Bill Murray top 10



A note also for the raft of excellent jabs at the mentality that exists in the race-to-the-bottom industry defined only by ratings (“I’ve commissioned a survey” the CEO tells Murray, “regarding the increasing evidence that dogs and cats watch television”). It might not be for everyone, but it’s an annual staple in this household. Christmas is coming, you should give it a whirl!

6 What About Bob? What About Bob? has our man playing Bob Wylie, a divorced, neurotic but decent type who seeks help from an egotistical therapist (Richard Dreyfuss).

What transpires is a silly, dark and slightly absurdist comedy (“I sail now! Is this a breakthrough?!”) which - and I’ve never been able to confirm the homophonic intention - has the protagonists adopting a Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote type relationship, with Murray persistently outsmarting his rival to the point of murderous intent.

An addendum: earlier we spoke of Quick Change playing host to the movies’ greatest public transport gag - here, we find the greatest cinematic reason for getting a marriage annulled; the crime of liking Neil Diamond. The brilliance of this scene alone secures the film’s place in the Top 10.

(If you’re a Neil Diamond fan and you’re aggrieved by this characterisation then I’m more than happy to debate the point with you on The Forum For The Rational And Friendly Exchange Of Ideas, otherwise known as Twitter)

5 Rushmore Murray stars here as wealthy industrialist Herman Blume, whose friendship with child prodigy Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) is threatened by their mutual love for a school teacher.

The film is primarily Max’s coming-of-age story, and a quite lovely one at that; Max embracing life with energy and heart, but not having yet developed the capacity to know what to do when things don’t go to plan - an excellent and deft depiction of the teenage experience.

The film properly takes off however in the scenes shared by Max and Herman; these become an increasingly elaborate series of parries and thrusts whereby each recognises the other’s talents and uses it to drive their petty one-upmanship to the next level (equally - as per below - the scenes in which the two combine to mock their perceived inferiors is a thing of guilty and childish magnificence).

It’s an off-kilter and visual treat, which, in the end, offers us a simple but useful learning. Herman Blume: What's the secret, Max? Max Fischer: The secret? Herman Blume: Yeah, you seem to have it pretty figured out. Max Fischer: The secret, I don't know... I guess you've just gotta find something you love to do and then... do it for the rest of your life. Amen to that.

4 Ghostbusters The youngsters among you might not know this, but long before it became synonymous with controversy (Hollywood having had the temerity to cast four women in lead roles for a movie that wasn’t Sex And The City), Ghostbusters was the comedy hit of the 1980’s and a springboard for Bill Murray’s ascent into the upper eschelons of stardom.