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O yes, we have no. . . .cocoanuts.


slaytonf
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Ok, I'll try here:

 

Lots of Marx Brothers movies New Years Eve, and repeatedly over the past year or so. Why is The Cocoanuts missing? In fact, I don't remember it ever being shown on TCM. It was their first movie, wasn't it?

 

Edited by: slaytonf on Dec 25, 2011 12:45 PM

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> Lots of Marx Brothers movies New Years Eve, and repeatedly over the past year or so. Why is The Cocoanuts missing? In fact, I don't remember it ever being shown on TCM. It was their first movie, wasn't it?

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I don't remember it being shown either. It was their first feature film - made in 1929 - and it has been restored and is on the Universal Silver Screen Marx Bros. Collection. Technically it is fine, even considering its status as an early talkie - natural performances, the sound recording is good, and everybody involved "gets" the idea of working in a talking picture versus a silent one. The only thing I can guess is because "Cocoanuts" is like a semi-musical with more than a few production numbers - like so many 29 and 30 talkies - maybe TCM figured one of these very early musical productions would not be that entertaining to viewers. Here's the list of numbers so you can judge for yourself:

 

FLORIDA BY THE SEA

Written by Irving Berlin

Sung by chorus

Danced by Gamby-Hale Ballet Girls and Allan K. Foster Girls

 

"WHEN MY DREAMS COME TRUE"

Written by Irving Berlin

Sung by Oscar Shaw and Mary Eaton

 

"THE BELL-HOPS"

Written by Irving Berlin

Danced by Gamby-Hale Ballet Girls

 

"MONKEY-DOODLE-DOO"

Written by Irving Berlin

Sung by Mary Eaton

Danced by Gamby-Hale Ballet Girls and Allan K. Foster Girls

 

"BALLET MUSIC"

Written by Frank Tours

Danced by Gamby-Hale Ballet Girls

 

"TALE OF THE SHIRT"

Music from Bizet's 'Carmen'

Lyrics by Irving Berlin

Sung by Basil Ruysdael and chorus

 

GYPSY LOVE SONG

Written by Victor Herbert

Performed by Chico Marx

 

Now 1930's Animal Crackers has just as many songs as this movie, the difference is that the Marx Brothers are doing the vast majority of the singing and the songs do not have so much of a production number style that looks very 20's like this one does. However, Irving Berlin did write five of the songs and George S. Kaufman wrote the play upon which the movie was based, so there is some very good non-Marx Bros. talent being showcased here. Plus, you get to see Mary Eaton of "Seven Little Eatons" fame as a star at Paramount just before she began her downhill slide and you get to see Kay Francis just as she was becoming a star, so it is worthwhile viewing - just not Marx Bros. center stage all of the time as the others are.

 

Sorry to answer your question in such a long-winded fashion. I guess the short answer would be - I'm sure if TCM can get the rights to the other Paramount Marx Bros. movies they could easily get The Cocoanuts, but maybe TCM thought the somewhat archaic and less than Marx Bros. - centric style of The Cocoanuts would not be that entertaining to viewers who tuned in to watch the Marx Bros. in the first place.

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*MONKEY-DOODLE-DOO"*

*Written by Irving Berlin*

*Sung by Mary Eaton*

Danced by Gamby-Hale Ballet Girls and Allan K. Foster Girls

 

The 'Monkey-Doodle-Doo' Dance was one of my Absolute FAVORITE

dance number in 'Cocoanuts'. The Tune is just 'Out of this World' . . .

I just listened to it on Youtube . . . below is the Link.

 

 

 

Thanks Calvinme, for sharing and Slaytonf, for starting this thread. :)

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRrG3fJU9osx5qXQ-ylRmE

 

Edited by: ugaarte on Dec 25, 2011 3:26 PM

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One of the zany things about THE COCOANUTS is the first time I noticed tough guy and one of my main men, Barton MacLane, in a skintight swim suit and singing it up with the gang! Wow, zany crazy!! LOL That totally tripped me out!

