Marx Brothers Movies

The Marx Brothers remain one of the most iconic comedy teams in the entire history of show business, including of course their film work. Years of vaudeville experience and then Broadway stardom meant the siblings came to cinema with personas largely set and with a huge "catalog" of bits they could utilize for their film work.

If you are not familiar with the Marx Brothers, please allow me to break their best movies into two categories.  Let me start you on their two later, and arguably best, films. Director Sam Wood really helped the brothers translate their comedy to film in a way they hadn't been able to before. He had them travel the country and test out the comedy bits for live audiences before they filmed so they would know what bits worked best. This even helped them figure out pauses in the movies so that audiences could laugh (you might find the pauses a little strange when you first see them).

Summary - A sly business manager and two wacky friends of two opera singers help them achieve success while humiliating their stuffy and snobbish enemies.

Great Quote:
Otis B. Driftwood: [to carriage driver] Hey you. I told you to slow that nag down. On account of you I almost heard the opera.

Summary - A veterinarian posing as a doctor, a race-horse owner and his friends struggle to help keep a sanitarium open with the help of a misfit race-horse.

Great Quote:
Tony: Hey doc, can you see us?
Dr. Hackenbush: If I can't there's something wrong with my glasses.

So if you like those, I would recommend their five earliest films.
Summary - During the Florida land boom, the Marx brothers run a hotel, auction off some land, thwart a jewel robbery, and generally act like themselves.

Summary - Mayhem and zaniness ensue when a valuable painting goes missing during a party in honor of famed African explorer Captain Spaulding.

Summary - On a transatlantic crossing, the Marx brothers get up to their usual antics and manage to annoy just about everyone on board the ship.

Summary - Quincy Adams Wagstaff, the new president of Huxley University, hires bumblers Baravelli and Pinky to help his school win the big football game against rival Darwin University.

DUCK SOUP (1933)
Summary - Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale.

 One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know.


Popular Posts