Other books have discussed these films, but this is the first book devoted to the series. Neibaur examines each film in chronological order, and for each he provides credits, plot information, an analysis noting any common themes, and offers as much background information as he could find.
Zasu Pitts left the series, to be replaced by Patsy Kelly, after which the it became necessary to replace Thelma Todd. Thelma Todd was replaced by Pert Kelton and later by Lyda Roberti.
Neibaur refers to the death of Thelma Todd as a "crime". That's what the usual opinion is, but then again there are some who would not agree. Neibaur's thought was that since he was concentrating on the films, any further study should be done with other books that cover her death more specifically.
I was able to assist him with this book, and such familiar names as Richard W. Bann, Leonard Maltin, Michelle Morgan, and Charles Stumpf are mentioned in the acknowledgements.
This is Neibaur's 24th book.
James L. Neibaur is a film historian and educator with more than 20 books and hundreds of articles appearing in Cineaste, Classic Images, Film Quarterly, Films in Review, Filmfax, and Encyclopædia Britannica.
THE HAL ROACH COMEDY SHORTS OF THELMA TODD, ZASU PITTS, AND PATSY KELLY: