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March 17 , 2011

Reeling with Laughter

American Film Comedies: From Anarchy to Mockumentary


Film comedy has been around as long as cinema itself. Over the years, particular forms of the genre have emerged, evolved, and spawned other branches of comedy. While these subgenres may vary in their approach to humor, all of them have the same goal: amusing audiences. In Reeling with Laughter: American Film Comedies—From Anarchy to Mockumentary, Michael V. Tueth examines some of the most enjoyable comic movies of all time. Beginning with the anarchic romp Duck Soup (1933), each chapter explores a specific subgenre through a representative film. Along with the Marx Brothers’ classic, other subgenres discussed in this volume include romantic comedy (It Happened One Night), screwball comedy (Bringing Up Baby and What’s Up, Doc?), musical comedy (Singin’ in the Rain), sex farce (Some Like It Hot), satire (Dr. Strangelove), parody (Young Frankenstein), neurotic comedy (Annie Hall), Dionysian comedy (Animal House), mockumentary (Waiting for Guffman), and animated comedy (South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut).

In this volume, Tueth provides the background of each film’s production and discusses their audience reception, critical appraisal, and the qualities that have characterized these enduring works. Reeling with Laughter will appeal to film students, as well as the general public eager to revisit these great American films.
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