Actor: Harpo Marx

Love Happy (1949)

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Many Marx Brothers film consider Love Happy their worst, but Harpo has always been my favorite brother, and as this film mainly centers around him, it is not really possible for me to hate it. There is of course the famous appearance by Marilyn Monroe, who leaves an impression despite being on screen less than […]

A Night in Casablanca (1946)

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When the Marx Brothers made The Big Store in 1941, they believed they were making their last film together. They thought the same when they made A Night in Casablanca in 1946, after which the officially announced their retirement, only to get together one last time in 1949 for Love Happy, a film that started […]

The Big Store (1941)

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Marx Brothers fans love to discuss which film is the best, with the argument using coming down to Duck Soup or A Night at the Opera. (Horse Feathers is probably my personal favorite.) The next topic of conversation is usually which is their worst entry. Many Marxists place The Big Store at the bottom of […]

Go West (1940)

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I have been watching the Marx Brothers films in chronological order, with occasional breaks when I have watched films for work, with friends, or just when I wanted to pace myself. I have seen Go West before, and so know it is far from the Brothers’ best, but decided to give it another try. In […]

At the Circus (1939)

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Yesterday I finally got around to seeing Room Service, the only Marx Brothers film I hadn’t seen, and was just as disappointed with it as I was afraid I would be. I wanted to watch a better film that would restore my faith in the Marxes and also continue watching them in sequence. Fortunately, the […]

Room Service (1938)

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Irving Thalberg the MGM wunderkind producer who shaped A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races and proved that the Marx Brothers could have wide appeal, died suddenly in 1936 during the production of the second film. Groucho later recalled “after Thalberg’s death, my interest in the movies waned. I continued to […]

A Day at the Races (1937)

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MGM producer Irving Thalberg promised the Marx Brothers that he could make a film that would have half of the laughs of their Paramount films, but would have bigger box office returns. They were reluctant, but trusted the boy wonder. The gambled paid off, and the result, A Night at the Opera, was their highest-grossing […]

A Night at the Opera (1935)

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The Marx Brothers completed Duck Soup in 1933 and either opted not to renew their contract with Paramount, or were cut off from the studio due to the poor box office performance of their latest film. They were set adrift without a home, a situation similar to the one they found themselves in around 1923, […]

Duck Soup (1933)

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When the Marx Brothers started making motion pictures, they had already been through two successful careers—one as a touring Vaudeville act, and one as Broadway stars. When Groucho stepped in front of the cameras to film The Cocoanuts in 1929, he had already been in show business for 25 years.  Comparing their first two sound […]

Horse Feathers (1932)

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Marx Brothers fans love to debate which is the best of their films, and they usually fall into two camps: A Night at the Opera supporters and Duck Soup fans. When Groucho did a talk at Carnegie Hall in 1972, someone in the audience asked him which was his personal favorite. “A Night at the […]

Monkey Business (1931)

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After completing their first two films—The Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers—in Paramount’s studio Astoria Studios in Queens, the The Marx Brothers packed up and moved to California at the end of 1930, bringing along their recently widowed father. Born into the soot and grim of late 19th-century New York, the Brothers eagerly embraced the Southern Californian […]

Animal Crackers (1930)

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Today marks the 80th anniversary of the release of Animal Crackers. I have seen it about 80 times, I suppose, and it is one of the few movies that actually make me laugh out loud even after multiple viewings. While the Marx Brothers first talkie film The Cocoanuts was marred by some rough production quality, […]

The Cocoanuts (1929)

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The very first Marx Brothers film was Humor Risk, a 1921 two-reel silent comedy the Brothers produced themselves, with a script by Russian-born newspaperman Jo Swerling, who would later go on to do writing work on Hitchcock’s Lifeboat and Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life. Like so many other milestones in the Marxian saga, there is […]

Random Quote

“You came home with a lot of fish. You never catch any fish when you go fishing!”
-Blondie (Penny Singleton)
from Blondie on a Budget