100 Essential Silent Film Comedies by James Roots100 Essential Silent Film Comedies by James Roots

100 Essential Silent Film Comedies

byJames Roots

Hardcover | May 11, 2017

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From the moment films were first produced, comedy has been a key feature of cinema. From just before the turn of the twentieth century until the early 1930s, audiences celebrated the brilliant humor of cinematic clowns who left their marks forever. We still remember-and laugh at-the hilarious antics of Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and many others.In 100 Essential Silent Film Comedies James Roots identifies the major comedic motion pictures produced in the first few decades of the twentieth century. With a lucid and lively style, Roots takes a look at more than 400 silent comedies and narrows the list to 100 that viewers should consider. Each entry includes cast and crew information, a synopsis, critical evaluation, and additional commentary-all to demonstrate why that particular film is essential viewing. The films range from 70 seconds to full-length features and even include some of the earliest produced films, starting in 1894. In addition to citing Hollywood's finest, the book profiles comedies from around the world, including selections from the United Kingdom, France, Japan and Russia.More than seventy silent comedians from Charlie Chaplin to Max Linder are represented in these selections, and the book celebrates such established classics as The General and Safety Last-as well as relatively obscure one-reelers. Including information about DVD availability, 100 Essential Silent Film Comedies is an invaluable resource that provides both scholars and general film fans a list of entertaining films to explore.
James Roots is Executive Director of the Canadian Association of the Deaf. A book reviewer for more than twenty years, he has written frequently on silent film, especially comedy. He is the author of The 100 Greatest Silent Film Comedians (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014).
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Title:100 Essential Silent Film ComediesFormat:HardcoverDimensions:298 pages, 10.33 × 7.26 × 0.82 inPublished:May 11, 2017Publisher:Rowman & Littlefield PublishersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1442278242

ISBN - 13:9781442278240

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Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Roots follows his 100 Greatest Silent Film Comedians with this sequel treating the comedies themselves. The author remarks that some films made him laugh out loud (not just smile-a film must pass what he calls the 'laugh test'), and most such productions are discussed. Films covered are of various styles and lengths, and entries list the director(s), writer(s), cast, running time, and availability (distribution company and format-VHS or DVD), and each includes a synopsis, a commentary, and bonus trivia information. Little-known and major silent-film actors are discussed, e.g., Brit Stan Laurel and American Oliver Hardy, heavy Roscoe Arbuckle and his petite partner Mabel Normand, Buster Keaton, John Barrymore, Edna Purviance, and many others. One name familiar to many is Charlie Chapman, who is discussed for his contributions as actor, writer, and director. Background information is invariably insightful and interesting. For instance, Laurel and Hardy's famous lengthy pie scene in Battle of the Century (1927) required the destruction of 3,000 pies; Rudolph Valentino's casting as a decidedly against-type all-American boy in All Night is treated with humor and insight. Roots's love for the silent-film genre is definitely evident in this well-researched, appealing book.Summing Up: Recommended. All readership levels.