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John Howard Reid

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Publisher:  Lulu ISBN-10:  1430314877 Type: 


Copyright:  June 22, 2007 ISBN-13:  9781430314875

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Classic Films and Vintage Movies

200 classic movie comedies are discussed and reviewed (with full cast and credit details) in this must-have book that will delight every vintage film fan. If you’ve never heard of Abbott and Costello, The 3 Stooges, or Laurel and Hardy, this is not the book for you. On the other hand, if you’re a fan of classic Hollywood comedies, this book will not only evoke lively memories of TV laugh-makers of the 1970s and 1980s, but even (if you are old enough to remember such things) of Saturday movie matinees when Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake and many other solo clowns like Harold Lloyd, Red Skelton, Joe E. Brown, Charles Chaplin, Clifton Webb and W.C. Fields convulsed audiences with their antics. I also fondly remember comedy teams like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey, Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Some of their funniest movies are all featured in this book too. My favorite comedy? It’s the one on the cover: Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, seen with Joan Davis, in "Hold That Ghost".
A great book – and a great guide to some of the great vintage comedies you can now buy on DVD!

Rather than write a description myself, I'll leave it to Ross Adams, the editor of "Dress Circle: the Movie Enthusiasts' Magazine."

I fully endorse everything the reviewer says in his professional comments below. I particularly like his comment that my book "provides the movie enthusiast with a wealth of information that cannot be found in any other publication."

This was my aim!

A Few of This Book's Comedians & Their  Fully Detailed Films

Bud Abbott & Lou Costello: Abbott & Costello Lost in Alaska, Abbott & Costello Meet Captain Kidd, Abbott & Costello Meet the Mummy, Africa Screams, Buck Privates, Hold That Ghost, Time of Their Lives

Eddie Albert: Dude Goes West

Gracie Allen: Gracie Allen Murder Case

Arthur Askey: Bees in Paradise, I Thank You

Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers: Flying Down to Rio, Follow the Fleet

Fred Astaire: Funny Face

Florence Bates: Calling All Husbands

Robert Benchley: Why Daddy

Milton Berle: Whispering Ghosts

Joe E. Brown: Bright Lights, Earthworm Tractors, Fit for a King

Virginia Bruce: Careful Soft Shoulder

George Burns & Gracie Allen: Here Comes Cookie

Eddie Cantor: Getting a Ticket, Insurance, Special Delivery

Jack Carson: Always Together, Princess O’Rourke, Romance on the High Seas, So You Want To Be in Pictures

Charles Chaplin: Carmen

Charles Coburn: Captain Is a Lady

Claudette Colbert: The Egg and I, It Happened One Night, Without Reservations

Clyde Cook: Should Sailors Marry, So You Want To Be in Pictures

Bing Crosby: Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Emperor Waltz

Joan Davis: Hold That Ghost

Leon Errol: Lord Epping Returns

Stuart Erwin: Make Me a Star

Sid Field: Cardboard Cavalier

W.C. Fields: International House, It’s a Gift, You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man

Bud Flanagan and Chesney Allen: O-Kay for Sound

Will Fyffe: Said O’Reilly to McNab 

Jean Gillie: Sweet Devil

Joel Grey: Yeomen of the Guard

Jack Haley: Scared Stiff

Gordon Harker: Lucky Number

Will Hay: Good Morning Boys

Audrey Hepburn: Funny Face

Katharine Hepburn: Adam’s Rib, Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story

Stanley Holloway: Another Shore, Jumping for Joy, Meet Mr Lucifer, One Night with You, Titfield Thunderbolt

