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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)

286 customer reviews

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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 Silver Screen Collection + W.C. Fields Comedy Favorites Collection
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Product Description

Marx Brothers Collection (DVD) (5-Pack)

Amazon.com

When it comes to long-awaited treats like The Marx Brothers Collection, you can never get too much of a good thing. These seven comedies can't compare to the sheer lunacy of the five classics (The Cocoanuts, Animal Crackers, Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, and Duck Soup) that the Marx Bros. made for Paramount between 1929 and 1933 (available in The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection), but when uber-producer Irving Thalberg signed Groucho, Harpo, and Chico to an MGM contract in 1935 (by which time sibling costar Zeppo had become the team's off-screen manager), he knew just how to cure their box-office blues. As a result, A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races were critical and commercial hits, lavishly produced according to the "Tiffany" studio's golden-age formula of glamorous set pieces and musical numbers combined with sensible plots that smoothly integrated snappy, well-written Marxian antics. Opera is the jewel of this set, with timeless scenes (the Stateroom, the Groucho-Chico contract negotiation, etc.) that rank among the greatest bits of silver-screen comedy... not to mention Groucho's flirtatious insults at Margaret Dumont's upper-crust expense.

A Day at the Races deserves near-equal acclaim ("Get-a your tootsie-fruitsie ice cream!"), but Thalberg's death in 1937 dealt a devastating blow, and the Marxes suffered from studio indifference, resulting in a succession of comedies that are timelessly enjoyable even as they fall prey to diminishing returns. By the time they made Go West and The Big Store, the Marxes were out of their element, and a few of the musical interludes indulge racial stereotypes that were common in the studio era. Despite this, these movies remain fresh and frantic, and Warner Bros. (holder of the RKO and MGM libraries) has done a marvelous job of packaging The Marx Brothers Collection to nostalgically approximate the filmgoing experience of the 1930s and '40s, with vintage shorts (Our Gang, Robert Benchley comedies, MGM cartoons, etc.) from the time of each feature's original release. Archival materials are slim but worthwhile (especially Groucho's 1961 interview with TV talk-show host Hy Gardner), and while Glenn Mitchell's commentary on Races is sparse and superficial, Leonard Maltin brings his usual superfan's enthusiasm and encyclopedic knowledge to bear on a full-length Opera commentary track. The new documentaries are somewhat redundant, but essential viewing for Marx Bros. neophytes. With all seven films presented in pristine condition, this is definitely a Marx Brothers Collection worth having. --Jeff Shannon


Special Features

  • Contains seven films on five discs:
  • A Night at The Opera
  • A Day at The Races
  • A Night in Casablanca
  • Room Service/At the Circus
  • Go West/The Big Store
  • Extras:
  • Commentary by Leonard Maltin on A Night at the Opera
  • Commentary by "The Marx Brothers Encyclopedia" Author Glenn Mitchell on A Day at the Races
  • All-New Documentaries "Remarks On Marx," "On Your Marx, Get Set, Go!"
  • The Hy Gardner Show (1/1/61) excerpt featuring Groucho Marx
  • Vintage Shorts:
  • "Fitzpatrick Traveltalk's Los Angeles: Wonder City Of The World"
  • "Sunday Night At The Trocadero"
  • Robert Benchley's Academy Award-Winning "How To Sleep"
  • "Pete Smith Specialty Quicker 'N A Wink"
  • "Flicker Memories"
  • Joe McDoakes's "So You Think You're A Nervous Wreck"
  • "Fitzpatrick Traveltalk Cavalcade Of San Francisco"
  • Robert Benchley's "A Night At The Movies"
  • MGM Cartoons: "Gallopin' Gals," "Mama's New Hat," "Jitterbug Follies," "Old Smokey," "Officer Pooch," and "The Milky Way"
  • Looney Tunes Cartoons: "The Daffy Doc" and "Acrobatty Bunny"
  • Our Gang Comedy Shorts: "Party Fever" and "Dog Daze"
  • Audio-Only: Musical Outtake A Message From The Man In The Moon (performed by Allan Jones), "Where There's Music," and an MGM Radio Promos "Leo Is On The Air"
  • Theatrical Trailers

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 4, 2004
  • Run Time: 613 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (286 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001HAIP4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,898 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "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)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

