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Marx Bros Advice?

Old 12-27-00, 04:48 PM
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What's a good first Marx Bros. DVD for someone (me) unfamiliar with their movies?

I guess my question is what is the funniest Marx Bros. movie?

Cocoanuts
Horse Feathers
Monkey Business

others ?
-- thanks in advance
Old 12-28-00, 12:00 PM
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My favorite of the Marx Borthers movies is either Duck Soup or Monkey Business. You can't go wrong with either of those. Next best is probably Horse Feathers, then Animal Crackers. Coconuts, their first film, has too much singing and dancing for me, as well as a repelent male romantic lead. Some may disagree with me, but I don't like the later films nearly as much as the early one. Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races both have great comedy bits, but you have to put up with a weak love story to get to them.

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Old 12-28-00, 12:03 PM
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I'd also probably start w/ Duck Soup. My other fav are Animal Crackers and A Day At the Races (mainly because it's the ones I've seen the most). I also recommend approaching Coconuts w/ caution. I didn't really care for that one myself BTW the Marx Brothers doc on DVD is pretty good too, if you can find it AFAIK it's OOP.
Old 12-30-00, 08:54 AM
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Another vote for Duck Soup, excellent.
Old 12-30-00, 03:33 PM
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Thanks, all

I bought Duck Soup at Sam Goody yesterday -- very funny!!!

Chico and Harpo had me laughin' out loud
Old 12-30-00, 03:50 PM
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Another vote for Duck Soup as the best, but I wouldn't suggest you watch it first if you are really unfamiliar with their work. You just won't appreciate the insanity of it. I'd say start with Monkey Businees, proceed to Horse Feathers, and then you'll be ready for Duck Soup. If you're still hungry, have some Animal Crackers, and then The Cocoanuts, but be warned: the staginess of the direction, the REALLY old fashioned musical numbers, and truly primitive sound recording techniques can be pretty hard to take. The comedy parts are still worth seeing, but Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers really show their age. And for gosh sakes, find some friends to watch these with! Comedies seem much funnier with other people laughing along.

The Unknown Marx Brothers documentary is also a good, informative overview of their career, with clips from most of their movies. I didn't know about this one being out of print--I just got my copy a couple of months ago from Buy.com.
Old 01-02-01, 11:21 PM
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A lot of you here seem to agree on the top three - Duck Soup, Monkey Business and Horse Feathers. Seeing these in the reverse order is recommended, as Horse Feathers involves college football(and the college widow, whatever THAT is!) These three are pre-Hays code, so MB and HF feature the very sexy Thelma Todd in some slinky outfits. Check out the unusual circumstances of her demise on the IMDB.
Despite the incredibly annoying male lead, I still like the Cocoanuts because of the classic bits and more sexy girls for Harpo to chase around such as 30's star Kay Francis, and that Polly Potter was a 'lil dish too. Just bought 'Nuts last week and the print shows its age. For some reason I can live with the Cocoanut's dance numbers but have never warmed to the stagey Animal Crackers.

Opera has waaaaaaaaay too much Alan Jones and Kitty Carlisle. Day at the Races has many classic bits but the "All God's Chillun Got Rhythm" musical number with the black stablehands is dated. Nevertheless,look for a young Dorothy Dandridge in this number - she's the really cute one.

From then on the rest of their films each have a few moments, but never recapture the insanity of the early stuff. Catch them on the tube.

I happened to see Groucho on stage in the 1970's when his fortyish redhead girlfriend or something took him on tour to show his film clips, tell stories and sing songs. Although he was in his 80's, it was indeed magic to see him in the flesh, singing Lydia the Tattooed Lady - and he still had a twinkle in his eye. (That redhead was pretty hot IIRC.)


No, it was a SEVEN letter word.

[This message has been edited by JamesBrian (edited January 02, 2001).]

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