My 10 Favorite Marx Brothers Movies
I Love the Marx Brothers' Movies!
Leonard, Arthur, Julius, Milton and Herbert. Most people know them by other names, most given to them at a poker game. At that poker game, Leonard became Chicko (the "K" got dropped later on and he became "Chico"), Arthur became Harpo, Julius became Groucho, and Milton became Gummo. Herbert got his moniker of Zeppo later on.
The Marx Brothers starred in several movies, the first group (with Zeppo) were from Paramount and the later movies (without Zeppo) were from MGM.
Marx Brothers' "Stuff" on Amazon
The Movies are hilarious. Harpo's autobiography, which I reread recently, is a hoot.
The Paramount movies, the ones most of the critics prefer
The MGM years (sans Zeppo) -- these movies, while not critically acclaimed (except for "A Night at the Opera") are laugh fests and, on DVD, you can fast forward through the points that drag. I am not fond of "Room Service", but that is the only movie that, in my opinion, isn't really funny.
Entertaining from beginning to end, Harpo tells the story of his own life and how the "act" started, continued and ended.
My Favorite Marx Brothers' Movies
- My favorite Marx Brothers' movie is "Animal Crackers" but that doesn't mean a lot. Talk to me tomorrow and I'll have another favorite.
"Animal Crackers" has some of the funniest bits, including Captain Spalding and his song "Hello, I must be going" and the line "I shot an elephant in my pajamas -- how he got in my pajamas I'll never know". There is a lot of back and forth between Groucho and Margaret DuMont. All in all, it is just one funny movie.
- I hate to be boring, but next I would pick "Night at the Opera" because of the "Sanity Clause" scene (a funny bit between Groucho and Chico, talking about a contract between the Opera company Groucho represents and a singer Chico represents) and the famous "Stateroom Scene" (where more and more people squash into Groucho's tiny Stateroom on the ship over to the US from Europe).
- My next choice is one that the critics don't like. I love "Go West" even though most of the movie is just ok. The movie ends with a classically funny scene where the Brothers take apart a train to keep in running after Harpo accidentally spills all the coal from the coal car. This scene is so funny, it's worth watching the rest of the movie, in my humble opinion.
- Next, "The Big Store", also not a critic favorite, but I loved the scene with the large Italian family, where the children kept disappearing into automatic beds and the scene where Groucho is involved in a chase scene where he goes around on all sorts of toy vehicles (bicycle, roller skates, etc.).
- "Monkey Business" is hysterical from the "just another little snoop" to the Maurice Chevalier scene to the "well, if we don't rehearse, we don't play and that can run into money" (or words to that effect, it's been a long time since I saw this movie), funny lines and scenes run through the movie faster than Harpo running after a pretty woman.
- I absolutely loved "Love Happy" from "Maggie is in Great-Dane-Jaw" to Harpo running over the rooftops with Madame Egilichi's "X" marked sardine can (with a stolen diamond necklace in it), the lines are punny and the situations are hysterical.
- "A Day at the Races" is another very funny movie. Groucho is a horse doctor, but Margaret DuMont's character wants only "Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush" (I just love that name). From the Sanitarium to the Race Track, this movie is a laugh fest.
- " Horse Feathers" is about a college football program and the university President (Quincy Adams Wagstaff, played by Groucho) at Huxley College. The funniest scene, in my opinion, is the scene in the speakeasy, where Professor Wagstaff goes to sign two "ringers". The movie ends with a hilarious football game, with Chico's character calling plays like, "Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall/ This time Professor Wagstaff gets the ball".
- " A Night in Casablanca", is based around a treasure that Harpo's character finds in a back area near the elevator of a hotel where most of the action takes place.
- The " Why a Duck" scene is in " The Cocoanuts", a movie that parodied the Florida land boom of the 1920s. There are funny bits with Chico being hired by Groucho to drive up prices at an auction of land and a song called "He Wants his Shirt" to the tune of Bizet's "Toreador Song" from "Carmen".