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The Rough Guide to Comedy Movies Paperback – 29 Sep 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides (29 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843534649
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843534648
  • Product Dimensions: 17.9 x 1.7 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 952,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Bob McCabe is a critic, broadcaster, film journalist and screenwriter. He has written books on Ronnie Barker, the official, definitive and authorised history of all things Python, and has appeared on numerous TV comedy documentries.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is yet another book in the series of Rough Guides to a particular movie genre. It follows the same pattern as other books in the series and provides a good overview of mainstream comedy movies, including most of your favourites and a few gems that are waiting for you to discover them. Good show!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This guide is a must for all comedy lovers.

Very well formatted makes it a joy to read, exactly like the Rough British Cult Comedy Guide.

Nice chapters about more available info in other books and on the internet.

No info in movie entries about DVD availability like in the Rough British Cult Comedy Guide, however I think the majority of movies are available.

The book is divided to 5 main chapters:

1. Early years - the comedy story
2. The Comedy Canon - 50 Seriously funny films
3. The Icons - Comedy Legends
4. Funny World - International Film Comedy
5. The information - Thw Wider Picture (web and books) and index

Overall very pleased with the book.
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Format: Paperback
I've just been in my local pub & thought I'd give this book a read. It was actually surprisingly good & was pretty much what it said on the tin.

If I recall correctly, there is a section on 'Comedy Greats', one on the '50 Greatest Comedy films ever' & a final section on foreign comedy films from around-the-World.

There were sections on Dan Ackroyd, Monty Python (naturally!), Charlie Chaplin & Steve Martin & the book seemed to cover all manner of comedies from Bringing Up Baby, through Ferris Bueller's Day Off to the modern classic Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. I also got the impression that the writer was really engaged with his subject and really knew his films, enough to recommend the lesser known films by great comic actors, etc.

I have two criticisms though.
First, is that the foreign films section was a little boring & I didn't recognise a single one.
Second is that there was a lot of repeated material. As the two main sections overlap, often there would be a film in the top 50 (e.g. Monty Python's Life Of Brian) & then a whole section on the comedic group/ comedian (in this example 'Monty Python'). I got the impression with comic actor Robin Williams that the two sections were very similar & that the review of
...Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable Read 7 Feb. 2006
By James N Simpson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Not a bad little book, The Rough Guide to Comedy Movies gives heavily opinionated commentary on a heap of movies, actors and the different decades. It is a long way off being a comprehensive list and there are a lot of seriously funny movies and actors not in here. Like with the Rough Guide's travel guides a lot is missing. Where is UHF, the sensational National Lampoons Vacation trilogy and many other classics? It lacks the comprehensive coverage of rival books such as 1001 Movies to Watch Before You Die. However what is covered in here is interesting, will bring back memories and is certainly educational on the realm of comedy movies. It definitely inspires me to go and rent some of older movies I haven't seen for a while and even check out some I had never previously thought of watching.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent (if not very objective) reference 1 Oct. 2006
By mrliteral - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I suppose an argument can be made for other genres as well, but I've always thought the comedy film doesn't get the respect it deserves. For examples, when they're handing out Oscars, comedies rarely get Best Picture; the last one to win was Shakespeare in Love, and even that was an atypical comedy because it was also a period piece. I think the last straight comedy to win was Annie Hall nearly three decades ago. This is in spite of the fact that comedy is often tougher to do than drama; after all, when a dramatic moment doesn't work, it may not even be noticed, but when humor fails, it is not only evident but almost painful to watch.

The Rough Guide to Comedy Movies is a passable reference book on the comedies that succeeded and a few that didn't do quite as well. As with the other "Rough" movie guides, it is broken into certain sections: a history of film comedies, the "canon" of the 50 great comedies, a look at certain icons of the field, a discussion of international comedies and a guide to other sources of information.

Of course, a book like this is largely a matter of opinion, so one should not consider this a completely objective source. No where is this more evident than author Bob McCabe's choice of the canon. While certain choices are ones that would make most lists, like Airplane, Blazing Saddles or Some Like It Hot, others are a little more dubious. For example, I enjoyed Dodgeball and Shaun of the Dead, but I don't know if they are among the top 50 of all time.

While the opinions in this book will differ from yours (or mine), they do provoke a deeper look at genre. In addition to the canon films, there are many other films referenced, usually favorably, so this book can offer a lot of ideas for movies to watch. As stated before, as a reference source, this book is merely passable, but it is a good introduction that can point you to a few good movies and some better sources of information.
4.0 out of 5 stars Actually rather good 5 Oct. 2010
By Magic Lemur - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've just been in my local pub and thought I'd give this book a read. It was actually surprisingly good and was pretty much what it said on the tin.

If I recall correctly, there is a section on 'Comedy Greats', one on the '50 Greatest Comedy films ever' and a final section on foreign comedy films from around-the-World.

There were sections on Dan Ackroyd, Monty Python (naturally!), Charlie Chaplin and Steve Martin and the book seemed to cover all manner of comedies from Bringing Up Baby, through Ferris Bueller's Day Off to the modern classic Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. I also got the impression that the writer was really engaged with his subject and really knew his films, enough to recommend the lesser known films by great comic actors, etc.

I have two criticisms though.
First, is that the foreign films section was a little boring & I didn't recognise a single one.
Second is that there was a lot of repeated material. As the two main sections overlap, often there would be a film in the top 50 (e.g. Monty Python's Life Of Brian) and then a whole section on the comedic group/ comedian (in this example 'Monty Python'). I got the impression with comic actor Robin Williams that the two sections were very similar & that the review of Good Morning, Vietnam had similar content to the main article.

Still, as a 'rough guide' and a quick read, I found it entertaining & well-written. I actually bought the copy that is now in the pub & feel that it was a good purchase and that it fits the category of 'coffee-table reads that aren't too stretching'.
2.0 out of 5 stars Beware the inaccuracies 27 Sept. 2012
By John V. Gonsalves - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Just browsing through this book I came across two errors in two minutes. It states on Page 22 that Carole Lombard was married to Cary Grant (rather than Clark Gable) and that "The Philadelphia Story" won 1940's Best Picture (rather than "Rebecca".)

Those are pretty big errors that should have been picked up by an editor.
1 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Typo in the index 14 Jan. 2006
By Carol S. Nesbitt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It claims that Doctor in the House is referred to on page 29. Actually DITH (which I don't care for) is written about only on page 28.
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