THREE GREAT LAFF STARS!… MORE GAGS AND GALS… MORE SONGS AND DANCE! I’m finding it hard to get this confirmed, but there’s a funny story behind Groucho Marx’s name in this classic comedy. The original idea was to name him Dr. Quackenbush, which sounded funny and was meant as a pun. But MGM’s legal department … Continue reading Day at the Races: Insanity at the Sanitarium
I recently finished Scott Eyman’s book “The Speed of Sound”, a chronicle of how sound transformed Hollywood in the late 1920s. This may all seem very stodgy since talkies have been around now for close to 90 years… but Eyman makes us understand not only how big a change this was, but how fast it … Continue reading The Chaotic Era When Hollywood Found Sound
BETTER… BATTIER… FUNNIER THAN EVER! As the manager of a hotel tries to evict theater producer Gordon Miller (Groucho Marx), he and his assistants try to find a financier for a new play. The Broadway hit turned into a vehicle for the Marx Brothers in this film, but the results are uneven. The constricted hotel … Continue reading Room Service
THE MADDEST COMICS OF THE SCREEN! The Marx Brothers’ third film with an animal in the title is so out of control that I can barely tell you the plot; suffice it to say that it takes place in a university, Groucho is the unlikely president, Chico and Harpo his bumbling assistants and the whole … Continue reading Horse Feathers
In 1933, the Marx Brothers released the fourth of their “animal” comedies; Animal Crackers, Monkey Business and Horse Feathers were followed by Duck Soup. Things changed after that; Zeppo Marx never appeared in a film with his brothers again and they started making movies with MGM. At the time of the release, Duck Soup was not really considered a great film, but it … Continue reading Duck Soup: Hail, Hail Freedonia!
The Marx Brothers had just been reduced to three. Zeppo had decided not to work with them on their next picture, which would become a seminal film in their careers. The brothers were about to make their first comedy with the legendary producer Irving Thalberg; there would be a second film as well, A Day … Continue reading Night at the Opera: Aria of Hilarity