Tashlinesque: The Hollywood Comedies of Frank Tashlin and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
  • List Price: $35.00
  • Save: $8.89 (25%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Tashlinesque: The Hollywo... has been added to your Cart
Trade in your item
Get a $0.64
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Tashlinesque: The Hollywood Comedies of Frank Tashlin Hardcover – March 1, 2012

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$18.45 $14.99

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Have the next big idea for a movie? Submit a 2-15 min. concept video to Amazon Studios for a chance to have your movie made. Learn more.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press; First edition. edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0819572403
  • ISBN-13: 978-0819572400
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,379,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Tashlin “was such a master of comedy in both animated shorts and live-action features that one is tempted to wish equally that he had never abandoned animation for the live-action features, and that he had started his live-action career sooner without getting sidetracked into animated cartoons. But his live-action directing included the same zany fantasy that made his animation so funny, and was so surreal that it remains unique after fifty years of live-action movies. Tashlin has been the subject of numerous studies in France since 1958, but Tashlinesque is the first American book devoted to his work.”—Fred Patten, Animation World Network (web)

“Frank Tashlin's career is staggering in its scope: He was a comic-book artist for the Los Angeles Times, an animator at Warner Bros. and Disney, a screenwriter, director and producer at Fox, Columbia, and Paramount, and a children's book author. … De Seife's clear, conversational, jargon-free prose style makes this scholarly study accessible for nonacademic readers, and between the stretches of textual analysis are vivid passages of historical narrative.”—Leah Churner, Austin Chronicle

“De Seife presents the reader with a logically structured and lucidly written text which constantly demonstrates author’s erudition and enthusiasm for the subject. Without a single doubt it counts among the best “directorial monographs” I’ve read recently. The text is complemented by many illustrations, a detailed filmography and an index.”—Milan Hain, 25fps

“De Seife moves appreciatively and thoroughly through all phases of the director’s art and career. …(A) very much needed close study of Tashlin’s great contribution to the Hollywood comedy.” —Marilyn Moss, Times Literary Supplement


“The wild and wacky films of Frank Tashlin epitomized a comic experience of the movies. Now, with trenchant insight, Ethan de Seife gives Tashlin’s zany, imaginative universe the sharp analysis it deserves, proving Tashlin’s centrality to the history of entertainment cinema. A great study of a key director!” (Dana Polan, cinema studies, New York University)

More About the Author

I am a film historian and a professor of film studies at Hofstra University in New York. I grew up in the suburbs of New York City, in the shadow of the Dragon Coaster, and was introduced to the love of movies by my uncle, who still goes to more or less every movie that screens in his town. I studied film as an undergrad at Wesleyan University (working over the summers as a journalist and proofreader for a business newspaper), and, after a few years in Minneapolis, continued my studies at the UW-Madison.

I am co-owner of the cutest dog in the world.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 4 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joanne E. Sprott on February 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
You've heard of his movies, especially if you're over fifty, but you've likely not heard of Frank Tashlin by name. His comedy work as animator, screenwriter, director and producer is legendary, but he often worked on teams or with folks like Jerry Lewis who had more visible names. But if you ask Lewis, he'll tell you how Tashlin influenced his own work as he moved from simply acting to creating his own comedies.

With titles like The Girl Can't Help It with Jayne Mansfield, The Disorderly Orderly and more with Jerry Lewis, and a goofy handful of Bob Hope comedies as well, Tashlin's portfolio is quite impressive.

Tashlin cut his comedy teeth over at Warner Bros. on Porky Pig, and took that animated comedy controlled chaos perspective to the live action movies from there. Clever, satirical, sexy, pushing the old censorship envelope as hard as he could, Tashlin helped define the comedies of the 1950s and early 1960s.

Ethan de Seife has put together an outstanding journey through Tashlin's work, and most importantly, highlighted all his contributions to the art of comedy, from sight gags and sexual humor to diegetic rupture and gag/narrative integration. For those of us watching the movies, these techniques are invisible, but they make the pace and pattern that creates what's funny.

I'll never be able to see a Tashlinesque comedy again without a much deeper appreciation for the talent that goes into making comedy work. This book is almost as much fun as the movies; it was so great to be able to work the index on this one and get a few laughs at the same time. :D
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matt on January 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
As far as director bio's go, this one flows about as much as one would expect. It helps that the writer clearly loves and respects Mr. Tashlin's work. Recommended for any fans of this underrated comedic director.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Thad Komorowski on April 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A book on the subject of American filmmaker Frank Tashlin has been vitally needed for decades now, and Ethan de Seife has filled that void - somewhat. I'm doubtful he'll achieve his goal of making Tashlin a more embracing subject. While I have noticed a resurgence of interest in his animated cartoons for Warner Bros. thanks to the vast majority of them being included on recent DVD compilations (so much so that fans are ranking them on the same level or even higher than esteemed "gods" like Bob Clampett and Chuck Jones), his live-action films are scattershot across so many distributors (and movie stars) to ensure a beneficial home video retrospective. The unjust 'blemish' on the director's reputation in the guise of Jerry Lewis is also simply too strong.

Unfortunately, the first 70 pages or so of "Tashlinesque", devoted to Tashlin's animation career and how it compares/contrasts with his live-action films, are almost a complete waste of time. In trying to dispel the myth that Tashlin did "live-action as cartoons" and "cartoons as live-action" and prove that they are really one singular body of work with the same driving ideology, De Seife reveals that he has absolutely no proficiency in dissecting what makes the animated cartoon tick. The irony is that I completely agree with de Seife's underlying sentiment, but he goes out of his way to dissect Tashlin's Warner cartoons in the most boring terms (many paragraphs devoted to average shot lengths and percentages). For some reason, Tashlin's handling of Bugs Bunny is deemed unworthy of commentary. His time at Disney's, and how he was not utilized, is not discussed.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By richard koper on July 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book about one of my favorite Holywood directors; Frank Tashlin.

Well written and researched, this book is a must if you love Tashlin and if you're a fan of 1950's Hollywood.

I've just published a book about Tashlin's fities muse: Jayne Mansfield ("Affectionately, Jayne Mansfield" available at The BearManor Media).

Buy it!!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again