers who, feeling disillusioned by the harsh realities of World War II, come up with a rather audacious plan to rob a bank right in enemy territory. The script is clever, the performances memorable, and the satire quite biting. It’s a film that truly stands out, managing to bridge the gap between war and comedy genres in an unforgettable way. With its perfect blend of action, humor, and social commentary, it’s undeniably a must-watch for fans of unconventional cinema.
Directed by: Brian G. Hutton
Actors: Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles