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Top 10 British Comedies


British humor isn't exactly everybody's cup of tea, but those who enjoy it would have it no other way. Here's a list of essential English entertainment that could make the queen lose her wig. For my money, it's some of the funniest stuff ever committed to celluloid. We are amused, indeed!

1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

The classic, no questions asked. The Arthurian legends via Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Eric Idle and the rest of the pythons might well be the funniest movie ever made, and if you can't quote long sections of the film by heart, you need to own this. The special edition DVD comes loaded with tons of extra "old rubbish."
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2. Brazil

It depends on your comic sensibilities if you find this distopian fantasy funny or tragic, but there is no doubt in my mind director Terry Gilliam created a masterpiece. The Criterion Collection offers an excellent three-disc set with alternate versions and extras galore.
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3. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Stanley Kubrick's brilliant Cold War satire starring Peter Sellers, George C. Scott and Slim Pickens is getting funnier every time you watch it, and unfortunately, the biting social commentary isn't nearly as outdated as one might think.
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4. Trainspotting

So what if the dive into the toilet is lifted straight out of "Gravity's Rainbow"? This wicked junkies' tale, based on the novel by Irving Welsh, is hip, mean, and harrowing.
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5. A Shot in the Dark

The best of the "Pink Panther" series, this film reduces me to a giggling heap of hilarity every time. Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau is in top form.
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6. The Incredible Adventures of Wallace & Gromit

If you thought "Chicken Run" was good, you owe it to yourself to check out Nick Park's extraordinarily well crafted claymation shorts, featuring a cheese-loving Brit, his cunning dog, and all kinds of whacky contraptions. Make sure to get the DVD that combines all three shorts on one disc.
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7. Withnail and I

For the bitter at heart, Richard E. Grant as Withnail is a true hero. The adventures of the two protagonists, penniless artists in 60s London, are a cult classic for Brits and those who wish they were.
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8. A Fish Called Wanda

Kevin Kline, John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Michael Palin are part of the ensemble cast that makes this crime comedy a classic.
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9. Shallow Grave

All right, so you have to be English to find this dark thriller actually funny, but after the third viewing, I began to relax, stop worrying about the dismembered corpses, and laugh.
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10. Monty Python's Life of Brian

I tried hard to restrict myself to only one Python title on this list, but there's no way around it: "Life of Brian" is one of the most irreverent and hilarious movies ever made. Criterion has a special edition with loads of extra features.
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