The Art of the Screwball Comedy

Madcap Entertainment from the 1930s to Today


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SKU: 9780786467815 Categories: ,

About the Book

Part One of this entertaining exploration of screwball comedies and their later offspring begins in the mid–1930s discussing the careers of popular stars such as Cary Grant and Carole Lombard and well-known supporting players like Walter Connally and Ralph Bellamy (also Asta the dog, top animal star of the 1930s!). Writers and directors are given their due: Frank Capra, Howard Hawks and Preston Sturges, just to name a few.
Part Two, the meat of the book, takes an in depth look at the films, from the genre’s inception (1934’s It Happened One Night) to the recent 2003 Down with Love, and the stars that appear in them—Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Julia Roberts, Richard Gere—ending with some thoughts about the future.

About the Author(s)

Doris Milberg is a former teacher who has written three previous books and more than 100 articles about cinema history.

Bibliographic Details

Doris Milberg
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 200
Bibliographic Info: 40 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6781-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0089-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Part I: The Essence of Screwball

One. Cut and Print: The Anatomy of Screwball 5

Two. Screwball Personnel: The Stars 8

Three. Screwball Personnel: They Also Serve 15

Four. Screwball Personnel: Behind the Scenes 21

Part II: The ­Sub-­Genres of Screwball

Five. Screwball Guys and Gals: Heirs and Heiresses 27

Six. Screwball Guys and Gals: The Working Stiffs 40

Seven. Screwball Cinderellas and Cinderfellas 52

Eight. Show Business Screwballs 62

Nine. The Screwball Literati: Anything for a Story 72

Ten. Love on the Rocks: Marital ­Mix-­Ups, Screwball Style 87

Eleven. William and Myrna: Nick and Nora et al. 102

Twelve. Mixing Murder and Mayhem: Screwball ­Comedy-­Mysteries. 112

Thirteen. Screwball Families: The Mamas, the Papas, the Kids 122

Fourteen. Morale Boosters: Screwball Goes to War 138

Fifteen. Screwball Lives On: Part One 156

Sixteen. Screwball Lives On: Part Two 169

Epilogue 177

Bibliography 179

Index 181