Sterling Holloway: Girl o’ My Dreams, Lottery Lover

Bob Hope: My Favorite Brunette, The Paleface, Princess and the Pirate

Shemp Howard: Africa Screams, Butch Minds the Baby

Frankie Howerd: Jumping for Joy, Runaway Bus, Trial by Jury

Bobby Howes: Sweet Devil

Claude Hulbert: Bulldog Jack, Cardboard Cavalier,

Jack Hulbert: Bulldog Jack, Camels Are Coming

Jack Hulbert & Cicely Courtneidge: Falling for You, Jack’s the Boy

Roscoe Karns: One Sunday Afternoon

Buster Keaton: The Blacksmith

Cecil Kellaway: Always Together, Mr Chedworth Steps Out

Edgar Kennedy: Bride Wore Crutches, Help Wanted Female, Will Power, Wrong Direction

Kay Kyser: That’s Right You’re Wrong 

Rosemary Lane: Always a Bride

Harry Langdon: Dummy Trouble

Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy: Bullfighters, Flying Deuces, Wrong Again

Harold Lloyd: Bumping into Broadway, Doctor Jack, An Eastern Westerner, Feet First, For Heaven’s Sake, The Freshman, Grandma’s Boy, Haunted Spooks, Hot Water, Kid Brother, Movie Crazy, Never Weaken, Now or Never, Safety Last, Speedy, Why Worry

Will Mahoney: Said O’Reilly to McNab

Marjorie Main: Kettles in the Ozarks

Marjorie Main & Percy Kilbride: The Egg and I

Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis: Scared Stiff

Jessie Matthews: Sailing Along

Adolphe Menjou: Café Metropole

Carmen Miranda: Week-End in Havana 

David Niven: Raffles

Jack Oakie: Looking for Trouble

George O’Hanlon: So You Want To Be a Detective, So You Want To Be in Pictures

Ole Olsen & Chic Johnson: All Over the Town, Hellzapoppin’ 

Dick Powell: Dames

William Powell: High Pressure

Basil Radford & Naunton Wayne: Stop Press Girl

Ginger Rogers: Roxie Hart

Will Rogers: In Old Kentucky

Rosalind Russell: Hired Wife

Margaret Rutherford: Runaway Bus

Ronald Shiner: Keep It Clean, Top of the Form

Alastair Sim: Belles of St Trinian’s

Penny Singleton & Arthur Lake: Blondie Goes Latin, Blondie Has Servant Trouble, Blondie on a Budget, Blondie Plays Cupid

Red Skelton: Yellow Cab Man

Three Stooges: Back to the Woods, Calling All Curs, False Alarms, From Nurse to Worse, Gents Without Cents, Half Shot Shooters, Men in Black, Restless Knights, Sitter Downers, So Long Mr Chumps 

Jacques Tati: Jour de Fete

David Tomlinson: All for Mary, Love in Waiting

Spencer Tracy & Katharine Hepburn: Adam’s Rib, Woman of the Year

Toto: Guardie e Ladri

Tom Walls: Strange Boarders

Tom Walls & Ralph Lynn: Stormy Weather

Clifton Webb: Sitting Pretty

Bert Wheeler & Robert Woolsey: Cockeyed Cavaliers, Half Shot at Sunrise, Hook Line and Sinker

Shelley Winters: Behave Yourself

Norman Wisdom: Just My Luck, Square Peg

Robert Young: And Baby Makes Three



Complete Index of All Films Detailed and Reviewed in This Book:

Abbott & Costello Lost in Alaska 1952
Abbott & Costello Meet Captain Kidd 1952
Abbott & Costello Meet the Mummy 1955
Adam’s Rib 1949
Africa Screams 1949
Alias Bulldog Drummond (see Bulldog Jack)
All For Mary 1956
All Over the Town 1937
Always a Bride 1940
Always Together 1947
And Baby Makes Three 1949
Another Shore 1948

