Christopher Guest movies: 10 greatest films ranked from worst to best

Here’s a fun fact: Thanks to his lineage, writer/director/actor Christopher Guest has an inherited royal title — the 5th Baron Haden-Guest — and for three years was an active member of the British House of Lords. In his spare time, however, Baron Haden-Guest makes delightfully silly movies that make audiences around the globe very happy.

Guest largely worked as an actor in the 1970s, with stage and TV appearances mixed with occasional side gigs with the satirists The National Lampoon. His breakthrough role came in 1984 as lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel in Rob Reiner‘s classic comedy “This Is Spinal Tap,” whose improvisational style proved to be an enormous influence when Guest began directing films five years later. That technique came to full fruition in his second directorial effort, 1996’s “Waiting For Guffman,” where he gathered together a group of great comic actors (including such stalwarts as Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Fred Willard and Michael McKean) who formed a loose repertory company that blossomed over the course of Guest’s films. The formula was the same in each — take an unusual setting (a dog show or a small-town pageant, for example), block out a loose story and order of scenes, and let his actors improvise their dialogue.

The resulting four films — “Guffman,” “Best in Show” (2000), “A Mighty Wind” (2003) and “For Your Consideration” (2006) — proved to be utterly unconventional and, at times, absolutely brilliant, and will likely live on in film comedy history for decades to come. So let’s raise a glass to the Baron Haden-Guest (and his Oscar-nominated wife Jamie Lee Curtis) and honor him by ranking his 10 best films (acting and/or directing) from worst to best.