Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Subscribe To Empire Today
Save money and get 12 issues for only £25
Feature
16 Of Cinema’s Greatest Slapstick Moments
From the pie to the face to the kick to the crotch

submit to reddit

Sometimes dismissed as a lesser form of comedy, slapstick is actually one of the hardest comic mediums to nail, requiring great timing, physical prowess and a good connection with your co-stars to get even the tiniest chortle from the audience. The Farrelly Brothers’ Three Stooges reboot might not give the genre the kickstart it deserves, but it did get us thinking about the high points in slapstick history. Watch and marvel at the sheer insanity of some of these hijinks – and start petitioning your nearest studio to bring them back.

WORDS ALASTAIR PLUMB
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...
  1 of 16 Next

The Cyclone Hilarity

Performer: Buster Keaton
As seen in: Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928)
Watch the full movie here

No stuntmen. No special effects. This is the real Buster Keaton being blown along in a hospital bed, narrowing avoiding death-by-falling-house-front and leaning Michael Jackson-style into the wind. The king of physical comedy, Keaton was an unparalleled original and truly one of the greatest actor/director/writers in the history of cinema. Orson Welles even called his 1936 masterpiece, The General, “the greatest comedy ever made, the greatest Civil War film ever made, and perhaps the greatest film ever made” – something you can safely say is the exact opposite of faint praise.
 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...
 
1 of 16
Next

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

Your Comments

1 It's hard to hit an Emperor
Best known for his verbal humour, Woody Allen was not above hitting his female lead over the head with a wine bottle. Frequently. Not much of a fan this sort of stuff but the schtick between Boris the famous coward, cousin Sonja and Napoleon in Love and Death had me howling. More

Posted by Gort Junior on Saturday August 25, 2012, 15:20

2 Greatest
I realise that any list is subjective, wo I can for give one glaring omission but two? Not just any two probably the absolute best two. 1) Harold Lloyd - Safety Last - Clock 2) Buster Keaton - Steamboat Bill Jnr - Building. Up your game More

Posted by stevee on Friday August 24, 2012, 21:07

3 RE: 16 great moments, but the greatest
Sorry but best pie fight is in the Great Race! Hey Professor!!! Sad that Weekend at Bernie's didn't make the list :( Also, if we're going to mention TV series suggest Bottom? More

Posted by DanTDavies on Friday August 24, 2012, 18:20

4 16 great moments, but the greatest
Laurel & Hardy Trying to deliver a piano, (they have attempted to do this in several films each one a gem so take your pick), Lee Evans- crutches scene from something about Mary, mous trap scene with Nathan Lane Jeff Daniels- Dumb and Dumber- Diarrhea scene, licking the ice off the ski lift, etc Silent Movies stars Harold Loyd, fatty Arbunkle, keystone cops, list goes on. The one I really disagree with is the rake scene from the Simpsons. Cartoons should not be included, but as they are surley Tom & Jerry should be included before the Sideshow Bob. More

Posted by cornflake180 on Friday August 24, 2012, 14:07

5 The John Goodman/Nic Cage fight...
...from Raising Arizona always had me in stitches. More

Posted by loafroaster on Friday August 24, 2012, 13:47

6 Nice to see Bean
I always thought that the first Bean film is incredibly under-rated, so was very happy to see a scene from the first film mentioned in this list (the second film I agree is awful). More

Posted by TPM007 on Friday August 24, 2012, 12:28

7 WC Fields
Anyone seen the Honest John scene from Six of a Kind? I've shown it to young and old and they've all found it hilarious. More

Posted by parkerd1968 on Thursday August 23, 2012, 23:46

8 chose the wrong Jim Carrey Moment
The restaurant kung fu fight in Dumb and Dumber is better More

Posted by Notmyrealusername on Thursday August 23, 2012, 14:37

9 Might I suggest...The Plank?
The original 1967 version of "The Plank" was a film rather than a TV short and I thought it was fairly well known as a more recent silent movie. Eric Sykes and Tommy Cooper star. Jimmy Edwards, Roy Castle, Graham Stark, Stratford Johns, Jim Dale, Jimmy Tarbuck and Hattie Jacques all feature in minor roles. More

Posted by simonburgess on Thursday August 23, 2012, 13:10

10 No Love for Jackie Chan??
Jackie Chan has had plenty of slapstick moments. The bicycle chase from Project A in partcicular is an homage to the silent comedy greats. More

Posted by JonnyFave on Thursday August 23, 2012, 11:24

11 RE: RE:
L: Evil_Bob Am I the only one who thought that the reason Hedley Lamarr retreated into the toilet was so that he could rub the cream on his face and escape in disguise? o, you're absolutely right. More

Posted by Osric on Thursday August 23, 2012, 09:17

12
The "make 'em laugh" bit from Singin' in the Rain deserves a mention. Well I would call it slapstick anyway! More

Posted by iamatractorboy on Wednesday August 22, 2012, 22:47

13 RE: 16 Of Cinema’s Greatest Slapstick Moments
I guess it shows the paucity of modern examples when the only funny one in the last two decades is a cheat by using a TV show  More

Posted by elab49 on Wednesday August 22, 2012, 19:16

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Hateful Eight - The Story So Far
We delve into the short but tangled history of Quentin Tarantino’s latest

Gallery: Unseen Star Wars Poster Concept Artwork
JW Rinzler takes us through a history of the franchise in jaw-dropping art

The Future Of Film: Lasers Will Save 3D (If Your Cinema Is Big Enough)
Big will be beautiful in the brave new world of frickin' laser beam projection

The Bond Girls Who Made It Big
The actresses who overcame the curse of 007 to forge successful careers

The Future Of Film: A Woman Will Direct Star Wars
No longer a men’s club, Hollywood is going to start opening its doors...

The Empire Podcast #130: Interviews With Rosamund Pike, Lee Child And Antoine Fuqua
The Gone Girl star, Jack Reacher author and The Equalizer director pop in for a chat

The 50 Greatest Voice Performances In Movies
Who has the most talented tonsils in town?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)