Although Bob Hope has been the subject of many biographies, no book yet has fully explored the comic persona he created in vaudeville and radio, brought to fruition in dozens of films from the 1930s through the 1960s, and made a lasting influence on comedians from Woody Allen to Conan O'Brien. Now, in The Road to Comedy: The Films of Bob Hope, noted film comedy authority Donald W. McCaffrey finally places Hope in his well-deserved position among the highest rank of film comedians of his era. Drawing on archival materials and interviews with collaborators, McCaffrey analyzes each major film in depth, with due attention to particular sequences that reveal how Hope created a unique comic personality that lasted over dozens of very popular films, from the Road movies with Bing Crosby through such underrated classics as Son of Paleface, Monsieur Beaucaire, and Casanova's Big Night.
In so doing, McCaffrey introduces readers to a Bob Hope now overshadowed by his own reputation. We see here that Hope's significance has been greater than any USO appearance or television special might suggest. Because many of these movies have recently been made available on DVD--the first time in decades that they've been easily available to the general public--the volume will also serve as an excellent introduction for those wanting to see these films for the first time.
About the Author:
DONALD W. MCCAFFREY is Professor Emeritus in the Department of English at the University of North Dakota, where he taught cinema, theater, and literature for nearly 30 years. He is the author of several books, including The Golden Age of Sound Comedy, Assault on Society: Satirical Literature to Film, and Guide to the Silent Years of American Cinema (Greenwood, 1999).