The Annotated Marx Brothers: A Filmgoers Guide to In-Jokes, Obscure References and Sly Details
Have you ever watched a Marx Brothers film and wondered what habeas Irish rose is? What is the trial of Mary Dugan with sound? What is a college widow? When exactly did Don Ameche invent the telephone? Their films are full of such in-jokes and obscure theatrical, literary and topical references that can baffle modern audiences. In this viewer’s guide to the Marx Brothers, you will find the answer to such mysteries, along with an exhaustive compilation of background information, obscure trivia and even the occasional busted myth. Each of the Marx Brothers 13 films is covered by a running commentary, with points in the film discussed as they appear. (more…)
Editorial Review of The Music of the Marx Brothers: A Bio-Discography of the Works of Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Gummo, and Zeppo Marx
In the 1930s and 40s the Marx Brothers kept the world laughing in good times and bad with such screen classics as Animal Crackers, Duck Soup and A Night at the Opera. Comedy was always the driving force behind the Marx Brothers team on-screen. Off-screen they were three unique individuals who shared a love of music. Music from Marx Brothers’ plays and movies has been recorded by a variety of artists since the early 1920s, but it may surprise some to learn that the Marx Brothers, themselves, also left behind an impressive body of work on record.
Book Description of Groucho: The Life and Times of Julius Henry Marx
This definitive biography of one of the world’s greatest comedians unflinchingly yet affectionately uncovers the man behind the cigar.Here is the amazing career of the man the world recognized as Groucho: the improbable disasters of the vaudeville years; the Marx Brothers, an act so funny W.C. Fields refused to follow it; the unprecedented Broadway success of The Cocoanuts” and Animal Crackers; the cinematic triumphs of Duck Soup and A Night at the Opera; and the marvelous come-back career as king of the game show hosts with You Bet Your Life. Here, too, is the man himself: a lonely middle child who aspired to be a doctor; a man who sabotaged three marriages; a father alternately indulgent and cruel. Intelligent and thorough, hilarious and sad, Groucho is a spectacular biography of the century’s most influential comedian.
Here is the amazing career of the man the world recognized as Groucho: the improbable disasters of the vaudeville years; the Marx Brothers, an act so funny W.C. Fields refused to follow it; the unprecedented Broadway success of The Cocoanuts” and Animal Crackers; the cinematic triumphs of Duck Soup and A Night at the Opera; and the marvelous come-back career as king of the game show hosts with You Bet Your Life. Here, too, is the man himself: a lonely middle child who aspired to be a doctor; a man who sabotaged three marriages; a father alternately indulgent and cruel. Intelligent and thorough, hilarious and sad, Groucho is a spectacular biography of the century’s most influential comedian.
About the author of Groucho: The Life and Times of Julius Henry Marx
Stefan Kanfer’s books include The Eighth Sin, A Summer World, The Last Empire, and Serious Business. He was the primary interviewer in the Academy Award-nominated documentary The Line King. A former writer and editor at Time and a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library, he has been a writer-in-residence at the City University of New York, the State University of New York at Purchase, and Wesleyan University. He lives in New York and on Cape Cod.
Hello, I Must Be Going – Groucho and His Friends
Hello, I Must Be Going has a double meaning as the title of this biography of Groucho Marx. In addition to being the theme song for his character Dr. Spaulding in Animal Crackers, it is also the theme for this book – the final years of Groucho Marx, as the old comedian and clown looks towards his final exit. I know that sounds maudlin, but the book definitely isn’t. It’s Groucho at his twilight, but mentally as sharp as ever, and as funny as ever. In addition, the author interviews many of Groucho’s friends from his twilight years. These include Bill Cosby (who wrote the introduction), Woody Allen, Jack Nicholson, Elliot Gould and many others. (more…)
Harpo Speaks! by Harpo Marx, Rowland Barber, Susan Marx (Photographer), Bill Marx (Photographer)
Review of Harpo Speaks:
Frankly, Harpo Speaks is one of my favorite books of all time. It’s hilarious, serious, witty, poignant and thought-provoking, sometimes all at the same time. It details what it was like to grow up in the Marx household, how all of the brothers were pushed into show business by their mother, Minnie, how hard they worked for so many years at (barely) subsistence wages, how they entertained each other, grew up on the road, and in one night changed from a singing group to the first great ‘screwball’ comedy team. If you love clowns, or are interested in clowning, you want to read this book; it’s a wonderful insight into clowning, what’s funny and why, as well as some of the Marx Brothers’ classic routines. It’s also a wonderful insight into a man I would have loved to have known; Harpo Marx. (more…)
Book review of Arthur Marx’s Groucho – A Photographic Journey
Product description of Arthur Marx’s Groucho – A Photographic Journey
As the son of the world’s funniest comedian, Arthur Marx had an insider’s view of the ever-changing landscape of American entertainment. Arthur Marx’s GROUCHO offers never before seen images of his legendary family and the Hollywood scene of the 20th century. Recently discovered, never before seen candid photographs taken by Arthur Marx are at the heart of the Marx Family journey through vaudeville, Broadway, film, radio and television. Here are intimate, poignant and hilarious images of Groucho Marx, the family man, and Groucho Marx, the artist, backstage with brothers Harpo and Chico on the MGM lot. (more…)
For everyone who still can’t get enough of this legendary wit (and excellent writer), here is an extraordinary collection of almost two hundred letters by Groucho Marx. Following a close filial relationship as it unfolds week by week, year by year, these letters move through three decades of life: from the vagaries of Groucho’s career in film, radio, and television, through two divorces and two remarriages, to Miriam’s own often tumultuous young adulthood. (more…)
Editorial Review of Groucho Marx and Other Short Stories and Tall Tales: Selected Writings of Groucho Marx, An Updated and Expanded Edition, courtesy of Amazon.com
It makes sense that Groucho, master of the wise crack, a man who kept company with S.J. Perelman and George S. Kaufman, should be a wonderful author in his own right, but you won’t know how wonderful unless you have this book. Its editor, Robert S. Bader, has collected the funniest essays, columns and letters that Groucho composed during his long career. Writing with a wit and love of non-sequitur that influenced the young Woody Allen, Groucho also displays real warmth of character in these short pieces, an abiding love of family and of living. (more…)
The Groucho Letters: Letters from and to Groucho Marx
The Groucho Letters – Letters to and from Groucho Marx is a collection of, well, letters sent by Groucho Marx. If you like Groucho Marx’ acerbic sense of humor, you’ll love this. One small example is Groucho’s famous letter to the Warner Brothers about the Marx Brothers’ using the name ‘Casablanca’ in their film, A Night in Casablanca. Letters to his brothers, friends famous and not-so-famous are all filled with his trademark humor. (more…)