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Marx Bros are awesome!!!


markbeckuaf
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Enjoy your box set!

What I really like is that all you need are two box sets and you have their complete collection. I have a hard time recalling what famous scene is in which film, so when a friend comes over and asks, "I wanna see the one with Tootsie Fruitsie Ice Cream gag" I *know* it's somewhere in the box.

 

I love Marx Brothers humor because you have Chico for puns, Harpo for slapstick and Groucho for rapid fire wordplay.

 

For some reason, these never get old.

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Tiki, you're so right, they never get old!

 

That scene you referenced is in A DAY AT THE RACES, though I wasn't sure you didn't know that were just making a point about all of the films being on just two sets, which I agree is awesome!

 

I decided to get the MGM film set first (which includes 2 films made outside the studio as well), mainly because it was waaaay cheaper, and also because you get more bang for that lower buck--more films (which means more Marx Bros--always good!), more extras, including two commentaries, and by all accounts, the films are sharp and crisp. It's unfortunate that the Paramount set, which of course are their better films by and large, isn't that way, by all accounts the films are not cleaned up as well as they should and whatever extras are included are skimpy and no commentaries. Plus the set is more than double the price, from what I've seen. So I may wait a bit on that one, and hope I can either get a much better price, or even better they come out with a new set that has more to offer in terms of quality and quantity.

 

Meanwhile, I caught two of them just the other day with the Thelma Todd tribute, and that's great that TCM will air them---and I think we're in for a treat on NY Eve as well!

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> {quote:title=markbeckuaf wrote:}{quote}

> I think we're in for a treat on NY Eve as well!

 

Oh no! I throw a big NYE party every odd year. I play music, but keep the TV on (TCM) without sound.

 

One year I was flabbergasted to find a dozen men enthralled with the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers marathon. Marx Brothers is a certain conversation stopper!

 

Actually, pretty good entertainment for a NYE party!

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> {quote:title=movieman1957 wrote:}{quote}

> TCM played the Marx Bros years ago for New Year's Eve. I have both box sets. You should have plenty of fun. BTW, I don't think "Love Happy" is in that set but truthfully you aren't missing much.

 

I think you are right about NYE! I remember seeing that and I believe that may have been my first introduction to the Paramount films! It was amazing seeing those! They are so much better overall, but I love the MGM (and RKO and other) films as well!

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The Marx Brothers are awesome. I think their humour never becomes dated, that they're just as funny now as they were in those manic films of the 1930s. As you said, you've got rapid -fire wordplay, shameless slapstick, and a cornucopia of other comedy delights, including songs and puns. I strongly disagree with people who don't like puns. I think puns are hilarious, and the Marx Brothers obligingly supply a seemingly endless quantity of them.

Also, don't forget the delightful song and dance numbers -" Hooray for Captain Spaulding", "O Freedonia", etc. My favourties are *Animal Crackers* and, yes, *Duck Soup*.

 

I'm assuming you've seen *Hannah and Her Sisters*. Remember the scene where Woody Allen rushes out of his apartment after a bungled suicide attempt, he's suffering from ennui and a desperate need to find some meaning in life. He wanders the streets of NYC until he stumbles into an old movie rep house, where they're showing... *Duck Soup* ! As he settles into his seat and starts watching the movie, he realizes that life is worth living. There are so many wonderful things to do and see in life, and hey, the Marx Brothers up there on the screen singing and dancing and being really funny is one of them. *Duck Soup* pulls Woody Allen back from the brink.

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MissWonderly, I totally love that story about HANNAH AND HER SISTERS!!! It's been a long time since I'd seen that film and I didn't remember that, but yes, that's so true!

 

I also have a soft spot for ANIMAL CRACKERS! I have to say that might be my favorite film of theirs, but difficult to choose, really, they are all very, very good!

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The Marx Bros are the best group of comedians in my book, hands down. As we all know but I'll repeat anyhow, each of them was unique and different. Thus they could do funny scenes alone, as pairs, or with all three (sorry Zeppo!), and it never gets old (or when it is about to get old move to another combination).

 

Then there is the music. I cannot pick a favorite because it always is the last movie of theirs I saw (well at least from the peak period in the 30s).

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I guess you are saying too many talented brothers and not enough script! When you say 'away from the screen' to you mean on a professional basis (e.g. in plays, stand up etc..), or do you just mean as part of everyday life? What is the source for that opinion? e.g. did it come from his brothers in books about their lives?

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Zeppo was awesome. It wasn't his fault he wasn't given a lot to do. Some of my favorite Zeppo moments.

