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Abbott and Costello on the Home Front: A Critical Study of the Wartime Films

5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0786435210
ISBN-10: 0786435216
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Scott Allen Nollen was educated in Film and History at the University of Iowa. He is the author of more than a dozen books on the history of film, literature and music.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 222 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland (February 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786435216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786435210
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,618,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Scott Allen Nollen is a historian, musician and occasional filmmaker who has written and edited over 40 books on the history of the cinema, popular music and literature. He received his BA in Film and Honors History and MA in United States and Modern European History from the University of Iowa. His two books on Hollywood icon Boris Karloff are considered definitive: "Boris Karloff" (McFarland, 1991) was written with the participation of Karloff's widow, Evelyn, while "Boris Karloff: A Gentleman's Life" (Midnight Marquee, 1999), is an authorized biography written with the full collaboration of Karloff's daughter, Sara Jane. Nollen's other books include studies of Laurel and Hardy, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart, and the Robin Hood Legends. He also has co-written books on Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Peter Cushing. His 2001 book, "Jethro Tull" (McFarland), written with the participation of the band, was nominated as Best Rock/R&B book by the Association for Recorded Sound. His book "Paul Robeson: Film Pioneer" (McFarland)is the first book-length study of the groundbreaking cinema work of this famed Renaissance Man. Nollen's most recent books are "Three Bad Men: John Ford, John Wayne, Ward Bond" (McFarland, 2013) and "Glenda Farrell: Hollywood's Hardboiled Dame" (Midnight Marquee; forthcoming in 2014). Nollen began making amateur films in 1976, at the age of 13. In 2005, he co-starred, wrote, produced and directed the feature film "Lofty" with Ryan C. Baumbach. Among the cast are L.A. actors Larry Laverty and Amelia Beaugard. Nollen's continued interest in Boris Karloff is reflected in "Kreating Karloff" (2006), starring and directed by actor Conor Timmis, whose documentary film, "Finnigan's War" (2013) features another screenplay co-written by Nollen. Nollen's main interests are Hollywood film, classical, jazz, blues, folk and classic rock music, United States and British History, and the Civil Rights era.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Ciullo on March 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First off, I love Abbott and Costello. Grew up watching them on Sunday mornings in New York. I was also very curious about the lore of not only thier films, but about thier personal lives on and off screen. This book tells about those happenings. But the title is a bit misleading. I was under the impression that this was geared to a more in-depth look at the wartime films they did - BUCK PRIVATES, IN THE NAVY, KEEP 'EM FLYING and maybe BUCK PRIVATES COME HOME. This book was a rehashing some previous books that I read such as a book called Abbott and Costello in Hollywood that basically told the same scenarios. HOME FRONT has updated information perhaps, but info that I haven't heard of or read before. I just thought that this was going to be what the title indicates - A CRITICAL LOOK AT THE WARTIME FILMS. It's not, but it is enjoyable reading nonetheless and if you are a Bud and Lou fan, there is no reason why this book should not be added to your collection. It's a great read ! I highly recommend it !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KLee on June 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a long time fan of this great team, books are rare on the duo. I think you can count all the books written about this great team on one hand. I found this to be an enjoyable study of there films. Yes, it does delve more into the 1941 to 1946 period, hence the title, but it does cover all of them as well. I also have to agree with Mr. Nollen on one point. The duos most underrated films (Little Giant and The Time of Their Lives) were two of there best.
A Good Read!
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Format: Hardcover
I think this is the best book ever written on the comedy team of "Abbott & Costello". There is very detailed information on ALL the films they made. Very well researched and numerous hours spent compiling this book. What made this book special to me was the information about their own lives as well. I was honestly moved by this book. I had no idea that they had many set backs in their own lives like we all do. In a very respectful and diplomatic way this great author goes into detail about their good times and bad times. I was not expecting this.

I had no idea that Lou Costello wanted to do serious roles on television or films later in life. He was not able to realize this dream completely. There are many great pictures of original lobby cards and original stills too from this authors personal collection in this book. Some of these rare stills depict scenes that were later deleted from the film. Lou's youngest daughter Chris Costello wrote the great foreward to this book. It was interesting to read in the text quite a few quotes from her through out the book. For an author to have access to a family member for information is a wonderful thing. A very RARE opportunity. I highly recommend this book. Fantastic reading!!!
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By Thomas M. Magee on February 17, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a must for any die hard fan. Information here in the book can't be found anywhere else. The author has priceless information on both Bud and Lou's life and information on their films. I found the film information really interesting, who wrote it, other stars, funny stories and all that. This information really makes the read fun! I learned a lot about the duo. I didn't know how Costello liked to liberate film props to his home. They both loved to gamble. The two were a working machine. They would make films during the day and do a radio show at night. The negative side of the book is how it jumps back and forth from a film history to a biography then back to a film history. He uses the film character names to describe what happens then goes to real world names to tell some other story. I found it confusing.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jeff on December 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been a huge Abbott & costello fan my whole life and performed the duo's famous who's on first routine with a good friend back in high school , I own all there movies & have read all the books published about them , so I went looking on amazon to see if anything new was written about them , only to find this new novel endorsed by none other than Lou's daughter Chris , this was an imediate buy for me and I've enjoyed the novel immensely , thank you very much .
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