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The Groucho Letters

The Groucho Letters: Letters from and to Groucho Marx

The Groucho Letters: Letters from and to Groucho MarxBuy from Amazon.com 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…)

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Groucho and Me - the autobiography of Groucho Marx

Funny quotes from Groucho and Me

Groucho Marx was never more funny than in his autobiography,  Groucho and Me.   Here as some examples: (more…)

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Groucho and Me - the autobiography of Groucho Marx

Groucho and Me

Groucho and Me - the autobiography of Groucho MarxGroucho and Me – the autobiography of Groucho Marx

Buy from Amazon.com Groucho and Me is a very entertaining autobiography of Groucho Marx, written by Julius Marx (Groucho’s real name).   Witty and entertaining, with piles of anecdotes, it’s well worth reading if you’re a fan of Groucho Marx – but not if you’re looking for accuracy or detail of life behind the scenes for the Marx Brothers.   For example, Groucho’s version of the story behind why Harpo never spoke on screen is hilariously funny; but totally inaccurate.

If you’re looking for detail or accuracy, you’ll have to look elsewhere; but if you’re looking for an entertaining read directly from the fingers of Groucho himself, look no further.   A recommended read.   For a taste, feel free to check out funny quotes from  Groucho and Me. (more…)

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The Cocoanuts (1929), starring the Marx Brothers

Marx Brothers photo gallery

Marx Brothers photo gallery – a collection of photos of the Marx Brothers (Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo) from their movies, publicity stills, and so on. (more…)

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You Bet Your Life - The Best Episodes - starring Groucho Marx, with many of the best episodes, and some nice extras as well

Groucho Marx | You Bet Your Life | the best episodes

Editorial Reviews of You Bet Your Life – The Best Episodes, courtesy of Amazon.com

You Bet Your Life - The Best Episodes - starring Groucho Marx, with many of the best episodes, and some nice extras as wellBuy from Amazon.com The secret word for  Groucho Marx  fans is ‘DVD.’  This three-disc set collects a priceless archive of 18 complete and uncut episodes filmed between 1950 and 1960. The surprise success of the radio incarnation of You Bet Your Life assured for Groucho that there would be life after the Marx Brothers, whose film career came to a sad end with 1950’s Love Happy. The television series would be an even bigger hit, and make Groucho a household name. You Bet Your Life was ostensibly a quiz show, but it was more just a forum for Groucho to crack wise with the contestants. These were mostly ordinary people with oddball jobs or interests, or extraordinary talents, like the man who blows up a tire’s inner-tube on an episode included on disc 2. Knowing now that the program was carefully planned does not diminish the fun. There are many precious spontaneous moments, such as the trombone-playing female contestant who practically swoons over Groucho’s announcer/straight man George Fenneman. (more…)

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Monkey Business: The Lives and Legends of The Marx Brothers

Monkey Business: The Lives and Legends of the Marx Brothers

Monkey Business: The Lives and Legends of The Marx BrothersEditorial Review of Monkey Business: The Lives and Legends of the Marx Brothers, by Simon Louvish (courtesy of Amazon.com )

Buy from Amazon.com  A serious book hiding behind a goofy title,  Monkey Business captures a tremendous amount of detail in its pages, enough to satisfy the most hard-core  Marx Brothers aficionado. Author Simon Louvish has a talent for showcasing contrasts, and it’s these contrasts–along with a few surprises–that make the brothers such fascinating characters. (more…)

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Animal Crackers - The Marx Brothers - Groucho - Harpo - Chico - Zeppo - Margaret Dumont

Animal Crackers, starring the Marx Brothers

Review of Animal Crackers, starring Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Zeppo Marx, Margaret Dumont

Animal Crackers - The Marx Brothers - Groucho - Harpo - Chico - Zeppo - Margaret DumontBuy from Amazon.com Released in 1930, Animal Crackers is the Marx Brothers‘ second film.  It’s full of the manic energy for which Groucho MarxChico, and Harpo are known. In addition, Zeppo also excels in this film, acting as the secretary for Groucho, aka. Captain Spaulding, famous African explorer. One of the film’s songs, Hooray for Captain Spaulding, became Groucho’s trademark.

In a nutshell, the Marx Brothers become involved in a high society party, where a theft occurs.  Leaving them embroiled in finding the crook and clearing their names.  Highlights of the film include: (more…)

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A Night at the Opera, starring the Marx Brothers

A Night at the Opera, starring the Marx Brothers

DVD review of A Night at the Opera (1935) starring the Marx Brothers (Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx)

A Night at the Opera, starring the Marx BrothersDirector:  Sam Wood
Black & White, HiFi Sound, NTSC
One of the all-time funniest  Marx Brothers movies – which makes it one of the funniest movies of all time.