 

I dig this flick, but it's a GREAT lineup for Marx Bros fans! The other 4 paramounts, along with their best output from MGM, and I also happen to dig ROOM SERVICE.

 

And if you haven't seen THE COCOANUTS and would like to, if you happen to get a free over the air channel, THIS-TV, they are actually showing quite a few Marx Bros flix as well over the coming days, and they are showing that one!

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Thanks, calvinnme, for your response. Lots of great info. It's hard for me to believe anyone who likes a Marx Bros. movie would not like this one, from what I remember of it. As for your surmising that TCM programmers might be uncertain about it, my only response to them can be: why a duck?

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> {quote:title=markbeckuaf wrote:

> }{quote}One of the zany things about THE COCOANUTS is the first time I noticed tough guy and one of my main men, Barton MacLane, in a skintight swim suit and singing it up with the gang!

Barton M. was still working in east-coast films at this time, such as Paramount films produced at Astoria, Long Island. He can also be spotted in other Paramount Astoria films such as a couple of early 1930's Burns & Allen and Lillian Roth one-reelers.

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'Techinically fine'?? As a dedicated Marxist, Cocoanut is the ONE Marx flick I cannot watch at ALL - I'll watch LOVE HAPPY before this creaking ship. Even the MARX BROTHERS hated it - when they first saw it, they actually wanted to BUY the damn thing back from Paramount. It's slow....meandering...none of the Marxes come off good - except, oddly, the one who doesn't NEED sound....Berlin must emptied his reject file for most of the songs, too!

 

And I am still wondering who Mary Eaton and Oscar Shaw are, and why the hell Paramount actually gave them top billing over Our Boys!

 

One I won't miss not being there!

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If you skip all the songs its not too bad. It's just a filmed version of the stage play. It's a bit long. The love interests are dull. Groucho said, to the best of my recollection, the director just didn't have a clue what to do with them. As long as there is a Marx to be found on screen it's agreeable.

 

Unlike a previous poster I find "Love Happy," even in comparison, to be a near complete waste of film.

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

> > {quote:title=slaytonf wrote:

> > }{quote}Why is The Cocoanuts missing? In fact, I don't remember it ever being shown on TCM. Yes, it has been shown on TCM before. Not as often as most of the rest of The Marxes' movies, but it has been shown.

Yes, it's more rare for it to appear, but it has aired, at least once. My first screening of this flick was when TCM was running a month of comedy flix in April a few years ago, and man, it was great! That was actually my first time seeing most of the other Paramounts as well!

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Why a duck indeed, Slayton. The one that STARTED all the duck stuff, I suppose. Most of the early Marx flicks were filmed versions of their years old Vaudville skits. Same with Burns and Allen. I don't know anything about the Marxs' hating it or wanting to buy it back or any of that. I don't think it's their best, but certainly it's not really all that bad. In fact, some of my favorite Marx lines come from that flick.

 

And didn't Groucho's son title the bio he wrote of his dad "Why a Duck"?

Sepiatone

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There is a book where the author used the screen cap with the dialog listed under it as a kind of film strip of several of their movies. It dates from the late 70s and was titled "Why A Duck?" If I remember correctly the author was Richard Anobile. At the time it didnot include "Animal Crackers."

 

His son wrote a couple of books, "Life With Groucho" and "Son Of Groucho" among others. He had a successful literary career outside of his family and a nice tennis career,

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There is a book where the author used the screen cap with the dialog listed under it as a kind of film strip of several of their movies. It dates from the late 70s and was titled "Why A Duck?" If I remember correctly the author was Richard Anobile. At the time it didnot include "Animal Crackers."

 

His son wrote a couple of books, "Life With Groucho" and "Son Of Groucho" among others. He had a successful literary career outside of his family and a nice tennis career.

 

More like early 70's - I had a pretty bad Marx obsession back then, an bought that book when it came out. Not to mention Anobile's notorious MARX BROTHERS SCRAPBOOK, where he interviwed the elderly Groucho, and basically got the REAL Groucho - very outspoken VERY verbose - especially talking about Chico....

 

 

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