 

*Insulting Chandler and laying out Capt. Spaulding's ridiculous demands through song with that cheesy smile on his face prior to Groucho's entrance in Animal Crackers*

 

*Taking the letter for Groucho, also in Animal Crackers. "Now, you said some things here that I didn't think were important, so I just omitted them." Perfectly played by Zeppo in terms of delivery and facisl expressions.*

 

*Saying "I told those fellas to stay in line" after the others get thrown out of line trying to get off the boat in Monkey Business.*

 

*Gushing over and serenading Thelma Todd in Horse Feathers. Zeppo was always over-the-top cheesy with his singing and pursuit of women and I'm pretty sure it was intentional.*

 

*"Oh, how we'll cry for Firefly if Firefly should die" in the Duck Soup "We're Going to War" sequence. Zeppo's character was always a sort of phony sycophantic type to Groucho's fraudulent "great leader/explorer/whatever" characters and this line was the perfect over-the-top, Groucho worshiping line to throw out. Once again, very cheesy in a brilliant way.*

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Back in the 80s, every Friday night I played volleyball. After the games, we would often go out to a bar/restaurant, to have some food, and some beer. One time, a team member suggested that we go to his cabin in the woods. When I got there, I knocked at the door, and someone asked "What's the password?" Of course I said "swordfish." That actually was the password!

 

The Marx Bros. hold up well because their humor was avant-garde for its time, chaotic, surreal, Dadaist. They were much admired by the then-modern European artists of those genres.

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I agree although I have only seen 4 of their films and each only once (except certain moments multiple times) I think they are definitely my favorite comic team. I love Groucho, Harpo, & Chico. They are each different and yet it would be impossible for me to tell you who is my favorite since I find each of them integral to what makes me laugh in the films.

 

That being said I am not sure what I feel about Zeppo. I certainly don't dislike him but I admit he doesn't entertain me as much as the others. Maybe I just need to see more of him to get a better grasp on his character.

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>Maybe I just need to see more of him to get a better grasp on his character.

 

There isn't much more to grab. Mostly he got stuck playing the love interest. He was easily replaced by Allan Jones when they went to MGM. It really wasn't Zeppo's fault as much it there wasn't much left for him to do. Being the baby in the family all the good stuff was taken. Even Gummo (brother number 4) saw the writing on the wall. He went to war and became comfortable in the dress business.

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> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}

> I'm assuming you've seen *Hannah and Her Sisters*. Remember the scene where Woody Allen rushes out of his apartment after a bungled suicide attempt

 

I hate to second guess, especially without a quick reference view, but I remember the scene differently:

 

I thought it was at the end of the film when Woody finds out the "shadow on the Xray" was a mistake and he was going to be ok. At first he was elated, then confused. Knowing we're going to die ("You've just realized this?") made him wonder why bother living if it's all going to end anyway? What's the point?

 

He wandered into the theater and looked up to see the Marx Bros being silly and nonsensical. And watching this he realized it DOESN'T matter, there IS no big reason for life except to just revel in the joy of being alive.

 

This scene and the sentiment expressed is one of the single most powerful in film for me. I never cease being moved by it. Brilliant that he used Marx Bros to convey it.

 

And I hope my recollection is correct.

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TikiSoo, with respect (people often say "with respect" and then go on to be disrespectul, as though saying "with respect" gives them permission to be the opposite -but in this case, it's sincere, I respect what you say and how you say it -glad we got that established! )

 

Anyway, with respect, I have seen *Hannah and Her Sisters* many times. My "significant other" loves Woody Allen in general, and this film in particular. Every Thanksgiving (actually, every Canadian Thanksgiving, which is in October, not that that is relevant ) he insists that we watch *Hannah and Her Sisters*, partly because it turns around several Thanksgivings in the characters' lives.

 

The Allen character is recounting his "new view of life" experience to Diane Wiest near the end of the movie. It's kind of a flashback, and he narrates how he is miserable after his initial reprieve from a fatal illness because he realize that if he doesn't die then, he will some time, so how is he going to find meaning in life if it all comes to an end anyway? (The character puts it much more eloquently than I just did.) He explains how, after several weeks or months searching, he concludes that everything is meaningless and decides he might as well end it all. But the gun slips from his forehead, because he is sweating so much. He runs out into the city and wanders around in a fog until he encounters the rep theatre that is playing *Duck Soup*, which makes him laugh and clears his mind. It's a very life-affirming scene; I love it. It's interesting that he never mentions what film it is in his conversation with Holly (the Wiest character), but that's probably because he knows that we know what movie it is.

 

In some ways, this little scene reminds me of another "turning point" in another film, *Sullivan's Travels* . The Joel McCrea character, along with his fellow prisoners, oppressed, defeated, heads bowed, is taken to see a movie as a break from prison and perhaps a reward for those with good behaviour records. There's a cartoon up on the screen, and gradually McCrea starts to laugh, along with the other prisoners in the audience. He has an epiphany; he realizes that one of the most important things we can do in life, one of the things that can save us from despair, is laughter.

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> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}

> The Allen character explains how, after several weeks or months searching, he concludes that everything is meaningless and decides he might as well end it all. But the gun slips from his forehead, because he is sweating so much. He runs out into the city and wanders around in a fog until he encounters the rep theatre that is playing *Duck Soup*, which makes him laugh and clears his mind.

 

Ahh missy, thanks for "correcting" me

Grady2.jpg

 

You're absolutely right-once I read your synopsis, I remembered the suicide part. Of course I have the DVD, (it's an absolute fave) but was just too lazy to pop it in.

 

And I lurve your connection to *Sullivan's Travels*. You're so right! That's why I enjoy talking with other "film people"....

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