- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: The Critical Press (September 15, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1941629199
- ISBN-13: 978-1941629192
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,207,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Gag Man: Clyde Bruckman and the Birth of Film Comedy Hardcover – September 15, 2015
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"This is much more than the long overdue discovery of Clyde Bruckman and the origins of film comedy. This is a deep insight into the vortex of laughter and death." - Werner Herzog (director of Grizzly Man and Aguirre, The Wrath of God) "Matthew Dessem takes a detour off Sunset Boulevard to recover from the shadows one of Hollywood's forgotten men. In Dessem's masterful telling the quest for Clyde Bruckman proceeds from two-reel farce to too-real tragedy with the fateful logic of a detective story. A marvelous job of research and reporting - I couldn't put it down." - Lem Dobbs (screenwriter of Haywire and The Limey)
About the Author
Matthew Dessem's writing has appeared in The Dissolve, Slate, GOOD Magazine and elsewhere. He can be found on Twitter @matthewdessem. He lives and works in Los Angeles.
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Top customer reviews
Matthew Dessem has done a noble thing here; he has drawn that figure into sharp focus. This book reclaims Bruckman from obscurity and restores him to his rightful place among the giants. It is an exhilarating yet tragic story, and the final third of this book is incredibly sad. Bruckman also collaborated with the forces that brought him down; and yet Dessem writes about him with great empathy and insight and never loses sight of the electrifying triumph of Bruckman's greatest creative achievements.
-- David Weddle, author of "If They Move... Kill 'Em!" The Life and Times of Sam Peckinpah
Clyde Bruckman’s life story is a catalog of enormous success followed by decline, dissipation, and tragedy. The book is part snapshot of old Hollywood, part film criticism, and part psychological profile of this talented but troubled man. Dessem convincingly documents the contribution Bruckman made to early movie comedy, and authoritatively analyzes the problems of going from silents to talkies, and comedy shorts to comedy features. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the development of cinema.