Love Happy starring the Marx Brothers (Groucho, Chico, Harpo), Vera-Ellen and Marilyn Monroe
Synopsis of Love Happy
Private-Eye Sam Grunion is reminiscing via flashbacks back to his famous case involving the Romanoff diamonds. It begins with Harpo taking food from the rich for the poverty-stricken, starving troupe in rehearsal for a Broadway play. On one of his daily raids picks up a can of sardines where the Romanoff diamonds have been hidden. But only Madame Egelich and her two bodyguards know this, and she agrees to back the play, so they can be near the can of sardines and recover the diamonds. But Harpo and Faustino discover them first and they are chased all over NYC’s skyline by the bodyguards. Sam Grunion enters the case and quickly becomes enamored of Madame Egelich, and anything else wearing skirts.
Review of Love Happy
Love Happy, the final Marx Brothers film was originally written (by Harpo Marx himself) as a vehicle for Harpo, who had been wanting to pursue a solo film career. However, Chico was again in financial distress, and Harpo helped him by adding him to the film. Groucho had no interest in making the film, however, Harpo’s financial backers were unwilling to back a film with only two of the three Marx Brothers. So Groucho joined the film – under his conditions. This is why Groucho spends most of the film narrating, and why much of the humor is centered around Harpo. The ending is very funny, reminiscent of Harpo’s physical hijinks in classic Marx Brothers films like A Night at the Opera. Also, be forewarned – although Marilyn Monroe features prominently on the cover of the DVD, she’s only in the movie for a short period of time.
Cast of characters in Love Happy
- Harpo (Harpo Marx, A Day at the Races). Harpo’s the main character, the mute, zany fellow who feeds the theater troupe – by stealing food from an upscale deli.
- Madame Egelichi (Ilona Massey, Invisible Agent). The lovely owner of the deli – that’s actually a jewel laundering business.
- Faustino the Great (Chico Marx, Duck Soup). A would-be performer, jack of all trades and master of none. The self-appointed liaison with the reluctant backer, Mr. Lyons.
- Mr. Lyons (Leon Belasco, Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion). The benefactor and violinist, who has memorable screen time with Chico.
- Mike Johnson (Paul Valentine, House of Strangers). The young man trying to put on a show with various “undiscovered talents”.
- Maggie Phillips (Vera-Ellen, White Christmas). Mike’s girlfriend, and dancer. An earlier appearance before she became famous.
- Detective Sam Grunion (Groucho Marx, You Bet Your Life). Narrator, who’s actually on screen for only a few minutes.
- Grunion’s Client (Marilyn Monroe, Some Like it Hot). Despite all of the advertising, she’s literally onscreen for 1 minute of the movie.
- Alphonse Zoto (Raymond Burr, Godzilla). One of the villainous minions.
- Hannibal Zoto (Bruce Gordon, Tower of London). Another minion.
- Mackinaw (Eric Blore, Top Hat). Comedic minion.
Funny movie quotes from Love Happy starring the Marx Brothers and Marilyn Monroe
Detective Sam Grunion (Groucho Marx): I am the same Sam Grunion who solved the international uranium-mining swindle. Scotland Yard was baffled; the FBI was baffled. They sent for me and the case was solved immediately: I confessed.
Detective Sam Grunion (Groucho Marx): Here’s another Broadway hopeful: Faustino the Great. For 20 years he was an organ grinder with a monkey. Then one day the monkey went on strike. He wanted shorter hours and longer bananas.
Faustino the Great (Chico Marx): Look, Mr. Lyons, I know you wanna make a good impression, but please – don’t play better than me.
Faustino the Great (Chico Marx): How long you study music?
Mr. Lyons: Fifteen years.
Faustino the Great (Chico Marx): Fifteen. You know, two more years, you could’ve been a plumber.
Faustino the Great (Chico Marx): Nevermind the pianissimo. I’m gonna make it very simple for you: we play it allegro pizzicato. That’s what-a you call ’em, high-class Carnegie Hall stuff. You know allegro pizzicato?
Mr. Lyons: No.
Faustino the Great (Chico Marx): You know Jimmy Pizzicato?
Mr. Lyons: No.
Faustino the Great (Chico Marx): None of the Pizzicatos?
Mr. Lyons: No.
Faustino the Great (Chico Marx): What do you know?
Mr. Lyons: I know pistachio.
Faustino the Great (Chico Marx): Pistachio? Ha! We play it! [shrugs]
Detective Sam Grunion (Groucho Marx): Come in. Is there anything I can do for you? What a ridiculous statement.
Grunion’s Client (Marilyn Monroe): Mr. Grunion. I want you to help me.
Detective Sam Grunion (Groucho Marx): I have a little sand left. What seems to be the trouble?
Grunion’s Client (Marilyn Monroe): Some men are following me.
Detective Sam Grunion (Groucho Marx): Really? I can’t understand why.
[Faustino, wanting to audition for Mike’s show of “unknowns,” promotes himself as a mind-reader]
Faustino the Great (Chico Marx): I no like-a to brag, but the thing I’m-a most unknown for is-a mind-reading. I give you demonstration. You’re thinking of something.
Mike Johnson: [dubiously] Right, so far.
Faustino the Great (Chico Marx): You’re thinking of a nice juicy steak with a French-a fried-a potatoes.
Mike Johnson: [far less than impressed] The exit’s over there.
Mike Johnson: I don’t want any sardines. I’m not throwing a bare turkey on the stage.
Detective Sam Grunion (Groucho Marx): Mackinaw, you know I have a full record of the case, and tonight at the opening of the play you MAY have the solution, but when the curtain rises, Madam Egelichi will be in the front box, and sitting next to her will be Count B’ullabaisse – but if you take away the count’s silk hat, his opera cloak and his full dress suit you’ll have ME, shivering in my underwear.
Detective Sam Grunion (Groucho Marx): [objecting to being killed with a straight razor] This’ll never do. I got a hide like an elephant. By the way, did you ever try to hide an elephant?
Ivan – Assassin in Grunion’s Office: You will be dead in five minutes
Detective Sam Grunion (Groucho Marx): Huh! For your information, my doctor gave me three years to live, and I don’t intend to make a fool out of HIM.
[Sam Grunion tries to follow Madam Egelichi but she halts him at gunpoint]
Detective Sam Grunion (Groucho Marx): Oh, no. I’m not gonna follow you and get shot. If I was half-shot I’d follow you.