Too Funny for Words
6%
off

Too Funny for Words : A Contrarian History of American Screen Comedy from Silent Slapstick to Screwball

4.75 (4 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 7-12 business days.


Not ordering to the United States? Click here.

Description

American silent film comedies were dominated by sight gags, stunts and comic violence. With the advent of sound, comedies in the 1930s were a riot of runaway heiresses and fast-talking screwballs. It was more than a technological pivot-the first feature-length sound film, The Jazz Singer (1927), changed Hollywood. Lost in the discussion of that transition is the overlap between the two genres. Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd kept slapstick alive well into the sound era. Screwball directors like Leo McCarey, Frank Capra and Ernst Lubitsch got their starts in silent comedy. From Chaplin's tramp to the witty repartee of His Girl Friday (1940), this book chronicles the rise of silent comedy and its evolution into screwball-two flavors of the same genre-through the works of Mack Sennett, Roscoe Arbuckle, Harry Langdon and others.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 247 pages
  • 178 x 254 x 13mm | 476.27g
  • Jefferson, NC, United States
  • English
  • 1476678561
  • 9781476678566

Flap copy

American silent film comedies were dominated by sight gags, stunts and comic violence. With the advent of sound, comedies in the 1930s were a riot of runaway heiresses and fast-talking screwballs. It was more than a technological pivot--the first feature-length sound film, The Jazz Singer (1927), changed Hollywood.

Lost in the discussion of that transition is the overlap between the two genres. Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd kept slapstick alive well into the sound era. Screwball directors like Leo McCarey, Frank Capra and Ernst Lubitsch got their starts in silent comedy.

From Chaplin's tramp to the witty repartee of His Girl Friday (1940), this book chronicles the rise of silent comedy and its evolution into screwball--two flavors of the same genre--through the works of Mack Sennett, Roscoe Arbuckle, Harry Langdon and others.
show more

Review quote

"In this spirited discussion, Kalat examines the transition from silent slapstick comedies to the screwball comedies of the sound era. ... The book opens with an overview of the history of silent comedy with nearly as many laughs as some of the films it surveys. ... Kalat's knowledgeable and conversational style makes the work accessible to all readers not just the cineastes among us. Film fans, students, and researchers will applaud this lively and impassioned look at a turning point in American film history."--Booklist
show more

About David Kalat

David Kalat is a film historian and a forensic technologist. He has contributed audio commentaries to the home video editions of numerous classic movies, written extensively for Turner Classic Movies and other publications. He lives in La Grange Park, Illinois.
show more

Rating details

4 ratings
4.75 out of 5 stars
5 75% (3)
4 25% (1)
3 0% (0)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X