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Golden Globe Best Picture Comedy/Musical winners from worst to first

  • Golden Globe Best Picture Comedy/Musical winners from worst to first

    The Golden Globes function as a warm-up to the awards season, providing a sense of the films that may garner the most attention. The awards ceremony is also a bit of a bellwether for the Oscars, as Golden Globe nominees and winners are announced ahead of Academy Awards (widely considered a bit more buttoned-up and prestigious than the Golden Globes).

    Golden Globe Awards are chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association with its 90 or so members of primarily critics and journalists, while the Academy Awards are decided by some 8,000 industry pros serving as members of the Academy. And while the Oscars have just one Best Picture category, the Golden Globes break the Best Picture award into two categories: Best Motion Picture Drama and Musical or Comedy. This distinction, established in 1951 “so that no genre would be slighted,”  allows films with lighter, less serious subjects to gain serious recognition.

    Musicals and comedies have won Best Picture Oscars to be sure, most notably during the 1960s, but since that era there have been very few Best Picture Oscar winners in these categories aside from “Annie Hall,” and “Shakespeare in Love”—both romances that skew as much toward drama as they do toward comedy. As for musicals, “Chicago” won in 2003 and “The Artist” did in 2011; both films also won the Golden Globe Best Picture Musical or Comedy.

    Since musicals and comedies are far less likely to win awards, this Best Picture Golden Globe offers key insight into notable movies that received critical attention when they might have otherwise been overlooked.

    Stacker compiled a list of all winners of the Golden Globe Award for "Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy" over the years and ranked them from lowest to highest based on their IMDb user ratings, #1 being the highest rated. There was no award given for movies made in 1953, although the classic “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” came out that year. The reason for no award that year? That remains “an unsolved mystery.” In 1959 through 1963 the Golden Globes presented an award to a single film in each of the two categories and returned to a combined award in 1964. We’ve ranked the comedy winners for those years.

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  • #67. A Star Is Born (1976)

    - Director: Frank Pierson
    - IMDb user rating: 6.2
    - Votes: 9,045
    - Metascore: 59
    - Runtime: 139 min

    The Barbra Streisand remake of “A Star is Born” is regarded as the worst of the four film versions which include Janet Gaynor’s in 1937, Judy Garland’s in 1954, and Lady Gaga’s in 2018. Each was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar except for Streisand. However, her hit “Evergreen” from the 1976 movie did take the Academy Award for Best Original Song. While the 1976 film was snubbed by the Academy in Best Picture and acting categories, it swept the 1977 Golden Globes in the Musical or Comedy category with Streisand taking Best Actress, and co-star Kris Kristofferson taking Best Actor. Notably, the 2018 “A Star is Born” received a Golden Globes Best Picture nomination in the Drama category rather than Musical or Comedy.

  • #66. Green Card (1990)

    - Director: Peter Weir
    - IMDb user rating: 6.2
    - Votes: 21,388
    - Metascore: 58
    - Runtime: 103 min

    Gérard Depardieu won the Best Actor Golden Globe in the Musical or Comedy category for his turn as brutish Frenchman who marries to get a green card. Andie MacDowell plays the woman who marries him so she can impress a co-op board. “Green Card” was nominated alongside “Ghost,” “Home Alone,” and “Pretty Woman”—films that have shown considerably more cultural staying power nearly 30 years later. “Green Card” has some of director Peter Weir’s stylistic signatures, but it’s central class conflict, Depardieu’s oafish former criminal clashing with MacDowell’s uptight botanist, may rub viewers the wrong way.

  • #65. Evita (1996)

    - Director: Alan Parker
    - IMDb user rating: 6.3
    - Votes: 32,604
    - Metascore: 45
    - Runtime: 135 min

    Madonna won the Best Actress Musical or Comedy Golden Globe for her turn as the title character, Evita. Notably, she was up against Frances McDormand for “Fargo” (in this same category) who ended up with the Best Actress Oscar that year. “Evita” was notorious for casting a pop star in the lead. Madonna wasn’t esteemed as an actress due to critically panned performances in “Shanghai Surprise” and “Body of Evidence.” In “Evita” her performance was passable with Roger Ebert saying it had a “certain opaque quality,” while critic Owen Gleiberman at E.W. called Madonna’s singing beautiful, but wrote that “her face is fixed, almost tranquilized—a porcelain mask.”

