Laurel and Hardy
and the
Sons of the Desert
are at the heart of
Bowler Dessert Online

Comic Catastrophies

new book

 

LAUREL and HARDY'S

COMIC CATASTROPHES

 

LAUGHTER and DARKNESS

in the

FEATURES and SHORT FILMS

 

by MICHAEL BLISS

 

One of America's most beloved comic duos, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, have entertained generations of viewers with their unique, heartwarming brand of slapstick comedy. The pair's teamwork and friendship set their films apart from other comics, softening both pratfalls and hardships, and earning them a cherished place in cinema history. But what made the films of Laurel and Hardy so enduring?

In Laurel and Hardy's Comic Catastrophes: Laughter and Darkness in the Features and Short Films, Michael Bliss illustrates why these films continue to make audiences laugh. Combining an appreciation for the pleasure that these films elicit with a critical examination of what made them work, Bliss first investigates the milieu in which the pair's comedy takes place. The author then explores Stan and Ollie's friendship and their troubled - and troubling - relationships with women. The book also features a detailed discussion of Stan Laurel's approach to gag structure, while the remainder of the book focuses on many of the pair's silent and sound films, such as Duck Soup, Pack Up Your Troubles, Chickens Come Home, and The Music Box.

Featuring an extensive filmography, Laurel and Hardy's Comic Catastrophes will engage a wide audience, from film scholars to fans of humor everywhere.

About the Author

Michael Bliss, Senior Instructor in English at Virginia Tech, is the author of eleven books including Invasions USA: The Essential Science Fiction Films of the 1950s (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014).

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