Back to the Woods 1937
Behave Yourself 1951
Bees in Paradise 1944
Belles of St Trinian’s 1954
Blacksmith 1922
Blonde from Brooklyn 1945
Blondie Goes Latin 1941
Blondie Has Servant Trouble 1940
Blondie on a Budget 1940
Blondie Plays Cupid 1940
Brave Tin Soldier 1934
Breakfast in Hollywood 1946
Bride Wore Crutches 1941
Bright Lights 1935
Bringing Up Baby 1938
Buck Privates 1941
Bulldog Jack 1935
Bullfighters 1945
Bumping into Broadway 1919
Butch Minds the Baby 1942

Café Metropole 1937
Calling All Curs 1939
Calling All Husbands 1940
Camels Are Coming 1934
Campus Rhythm 1943
Can’t Help Singing 1944
Captain Is a Lady 1940
Cardboard Cavalier 1949
Careful Soft Shoulder 1942
Carmen 1916
Casa Manana 1951
Charlie Chaplin’s Burlesque of Carmen (see Carmen 1916)
Cockeyed Cavaliers 1934
Conga Swing (see Blondie Goes Latin)
Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court 1949
Cops and Robbers (see Guardie e Ladri)
Cox and Box 1982

Dad and Dave Come To Town 1938
Dad Rudd M.P. 1940
Dames 1934
Daring Young Man 1935
Darling, How Could You? 1951
Designing Woman 1957
Doctor Jack 1922
Don’t Take It To Heart! 1944
Dude Goes West 1948
Dummy Trouble 1940

Earthworm Tractors 1936
Eastern Westerner 1920
Egg and I 1947
Emperor Waltz 1948

Falling for You 1933
False Alarms 1936
Farmer Goes To Town (see Dad and Dave Go To Town)
Feet First 1930
Fit for a King 1937
Flying Deuces 1939
Flying Down To Rio 1933
Follow the Fleet 1936
For Heaven’s Sake 1926
Freshman 1925
From Nurse to Worse 1940
Funny Face 1957
Funny Face (see Bright Lights 1935)

Gents Without Cents 1944
Getting a Ticket 1930
Girl from Calgary 1932
Girl o’ My Dreams 1934
Goldilocks and Three Bears 1939
Gone to the Dogs 1939
Good Morning, Boys 1937
Gracie Allen Murder Case 1939
Grandma’s Boy 1932
Guardie e Ladri 1951

Half Shot at Sunrise 1930
Half Shot Shooters 1936
Haunted Spooks 1920
Hellzapoppin’ 1941
Help Wanted, Female 1931
Here Comes Cookie 1935
High Pressure 1932
Hired Wife 1940
Hold That Ghost 1941
Hook, Line and Sinker 1930
Hot Water 1924

In Old Kentucky 1935
Insurance 1930
International House 1933
In the Meantime, Darling 1944
I Thank You 1941
It Happened One Night 1934
It’s a Gift 1934
It’s Magic (see Romance on the High Seas)

Jack and the Beanstalk 1933
Jack’s the Boy 1932
Jour de Fete 1949
Jumping for Joy {You} 1955
Just My Luck 1957

Keep It Clean 1956
Kettles in the Ozarks 1955
Kid Brother 1927

Looking for Trouble 1934
Lord Epping Returns 1951
Lottery Lover 1935
Love In Waiting 1948
Lucky Number 1933

Mad Hatter (see Breakfast in Hollywood)
Make Me a Star 1932
Matinee Idol 1928
Meet Mr Lucifer 1953
Men in Black 1934
Misbehaving Husbands (see Dummy Trouble)
Mr Chedworth Steps Out 1939
Movie Crazy 1932
My Favorite Brunette 1947

Natural Born Salesman (see Earthworm Tractors)
Never Weaken 1921
Night and Day (see Jack’s the Boy)
Now Or Never 1921

O-Kay for Sound 1937
One Night With You 1948
One Sunday Afternoon 1933
One Sunday Afternoon 1948

