Bill Murray top 10



Rarely has a blockbuster provided so many quotable lines, and rarely has a depiction of physical and mental torment (as per the ESP Experiment scene) been so sadistically uproarious.

Nearly 25 years on from it’s release a re-watch suggests that whilst nothing dates quite as badly as ‘state-of-the-art special effects’, the film’s riffs on bureaucratic incompetence, the supernatural and public panic edge it into the territory of classic status.

As parapsychologist Peter Venkman, Murray shines amongst an ensemble cast and delivers a deadpan masterclass by way of defenestrating lawyers, warding off evil spirits, and romancing Sigourney Weaver – what a way to earn a living.

3. The Royal Tenenbaums Murray’s role here is relatively peripheral, however the film makes our list by simple virtue of being one of the finest movies ever committed to celluloid. Had he been twenty years older he might well have been cast as the lead; eponymous family patriarch, Royal Tenenbaum – though this is no loss as, in his stead, Gene Hackman gives one of the performances of his life.

Alan Wilson

You're not wrong there. Brilliant film and great soundtrack.

Murray nonetheless shines, appearing as a child psychologist coming to terms with the breakdown of his marriage (Murray’s wife is played by Gwyneth Paltrow. What kind of person spurns Bill Murray? The kind of person that marries Chris Martin, of course. This, kids, is how you do meta).

The picture is a carnival of the most glorious entertainment, and yet somehow the film is almost stolen by Murray in his final scene as he casually dismisses any hope for the recovery of his long-term patient; it’s a singular moment of comedy that perfectly captures his genius.

2. Groundhog Day It’s always worth taking a moment to acknowledge just how ubiquitous a part Groundhog Day plays in the common consciousness. It’s not only become embedded in our pop culture, but in the English language itself.

Just as the term ‘Big Brother’ is casually referenced by those unfamiliar with the work of Orwell, so ‘Groundhog Day’ has become universally understood shorthand for that peculiar, seemingly identical repetition of daily events, even amongst people who couldn’t pick Bill Murray out of a line-up of shimmering Deities.

And this is no coincidence. The reason for the film’s popularity lies in its multiple layers, the sheer depth of its content. A cliche perhaps, but it really is a movie with something for everyone:

1) The Set-Up. Portraying TV weatherman Phil Connors, we find Murray’s urban cynicism pitted against folksy, small-town charm. 2) The Tone. Gags that might have been lifted from the pages a Looney Tunes script are supplemented with jokes premised on arcane French Poetry.