  • #64. Tom Jones (1963)

    - Director: Tony Richardson
    - IMDb user rating: 6.5
    - Votes: 10,722
    - Metascore: 77
    - Runtime: 129 min

    “Tom Jones” won the Best Picture Oscar in addition to its Golden Globe win. Leading man Albert Finney won a special Golden Globe for “New Star of the Year.” “Tom Jones” adapts a 1749 Henry Fielding novel and presents British society with bawdy, comedic presentations of sex—including one ribald scene where Jones and one of his many female lovers gnaw at their dinner with risqué gusto.

  • #63. Yentl (1983)

    - Director: Barbra Streisand
    - IMDb user rating: 6.5
    - Votes: 11,709
    - Metascore: data not available
    - Runtime: 133 min

    This musical was Barbra Streisand’s directorial debut. She also stars playing a teenager who disguises herself as a 17-year-old boy in order to study in the early 1900s when women weren’t allowed. Streisand was in her early 40s at the time, and her well-known persona as a powerhouse singer and movie star makes the gender-bending antics more improbable than the age gap between herself and the character.

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  • #62. Dreamgirls (2006)

    - Director: Bill Condon
    - IMDb user rating: 6.5
    - Votes: 65,456
    - Metascore: 76
    - Runtime: 130 min

    Jennifer Hudson’s star-making performance in the film adaptation of the Broadway hit “Dreamgirls” was a standout in a film cast with superstars Beyoncé Knowles, Jamie Foxx, and Eddie Murphy. Both Murphy and Hudson won Golden Globes for their Supporting Performances, and Hudson would win the Oscar, as well. “Dreamgirls” was praised for featuring a predominantly black cast in positive roles.

  • #61. Les Girls (1957)

    - Director: George Cukor
    - IMDb user rating: 6.6
    - Votes: 2,329
    - Metascore: data not available
    - Runtime: 114 min

    Gene Kelly stars in this glitzy MGM musical with sweeping set pieces and opulent costumes as the backdrop for the popular song and dance man as women vie for his heart. The spectacle becomes glaringly off-key in a contemporary light. In the titular number, “Les Girls,” Kelly dances around different “international” women including white women costumed in blackface and “yellowface” to indicate African and Asian ethnicity.

  • #60. That Touch of Mink (1962)

    - Director: Delbert Mann
    - IMDb user rating: 6.7
    - Votes: 7,999
    - Metascore: data not available
    - Runtime: 99 min

    This romantic comedy was the only film that paired major matinee stars Doris Day and Cary Grant together. Day stars in her familiar typecast role, as a goody-two-shoes trying to bait a dashing ladies man into proposing marriage. He eventually succumbs, restoring social order around gender roles.

  • #59. Prizzi's Honor (1985)

    - Director: John Huston
    - IMDb user rating: 6.7
    - Votes: 21,520
    - Metascore: 84
    - Runtime: 130 min

    “Prizzi’s Honor” cast Jack Nicholson as a mobster who leaves his longtime girlfriend (played Anjelica Huston) for another criminal (Kathleen Turner). Huston’s father, John Huston, directed, and she was Nicholson’s girlfriend in real life at the time. Like the couple in the film, Nicholson left her for another woman before the film premiered. Huston spoke of their break-up in an interview with Vulture where she details the blowback for winning Best Supporting Actress for “Prizzi’s Honor,” beating Oprah Winfrey in “The Color Purple.”

  • #58. Babe (1995)

    - Director: Chris Noonan
    - IMDb user rating: 6.7
    - Votes: 111,088
    - Metascore: 83
    - Runtime: 91 min

    “Babe,” the live action kids’ film with CGI effects that create talking animals impressed audiences with its technical feats matched by a surprisingly sweet story. James Cromwell gave an acclaimed performance as a curmudgeon with a heart of gold who interacts with the pig, Babe, and other critters. Notably, “Babe” was nominated alongside “Toy Story,” a film that would go on to launch a booming franchise.

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