Woody Allen’s Annie Hall Voted Funniest Screenplay By The WGA

The movies that make people laugh the hardest may not necessarily be the funniest screenplays. So when the Writers Guild of America (WGA) selected Woody Allen’s Annie Hall as the funniest screenplay at the conclusion of two hours of panel discussions emceed by Rob Reiner, it wasn’t a shocker. The comedy, which pretty much invented the relationship comedy and subsequent cookie-cutter romantic comedies, not to mention carry over to the works of Charlie Kaufman and Larry David among others, has been lauded for its style and technique (Gordon Willis of The Godfather fame did the cinematography), New York City as a character, and having psychoanalysis be a comic relief.

Written by Allen and Marshall Brickman, the screenplay towered above Billy Wilder’s Some Like it Hot, Groundhog Day, Airplane!, and Tootsie. The bottom half of the top ten included two from Mel Brooks (Young Frankenstein in sixth; Blazing Saddles in eighth), plus Dr. Strangelove, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and National Lampoon’s Animal House. And as coincidence would have it, Rob Reiner’s This Is Spinal Tap finished at the No. 11 spot. I guess this comedy really does “go to 11.”

Of the 101 funniest screenplays selected, Woody Allen had seven scripts total on the list — Sleeper, Bananas, Take the Money and Run, Broadway Danny Rose, Love and Death, and Manhattan. Harold Ramis had two scripts in the top 10 with Groundhog Day and Animal House, plus Ghostbusters (No. 14) and Caddyshack (No. 25). Four scripts in the top fourth of the list puts Ramis in high regard. Preston Sturgess also had four scripts on the list.

Second to Ramis in having the most scripts near the top of the list is Mel Brooks. Besides having two scripts in the top ten, his comedy The Producers was No. 12.

The oldest comedy to appear on the list is Charlie Chaplin’s 1925 silent film The Gold Rush (No. 94). The most recent is 2011’s Bridesmaids by Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, which was voted No. 16. Other screenplays from the 2000s getting recognition included the likes of The Hangover , Superbad , The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Mean Girls.

The complete list below:

1. “Annie Hall” (1977)
2. “Some Like It Hot” (1959)
3. “Groundhog Day” (1993)
4. “Airplane!” (1980)
5. “Tootsie” (1982)
6. “Young Frankenstein” (1974)
7. “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964)
8. “Blazing Saddles” (1974)
9. “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (1975)
10. “National Lampoon’s Animal House” (1978)
11. “This Is Spinal Tap” (1984)
12. “The Producers” (1967)
13. “The Big Lebowski” (1998)
14. “Ghostbusters” (1984)
15. “When Harry Met Sally…” (1989)
16. “Bridesmaids” (2011)
17. “Duck Soup” (1933)
18. “There’s Something About Mary” (1998)
19. “The Jerk” (1979)
20. “A Fish Called Wanda” (1988)
21. “His Girl Friday” (1940)
22. “The Princess Bride” (1987)
23. “Raising Arizona” (1987)
24. “Bringing Up Baby” (1938)
25. “Caddyshack” (1980)
26. “Monty Python’s Life Of Brian” (1979)
27. “The Graduate” (1967)
28. “The Apartment” (1960)
29. “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” (2006)
30. “The Hangover” (2009)
31. “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” (2005)
32. “The Lady Eve” (1941)
33. *Tie* “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986)
33. *Tie* “Trading Places” (1983)
35. “Sullivan’s Travels” (1941)
36. “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” (1987)
37. “The Philadelphia Story” (1940)
38. “A Night at the Opera” (1935)
39. “Rushmore” (1998)
40. “Waiting for Guffman” (1996)
41. “The Odd Couple” (1968)
42. “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!” (1988)
43. “Office Space” (1999)
44. “Big” (1988)
45. “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983)
46. “Midnight Run” (1988)
47. “It Happened One Night” (1934)
48. “M*A*S*H” (1970)
49. “Harold and Maude” (1971)
50. “Shaun of the Dead” (2004)
51. “Broadcast News” (1987)
52. “Arthur” (1981)
53. “Four Weddings and a Funeral” (1994)
54. *Tie* “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” (2004)
54. *Tie* “Dumb and Dumber” (1994)
56. “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” (1997)
57. “The General” (1926)
58. “What’s Up, Doc?” (1972)
59. “Wedding Crashers” (2005)
60. “Sleeper” (1973)
61. “Galaxy Quest” (1999)
62. “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” (1963)
63. “Best in Show” (2000)
64. “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006)
65. “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut” (1999)
66. “Being There” (1979)
67. “Back to the Future” (1985)
68. “Superbad” (2007)
69. “Bananas” (1971)
70. “Moonstruck” (1987)
71. “Clueless” (1995)
72. “The Palm Beach Story” (1942)
73. “The Pink Panther” (1963)
74. “The Blues Brothers” (1980)
75. “Coming to America” (1988)
76. “Take the Money and Run” (1969)
77. “Election” (1999)
78. “Love and Death” (1975)
79. *Tie* “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” (1988)
79. *Tie* “Lost in America” (1985)
81. “Manhattan” (1979)
82. “Modern Times” (1936)
83. “My Cousin Vinny” (1992)
84. “Mean Girls” (2004)
85. “Meet the Parents” (2000)
86. “Fargo” (1996)
87. “My Favorite Year” (1982)
88. “Stripes” (1981)
89. “Beverly Hills Cop” (1984)
90. “City Lights” (1931)
91. “Sideways” (2004)
92. “Broadway Danny Rose” (1984)
93. “Swingers” (1996)
94. “The Gold Rush” (1925)
95. “The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek” (1944)
96. “All About Eve” (1950)
97. “Arsenic and Old Lace” (1944)
98. “The Royal Tenenbaums” (2001)
99. “Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993)
100. “Flirting with Disaster” (1996)
101. “Shakespeare in Love” (1998)

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