"Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy"
Release date: July 4, 2004; Director: Adam McKay; Cast: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd; U.S. box office gross: $85.3 million
At the peak of his popularity, DreamWorks gave Ferrell the keys to the kingdom—and all the money he needed to craft a pure vision of unchecked machismo. The result is “Anchorman,” the definitive in-your-face Ferrell taste test, the movie that instantly separates the fans from the pretenders. As Ron Burgundy, Ferrell is cocky, condescending, misogynistic and indifferent to the facts. If he says it, it’s true; even when he translates San Diego as “whale’s vagina.” He’s surrounded by a band of like-minded misfits, as likely to break into a spontaneous a cappella rendition of “Afternoon Delight” as they are to engage in street fights with rival news teams. The movie’s story is non-existent—it’s just a bunch of abrasive comedy sketches, fueled by testosterone and littered with one-liners. So how come dumb movies are rarely this good? —SJS