Very Funny Movies That Have Very Little Dialogue

Talking is overrated
Very Funny Movies That Have Very Little Dialogue

The spoken word is obviously pretty important to most comedies made in the past hundred years, hence the reason why the Friends gang rarely sat around in awkward silence, and Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First” routine wasn’t just two guys angrily gesturing at a baseball diamond for 10 minutes. 

But in the early days of cinema, silence was all comedians had. Still we got some of the greatest comedies of all-time, such as Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times, which is best remembered for the moment when Chaplin is forced through the gears of a giant machine, but not so much the scene where he mistakes cocaine for salt and goes full Scarface.

Even though technology in the post-Jazz Singer era allows actors to say stuff on camera, as the newly-released, Oscar-nominated animated feature Robot Dreams reminds us, some great movies don’t need a ton of dialogue to make us laugh.

So here are some great modern comedies that are largely chatter-free, such as…

Sidewalk Stories

Charles Lane wrote, directed and starred in 1989’s Sidewalk Stories about a street artist who is forced to look after a toddler. It’s a loving throwback to early silent film comedies, but also feels very modern and realistic. Shot on location in New York in black and white, this is a hidden gem worth tracking down. 

A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

Aardman’s 2019 entry in the Shaun the Sheep franchise is a wildly enjoyable, visually inventive, mostly wordless family comedy involving farm animals and a lost alien child. A truly funny family comedy that won’t make parents resent their children and/or life itself. 

Silent Movie

Mel Brooks’ underrated tribute to silent comedies, which frustratingly isn’t available on any streaming service, is a fun experiment featuring a cast of Brooks regulars. While it may never rise to the heights of the movies it’s paying homage to, Silent Movie is worth it alone for one brilliant meta joke: the only spoken word in the entire movie is uttered by legendary mime Marcel Marceau.

‘The Triplets of Belleville’ and ‘The Illusionist’

French director Sylvain Chomet made a few notably unloquacious animated movies, including the Oscar-nominated fever dream musical The Triplets of Belleville.

And also The Illusionist, which was adapted from an unproduced screenplay by Jacques Tati, the French director and performer who carried on the tradition of silent film comedy in classics like Playtime and Mon Oncle, which featured his Monsieur Hulot character.


Another robot-based movie that’s mostly free of unnecessary yammering is Pixar’s 2008 masterpiece Wall-E. The whole first act of the movie is basically a silent film comedy but with a Short Circuit-esque robot in a garbage-filled post apocalyptic Earth.

Just don’t watch it on an iPad while sitting in a BarcaLounger or you may end up feeling really bad about yourself.

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