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Before Hotel Berlin


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Unfortunately what I watched the half hour before "Hotel Berlin" came on was anything but "Battle Circus". I know "Battle Circus". The movie preceding "Battle" was about as slapstick as one can get. I guess TCM was playing a joke on me. Is TCM in the habit of doing this kind of thing?

If I had only caught the beginning and/or would have paid greater attention to names of characters, etc... The movie was almost Marx Brotherish. Black and White, 1930's, something about a woman having to sell a hotel and these three guys (a la Marx and Stooges) were so blooming funny when trying to help her. All searches on the net have rendered me nothing.


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The Marx Brothers came first -- all or in part, they had been in vaudeville and on Broadway for about 20 years before they made their first movie, THE COCOANUTS, in 1929.


By contrast, the Ritz Brothers came up through the night-club circuit with a song-and-dance act in the early 1930s by the time they made HOTEL ANCHOVY for Educational Pictures in 1934. They were signed by 20th Century-Fox in 1936, and their first feature SING, BABY, SING incorporates substantial portions of their night-club act.


I blow hot and cold on the Ritzes -- their brand of low comedy can be overbearing at times, but I love watching them sing and dance. Check them out in ON THE AVENUE (1937) and THE THREE MUSKETEERS (1939), two of their best films.

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Thanks, Coffeedan, for the info on the two Bros. I knew the Marx Bros. used to plan out their movies and take them on the road to work on their gags and the like, but didn't know if they started there, or just used vaudeville as their gigantic rehearsal. I think you hit the nail on the head about the Ritz Bros. They ARE overbearing. It's just too much. I have not seen either of the two movies you mentioned as their "best" movies, so perhaps I need to check them out.


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