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)
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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
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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
Disc 2: "A Day at the Races"
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
Disc 3: "Room Service" and "At the Circus" (double feature)
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)
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"
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cant fault this box, second one now, as i lost the first in a break in. So nice to have them back. Very good picture and sound for how old they are!Published 1 month ago by S. Robinson
Exactly as described. Good quality copy of film, considering its age. Good sound too.
Contains 7 movies on 5 physical discs. Read more
Delivery was within stated time. They were as funny now as they were 70 years agoPublished 2 months ago by a.philpott
They were so much better than the three stooges. Good collection.Published 2 months ago by shop browser
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