Paleface 1948
Philadelphia Story 1940
Pride and Prejudice 1940
Princess and the Pirate 1944
Princess Ida 1982
Princess O’Rourke 1943
Raffles 1917
Raffles 1925
Raffles 1940
Rendezvous (see Darling How Could You)
Restless Knights 1935
Romance on the High Seas 1948
Rookies (see Buck Privates)
Roxie Hart 1942
Rudd Family Goes To Town (see Dad and Dave Go To Town)
Runaway Bus 1954

Said {Sez} O’Reilly To McNab 1937
Sailing Along 1938
Safety Last 1923
Scared Stiff 1945
Scared Stiff 1953
School’s Out 1930
Seven Keys to Baldpate 1917
Seven Keys to Baldpate 1947
She’s Working Her Way Through College 1952
Should Sailors Marry? 1925
Sitter Downers 1937
Sitting Pretty 1948
Slightly Dangerous 1943
Slippery Pearls (see Stolen Jools)
So Long Mr Chumps 1941
Sorcerer 1982
So You Want To Be a Detective 1948
So You Want To Be In Pictures 1947
Special Delivery 1927
Speedy 1928
Square Peg 1958
Stolen Jools 1931
Stop Press Girl 1949
Stormy Weather 1935
Strange Boarders 1938
Strawberry Blonde 1941
Sweet Devil 1938

That Certain Thing 1927
That’s Right, You’re Wrong 1939
Time of Their Lives 1946
Titfield Thunderbolt 1953
Top of the Form 1953
Treasure of Fear (see Scared Stiff)
Trial by Jury 1982

Week-End in Havana 1944
Where There’s a Will (see Good Morning Boys)
Whispering Ghosts 1942
Why, Daddy? 1944
Why Worry? 1923
Will Power 1936
Without Reservations 1946
Woman of the Year 1942
Wrong Again 1929
Wrong Direction 1934

Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (see Connecticut Yankee…)
Yellow Cab Man 1950
Yeomen of the Guard 1982
You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man 1939

Professional Reviews

Dress Circle Magazine, August 2007

John Howard Reid's latest book arrived just in time to be included in this issue. This book, HOLLYWOOD'S CLASSIC COMEDIES, is a treat for movie lovers and collectors. It features slapstick, romance, music, glamour and screwball fun with a massive 200 entries.

Wonderful cover as well with a full color lobby card reproduction of HOLD THAT GHOST. The back cover features a great poster of SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS. This also is full color.

Inside, this fascinating book contains many black & white photos and lobby cards.

The reviews read like a who's who in the field of comedy films. In addition, there's a listing of 100 Must-See Highlights of Movie Comedy, and three pages listing the major comedians featured in the reviews with the titles of their films.

Some of the films covered include Adam's Rib, And Baby Makes Three, Belles of St Trinian's, Bringing Up Baby, Designing Woman, The Egg and I, The Paleface, The Philadelphia Story. Raffles (all three versions), Slightly Dangerous, The Titfield Thunderbold, Woman of the Year, and many, many more to delight the reader. Series films include Abbott and Costello, Bulldog Drummond, Blondie, Charlie Chaplin and Dad Rudd.

As is usual in John Howard Reid's books, the author goes into much detail about the cast, the technicians, and release dates in America, England and Australia. And his own comments are always balanced with the views of other critics.

This must-have book is nicely presented and will provide the movie enthusiast with a wealth of information that cannot be found in any other publication.

Molly Martin writes (August 2010}:

John Howard Reid’'s "Hollywood Classic Comedies" is a true treasure for lovers of old Black and White, and beginning color film spanning the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s.

Some 200 of Hollywood’'s classic comic films are reviewed and rated in a work comprising some 239 pages filled with movie history, photos and reminisce producing format.

From fall down silly slapstick to satirical, from lunacy for the sake of lunacy to more genteel giggles writer Reid has gathered a collection of actors and comedic genus. I cannot imagine how much time or thought or effort must go into the task of winnowing through all the material available from that wonderful period of cinema to come up with a book which is effectively readable, can be held without resorting to using an A frame and is just plain fun to peruse.