271 of 282 people found the following review helpful By Cubist on May 10, 2004
Format: DVD
Fans of the Marx Brothers movies have had to wait a long time to finally see their heroes done justice on the DVD format. Image Entertainment released a now out-of-print box set a few years ago with simply awful transfers and no extras. Hopes were raised when Warner Brothers announced that they would be releasing their own box set this year. The good news is that the Warners discs feature excellent transfers of every movie with a solid collection of supplemental material. The bad news is that many of the Marx Brothers most famous and beloved early films, like The Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers are not included set. So what exactly does one get with this new box set?
The first film in the set is A Night at the Opera, arguably one of the Marx Brothers best films of their career. It was the first film after they were pushed out of Paramount Studios because of the commercial and critical failure of Duck Soup.
Opera was a huge hit and put the Marx Brothers back on the map. They wisely followed it up with another Thalberg collaboration, A Day at the Races.
Sadly, Thalberg died suddenly before the movie was completed and the Marx Brothers films would never achieve the same greatness. No longer under the producer's protective presence, the Marx Bros. were effectively at the studio's mercy. They put them out to pasture metaphorically speaking. This may explain why the Marx Bros. made Room Service for RKO instead of MGM in 1938.
At the Circus marked the Marx Brothers' return to MGM and is not one of their greatest moments but isn't awful either.
Go West begins with a very funny scene in which Chico and Harpo milk Groucho out of most of his money. However, all three eventually appear in the Old West without any logical explanation on how they got there.
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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful By devotedmarxist on June 3, 2004
Format: DVD
Well, my sanity for one, is finally back to normal (if such a thing is possible with the Marx Brothers) with the release of this Warner Bros. set. I was knocked out at how great the transfers looked on DVD. I thought the audio was GREATLY improved as well, (Harpo's playing is even MORE beautiful-didn't think that could be possible) but yet the original charm of the movies is there as well, not an easy task to achieve. I didn't mind the extras. It made me feel like I was back in the 30's and 40's, in a movie theater seeing it all for the first time. My faves in this collection: "Opera","Races","Casablanca", and "Circus". But, one of my favorite scenes is when Chico and Harpo have a piano duet in "The Big Store". Take a close look at those two. If you can't see how much those two brothers loved each other, then you need spectacles! Of course, then they try to outdo each other, as all siblings do.......... that scene is so funny, never fails to get a laugh out of me.

There are so many moments, such as "Tootsie Frootsie Ice Cream" in "Races". Can't even begin to discuss them all. Out of this set, if you are new to the Marxes, start with "A Night at the Opera", to get a feel for them. And yes, I also wish the first 5 Paramount films would be re-released on DVD PROPERLY this time around, but of course, we're talking about two totally different film companies. But as a purist, I think it's about time to see those films done properly. Universal should take a LONG look at how Warners' did this set. We Marxists deserve better (are you listening Universal?) OK. Rant over. Buy this set. You won't be disappointed. These are truly comic gems from an era when movie makers didn't think that you needed to use a string of four-letter words and bathroom humor, to be hilarious.
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170 of 189 people found the following review helpful By R.D. Monsoon VINE VOICE on February 12, 2004
Format: DVD
Disc 1: "A Night at the Opera"
Special Features:
Commentary by Leonard Maltin
All-New Documentary "Remarks On Marx"
The Hy Gardner Show (1/1/61) excerpt featuring Groucho Marx
Three Vintage MGM Shorts:
Fitzpatrick Traveltalk's Los Angeles: Wonder City Of The World
Sunday Night At The Trocadero
Robert Benchley's Academy Award -Winning How To Sleep
Theatrical Trailer
Disc 2: "A Day at the Races"
Special Features:
Commentary by The Marx Brothers Encyclopedia Author Glenn Mitchell
All-New Documentary "On Your Marx, Get Set, Go!"
Four Vintage Shorts: Robert Benchley's Oscar Nominated A Night At The Movies plus the rarely-seen MGM Cartoons Gallopin' Gals, Mama's New Hat and Old Smokey
Audio-Only Treasures: Musical Outtake A Message From The Man In The Moon (performed by Allan Jones) and an MGM Radio Promo Leo Is On The Air
Theatrical Trailer
Disc 3: "Room Service" and "At the Circus" (double feature)
Special Features:
Vintage Our Gang Comedy Short Party Fever plus Daffy Duck and Porky Pig in the Looney Tunes Classic The Daffy Doc
Vintage Our Gang Comedy Short Dog Daze and Classic MGM Cartoon Jitterbug Follies
Disc 4: "Go West" and "The Big Store" (double feature)
Special Features:
Vintage Shorts, Pete Smith Specialty Quicker 'N A Wink and Fitzpatrick Traveltalk Cavalcade Of San Francisco
Vintage Cartoon, The Milky Way
Leo Is On The Air Radio Promo
Vintage MGM Short Flicker Memories and Vintage MGM Cartoon Officer Pooch
Audio Musical Outtake: Where There's Music
Disc 5: "A Night in Casablanca"
Special Features:
Bugs Bunny in the Looney Tunes cartoon classic Acrobatty Bunny
Vintage Joe McDoakes Short So You Think You're A Nervous Wreck
A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, and A Night in Casablanca are also available separately.
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Badly Misposted Reviews
This is quite common. They added the reviews for a version of "Christmas carol" that had not been digitally restored to the later release by another video company that was digitally restored.
Mar 26, 2014 by it |  See all 3 posts
Warner Bros. Where is the 40th Anniversary set for Bonnie & Clyde???
And in what way is this thread appropriate to THE MARX BROTHERS COLLECTION? (In no way. Re-post on the BONNIE AND CLYDE page discussion board, please).
Nov 12, 2011 by Doctor Mabuse |  See all 2 posts
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