10 Best English Comedy Movies

Monday, January 24 by Lee Grayson

The ten best English comedy movies require a viewer who understands the difference between the American and British sense of humor. British humor may be more subtle, but it can also involve crude slapstick format. The ten best comedy movies made in England, in no particular order, include: 

  1. "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." While Python fans might want to see all of the group's films on a ten best list, this movie, released in 1975, hits the ten best English comedy movies list. The English comedians dress the part to take viewers on a tongue-and-cheek Crusade in search for the holy grail. 
  2. "Brazil." This odd comedy released in 1985 features the talents of Terry Gilliam as director and the acting of Jonathan Pryce and Kim Greist. For everyone who thought government bureaucracy couldn't get much worse, "Brazil" illustrates that it certainly can. The main character sets out to correct a small government error and activates the wheels of personal disaster. 
  3. "The Full Monty." This film was a hit in 1997 for screenwriter Simon Beaufoy and director Peter Cattaneo. The plot of this movie follows the employment search of a group of unemployed steel workers. Spoiler alert: The job they come up with has nothing to do with steel manufacturing, but instead involves something on the order of a striptease. 
  4. "Billy Elliot." Released in 2000, "Billy Elliot" explores a father's embarrassment of his son's interest in dancing. In an era when male dancers were viewed as sissies, the father, played by Gary Lewis, has a difficult time accepting his son's life interest. The son is played by actor Jamie Bell.
  5. "Bridget Jones Diary." Released in 2001, the first film in the "Bridge Jones Diary" duo introduced the film version of the extremely popular fictional character of book fame. Bridget's love life is the focus of this film and her heartbreak, although very real to her, is the subject of public amusement. The film comedy was so funny that a sequel was filmed in 2004.
  6. "Local Hero." As a 1983 release, this film follows the exploits of people intent on spoiling the natural environment of a small town in Scotland. Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert and Fulton Mackay take the title roles. 
  7. "Alfie." The first "Alfie" was released in 1966 with a cast that included Michael Caine, Shelley Winters and Millicent Martin. Alfie has a wandering eye and a taste for the ladies, and the film traces the wide swath of loving of the main character. The film was so successful that it was remade in 2004.
  8. "Educating Rita." This film was released in 1983 and stars Michael Caine and Julie Waiters in a story about a woman who returns to school to earn her degree. Caine plays a tutor she hires to assist her in the preparation necessary in taking her final preparatory exams. In addition to light comic moments, the film explores the more serious side of the characters. 
  9. "Lucky Jim." An early entry for the ten best English comedy movies, this 1957 film release brings to the big screen the novel written by British author Kingsley Amis in 1954. The film follows the life of the main character, a college professor, and his trials at a major English university. 
  10. "Monty Python's Life of Brian." Hot on the success of the comedy team's film searching for the grail, the troop sets out again in 1979 in a spoof of Christianity. This was directed by Terry Jones and features the members of Monty Python. 

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