Buy from Amazon.com Synopsis:  Groucho Marx is Otis P. Driftwood, too busy trying to fleece Mrs. Claypool (played by the œfifth Marx brother, Margaret Dumont) to spend time running an Opera Company.  Harpo is Tomasso, the abused valet to the pompous tenor, while  Chico is Fiorello, self-appointed agent for the unknown, talented young singer Ricardo Baroni (Allan Jones), who is in love with Rosa Castaldi (Kitty Carlisle) – the obligatory singing love interest. When Groucho loses his job, the plot thickens – €but with the brothers Marx, who needs a thick plot? Some of the  classic comic routines  “A Night at the Opera” gives you include: (more…)

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A Day at the Races (1937) starring the Marx Brothers (Groucho, Chico, Harpo), Margaret Dumont, Allen Jenkins

A Day at the Races, starring the Marx Brothers

A Day at the Races (1937) starring the Marx Brothers (Groucho, Chico, Harpo), Margaret Dumont, Allen Jenkins

Synopsis for A Day at the Races

A Day at the Races (1937) starring the Marx Brothers (Groucho, Chico, Harpo), Margaret Dumont, Allen Jenkins

Doctor Hugo Hackenbush, Tony, and Stuffy try to save Judy’s sanitarium by winning a big race with Gil’s horse.  A very funny film, with several hilarious moments.  Some say it’s the last great Marx Brothers film.

Cast of Characters in A Day at the Races

  • Judy (Maureen O’Sullivan, The Thin ManHannah and her Sisters).  The young lady running a sanitarium, that’s losing money.
  • Morgan (Douglass Dumbrille, The Ten CommandmentsAbbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion, The Road to Utopia).  The shady man who wants to buy the sanitarium and use it for his horse race track.
  • Stuffy (Harpo Marx).  Fired by Morgan for refusing to throw a race, he throws in with Tony and the rest.
  • Tony (Chico Marx), Judy’s loyal employee who’s determined to help her by hook and crook.  He talks to Mrs. Upjohn and convinces her to not leave the sanitarium since the “famous” Dr. Hackenbush will be taking over the sanitarium.
  • Dr. Hackenbush (Groucho Marx).  A veterinarian, not the Dr. Hackenbush — but who’s willing to pretend and go along for the money – and chase after the rich Mrs. Upjohn.
  • Mrs. Upjohn (Margaret Dumont).  The wealthy widow whose patronage keeps the sanitarium afloat.  She falls in love — somehow — with Dr. Hackenbush.
  • Gil (Allan JonesA Night at the Opera, One Night in the Tropics).  Judy’s love interest, who invests his life savings in buying a racehorse, on the hope of winning a race and rescuing Judy financially.  Morgan, of course, doesn’t want that …
  • Flo (Esther MuirSunset Murder Case).  The pretty young lady, hired by Morgan, to get caught in a “compromising position” with Dr. Hackenbush so that Mrs. Upjohn will leave.  Allowing Morgan to buy the sanitarium for a song.
  • Dr. Steinberg (Sig RumanStalag 17To Be or Not to Be, Way … Way Out).  The stuffy doctor who doesn’t believe that Dr. Hackenbush is on the level … and is determined to prove that he’s not!

Editorial Review of A Day at the Races (courtesy of Amazon.com)

A Day at the Races is the  Marx Brothers at their commercial and popular peak, working with a top Hollywood director (Sam Wood of  The Pride of the Yankees), supported with a healthy screen budget paying for such extras as a blue-tinted ballet sequence, love songs from crooner Allan Jones, and decorative sets. But the brothers are also at the top of their game in terms of their own comic material and timing. The story finds  Groucho, Chico, and Harpo helping out at a sanatorium, where their longtime foil in the movies,  Margaret Dumont, is the leading patient. The film has some of the trio’s funniest and most memorable bits and a dazzling horserace at the climax. (more…)

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The Marx Brothers Collection (A Night at The Opera/A Day at The Races/A Night in Casablanca/Room Service/At the Circus/Go West/The Big Store)

The Marx Brothers Collection

The Marx Brothers Collection (A Night at The Opera/A Day at The Races/A Night in Casablanca/Room Service/At the Circus/Go West/The Big Store)

The Marx Brothers Collection (A Night at The Opera/A Day at The Races/A Night in Casablanca/Room Service/At the Circus/Go West/The Big Store)Buy from Amazon.com A five DVD set, containing seven of the Marx Brothers’ movies (A Night at The Opera,  A Day at The Races,  A Night in Casablanca,  Room Service,  At the Circus, Go West, The Big Store). Check out the individual reviews of the various movies. If you plan to buy more than one of any of those, save yourself money and buy the collection instead. Two of their best movies are included (A Night at The Opera,  A Day at The Races), two good although underestimated films (A Night in Casablanca,  At the Circus), with the rest being mediocre, although with good moments.

There are lots of extras included, such as Leonard Maltin’s commentary on  A Night at The Opera, various shorts, trailers, etc. In short, it’s strongly recommended for any Marx Brothers fan. (more…)

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