The Marx Brothers

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 15, 2015 3:24 PM GMT
    List your three favorite Marx Brothers movies:

    Horse Feathers
    Night at the Opera
    Coconuts
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 15, 2015 4:14 PM GMT
    Probably ever since I first saw them on TV when I was a little kid, I've loved pretty much everything Marx Bros. Later in life I worked with a colleague who as a child had dinner at Groucho's home, his father being a Hollywood writer who knew him. He only met him that one time, but still, lucky fucker.

    Just looking at his wiki. I didn't know he was married to Kay Marvis Gorcey. Who I don't recall but whose last name is quite familiar and looking that up it turns out she was indeed married to Leo Gorcey, another actor I enjoyed growing up when he played Slip Mahoney on the Bowery Boys.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 16, 2015 4:18 AM GMT
    Duck Soup
    A Night at the Opera
    A Day at the Races

    I love the absurdist, surrealistic comedy, from Groucho's grease paint mustache, mute Harpo's bicycle horn, to Chico's organ grinder outfit and exaggerated Italian accent. And equally crazy supporting characters, like Margaret Dumont's recurring role as the clueless upper class matron, essentially the same in every movie. And it's said she was clueless in real life, too, not understanding half the jokes and the mayhem all around her, approaching her scenes as serious dramatic acting. Which made her all the more funny in her dialogue exchanges, mostly with the fast talking, wisecracking Groucho. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 16, 2015 5:03 AM GMT
    Duck Soup clearly. I thought that Thelma Todd was the clueless one? Her name is still on one of hollywoods biggest compoNies, anyway.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 16, 2015 6:28 AM GMT
    Horsefeathers

    Coconuts ("Oh, can you get stucco!")

    A Night at the Opera
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 16, 2015 6:34 AM GMT
    The Cocoanuts -"Why a duck?"
    A Night at the Opera - Insanity clause
    Duck Soup
    At the Circus

    That is a hard question, most have their classic moments. Margaret Dumont wasn't clueless actually. She was a good actress. Harpo and Chico are my favorites. Love Chico's piano playing, and he was actually a sexy guy, known as a ladykiller.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 16, 2015 6:38 AM GMT
    mindgarden saidDuck Soup clearly. I thought that Thelma Todd was the clueless one? Her name is still on one of hollywoods biggest compoNies, anyway.


    Here's Margaret Dumont with Groucho from A Night at the Opera. She wasn't clueless in the sense of the dumb blonde actresses, but rather that her character had no real understanding of what was happening around her and to her. Here she is all decked out as the wealthy matron, with the upper class accent. Yet oddly, though she has $200,000 to donate to the opera, equivalent to millions today, she's hired Groucho to help her break into "society"!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 16, 2015 7:25 AM GMT
    Dumont was a professional comedic actress. You should read the wiki page on her for a quick overview of her career. She understood the humor very well.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 16, 2015 12:17 PM GMT
    It’s my opinion that Zeppo never received the credit he deserved; he was one of the perfect comedic straight men of all times. Plus he was very good looking.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 16, 2015 12:36 PM GMT
    strongbull saidDumont was a professional comedic actress. You should read the wiki page on her for a quick overview of her career. She understood the humor very well.

    I think it was Groucho who said that Dumont didn't understand the nature of their movies' comedy, but then he wasn't always the most reliable source on a lot of things.

    I notice you wrote comedic "actress" rather than comedienne. Another one who had a similar reputation was Lucille Ball, and we all know how priceless her I Love Lucy performances were.

    Many of the show's writers and other staff agreed that at the first script reading for each new weekly show Lucille didn't know where the jokes were, and how to interpret them. It took the director, and often her husband and show producer Desi Arnaz, to guide her into making it funny.

    Because she wasn't a naturally funny person, not like a stand-up comic. She had to handle it as an actress, a role she took on, leading one-time show guest Orson Wells to remark that she was one of the best actors he'd ever met. But once she got her teeth into a Lucy script she made you believe she was the funniest woman on Earth. That is indeed acting.

    Back to Dumont, I could believe she was far more clever than Groucho said, or whoever it was made that comment. Certainly she was the perfect comic foil for him: straight, solemn & severe played against his anarchistic craziness and wisecracking mouth. I don't think their scenes would have worked as well if she had been directed to try to mimic his lunatic behavior.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 17, 2015 10:00 AM GMT
    What is interesting about Dumont and some of the other actors of her generation is that you get a glimpse into the style of the late 19th and early 20th century stage. Her pronunciation and stage manner, her posture. I also love the mid-Atlantic accent popular in theater and film in the first half of the 20th century.
  • Hypertrophile

    Posts: 1021

    Mar 18, 2015 2:59 PM GMT
    TPM1 saidIt’s my opinion that Zeppo never received the credit he deserved; he was one of the perfect comedic straight men of all times. Plus he was very good looking.


    Out of character the brothers were hard to tell apart, but yes, Zeppo was very handsome.

    I used to go to a revival theater in Michigan one Summer when we were in our teens and see a different Marx Brothers movie each week. I always looked forward to Harpo's harp solo. That guy could really play.

    "Duck Soup" was my favorite, being a biting anti-war satire, but "Animal Crackers" has some great laughs. Groucho's "strange interlude" spoof on Eugene O'Neill is hysterical! "How happy I could be with either of these two (women), if both of them just went away."