The Ritz Brothers

The Films, Television Shows and Other Career Highlights of the Famous Comedy Trio

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About the Book

The Ritz Brothers were a popular comedy trio in vaudeville, nightclubs, movies and television for more than four decades. Today largely overlooked among the classic comedy pantheon, they have been acknowledged as inspirations by such comics as Mel Brooks, Milton Berle, Jerry Lewis and Sid Caesar.

This first full-length study of their work examines all the Ritz Brothers’ feature films and short subjects 1934–1976, and their television appearances, with background information from the 20th Century–Fox archives. Contemporaneous and modern-day reviews and critiques are included.

About the Author(s)

Roy Liebman was formerly a library manager and film bibliographer at California State University, Los Angeles, and a librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library. He has previously written six books in film history, hundreds of film-related articles and book reviews for a wide range of periodicals and reference books, and two documentaries.

Bibliographic Details

Roy Liebman
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 223
Bibliographic Info: 9 photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8136-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4318-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Introduction 7
An Overview 11
On Broadway 26
The Films 30
The Features 43
Sing, Baby, Sing (1936) 43
One in a Million (1936) 47
On the Avenue (1937) 52
You Can’t Have Everything (1937) 57
Life Begins in College (1937) 63
The Goldwyn Follies (1938) 71
Kentucky Moonshine (1938) 78
Straight, Place and Show (1938) 85
The Three Musketeers (1939) 90
The Gorilla (1939) 96
Pack Up Your Troubles (1939) 103
Argentine Nights (1940) 108
Behind the Eight Ball (1942) 115
Hi’Ya Chum (1943) 119
Never a Dull Moment (1943) 122
Blazing Stewardesses (1975) 125
Cameo Appearances 130
Ali Baba Goes to Town (1937) 130
Take It or Leave It (1944) 135
Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976) 139
Silent Movie (1976) 144
The Short Subjects 148
Hotel Anchovy (1934) 148
Broadway Highlights #6: High Spots of the Main Stem (1936) 152
Cinema Circus (1937) 153
Screen Snapshots (1938–1955) 155
Hollywood Hobbies (1939) 159
Meet the Stars, #6: Stars at Play (1941) 162
­­Show-Business at War (1943) 163
Brooklyn Goes to Las Vegas (1956) 165
Live Television 167
Archival Appearances: Films and Television 178
The Sound of Laughter (1963) 178
Hollywood and the Stars: The Funny Men (1963) 179
Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter (1982) 180
Classic Comedy Teams (1986) 183
20th Century–Fox: The First Fifty Years (1997) 184
Hidden Hollywood II: More Treasures from the 20th Century–Fox Vaults (1999) 186
Don Ameche: Hollywood’s Class Act (1999) 187
­­Modern-Day Commentators; or, “We Don’t Get No Respect” 189
Appendix One: The Ritz Brothers’ ­­Co-Stars 195
Appendix Two: Ritz Brothers Miscellany 205
Appendix Three: Versions of The Three Musketeers 207
Bibliography 209
Index 213