Among the featured comedians are included my Daddy’'s favorites Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. My childish laughter was piqued with the antics of Hope and Crosby and the many Road movies.

Abbot & Costello Meet the Mummy, And Baby Makes Three, Bringing Up Baby, a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Designing Woman, the Emperor Waltz, Follow the Fleet, Getting a Ticket, the Gracie Allen Murder Case, Scared Stiff and Woman of the Year are titles I remember well, and remember cackling with glee then, and still laugh without restraint when given opportunity to view today. Ma and Pa Kettle in The Kettle’s in the Ozarks, It Happened One Night, Hold That Ghost, the list goes on!

There are names everyone remembers today: Will Rogers, The Three Stooges, Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields, Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin, Audrey Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and Robert Young.

And some, few other than those who are of my parents generation do: Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Jacques Tati, Sid Field, The Crazy Gang, Jack Hulbert, Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson, Clifton Webb, Ronald Shiner, Cecil Kellaway, Norman Wisdom, Frankie Howard, Toto, Arthur Askey, Marjorie Main, Percy Kilbride, Stanley Holloway, Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake.

Eddie Cantor, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Joe E. Brown, Red Skelton, Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Claudette Colbert, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Joan Davis, were actors continuing through my childhood and into my adult years. My own children do recognize these names.

To keep the book manageable, Reid has devoted his time to a selection of some 200 or so of the Comedies for comprehensive assessment, including a listing of cast and technical credits, awards and release information and a synopsis; that is a wonderful trove for those us who remember so many of these old films and for those who may never have known much of the genre, the time or the actors.

In a sense of fairness, Reid endeavored to present a general flavor of the age of comedies and did not just select his own favorites, or what may have been deemed the best or worst by someone somewhere. Rather, he has chosen a broad spectrum to convey a clear depiction of the genre.

And what a pleasure these are for those who actually knew of these movies back in the day, for those who are just discovering them, as well as for students of social change.

I particularly enjoyed musing over some of the old photos. How my friends and I gathered those! Write to the studio and declare undying adoration of an actor, ask for a photo and VOILA in the mail came the picture to be stapled to the bedroom wall.

Cover of the book features an Abbott and Costello show card at the front and a view of Lana Turner at her sultry best on the back.

Reid’'s reviews of the various films bring back happy memories of movies almost forgotten, or stirred an interest to hunt down one I may have missed as a child.

An alphabetical listing of many of comedians as well as some of their titles, an index and listing of 100 of some the all time comedic favorites of the era, round out the book.

John Howard Reid’'s Hollywood Classic Comedies is a delight for those of our older generations, as well as for those of us who were children during the 1950s or 60s and TV was just coming of age. Many of these wonderful cinematic offerings were featured fare for long hot afternoons spent in the house, sitting in the cool of a swamp cooler and watching that new entertainment feature, the television set.

These were the movies our parents saw at the theater and we kids howled with laughter over during the long hot summer days as we sat in front of small black and white TVs and gazed at these wonderful old films.

If we are lucky today, we can find old Hollywood Comedies being shown on late at night TV, or find them released as inexpensive offerings in a bin at the local big box store.

They are as side splitting hysterical today as they were way back then.

I do not keep all books I receive for review, this is one I will adding to my book shelf and will be poring over frequently!

Roy Salmons in International Movie Making:

This is the latest book in John Howard Reid's "Hollywood Classics" series. There are dozens of volumes in this series, available from your nearest bookshop or from Amazon. Why not try this one today? If you have an interest in classic movies, you'll certainly be back for more!

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Reader Reviews for "Hollywood's Classic Comedies: Slapstick, Romance, Music, Glamour, Screwball"

Reviewed by John Howard Reid 7/14/2011
The NOOK Book and some other ebook editions have a different COVER picture (of Mr and Mrs Bob Hope, actually), but it's the same book inside!

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