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100 Essential Silent Film Comedies

James Roots

Hardback
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.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 298Size: 7 x 10
978-1-4422-7824-0 • Hardback • May 2017 • $48.00 • (£32.95)
978-1-4422-7825-7 • eBook • May 2017 • $47.99 • (£32.95) (coming soon)
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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