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The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection (The Cocoanuts / Animal Crackers / Monkey Business / Horse Feathers / Duck Soup)


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Frequently Bought Together

The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection (The Cocoanuts / Animal Crackers / Monkey Business / Horse Feathers / Duck Soup) + 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) + W.C. Fields Comedy Favorites Collection
Price for all three: $44.47

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Celebrate the 75th anniversary of the greatest comedy act in history with The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection. This essential DVD set features the legendary four Marx Brothers in five of their most acclaimed and best loved films - Duck Soup, Horse Feathers, Monkey Business, Animal Crackers and The Cocoanuts - the only five movies ever made with all four brothers together: Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo!

Amazon.com

There will be a debate of which 2004 DVD collection of Marx Brothers films was better. This Universal release of the better known Paramount-produced films are the only ones starring all four brothers: Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo. The Warner collection contains less-vital films, but is loaded with extras and commentaries. The Universal collection contains only 20 minutes of interviews from NBC's Today Show--interesting but short--with Harpo, Groucho, and Harpo's son Bill from the '60s and '70s. All of the films in this collection were released on DVD by Image Entertainment in 2000 and the prints look the same, which isn't necessarily bad; one just wishes a major restoration had been undertaken.

The films--packaged handsomely with a booklet--are essential Marx Brothers, their first five films made from 1929 to 1933. The least timeless is their first, The Cocoanuts, based on their Broadway hit. The film--one of the first full talkies--takes place in a hotel with owner Groucho out to grab every dollar. Animal Crackers is the brothers' first classic, a lickety-split comedy about an art theft being investigated by Groucho's alter-image, Captain Spaulding. For introducing youngsters to the work of Marx, Monkey Business is the best way. The shenanigans start right at the start as the brothers stowaway on a luxury liner. It's their first film that wasn't based on a play, as they endeavored to find new material. Horse Feathers gave them more fertile ground plus a sure-fire Hollywood director at the helm (Norman McLeoad). Their fantasia of college life includes the riotous football-game finale. Music, always a key part of their plays and films is given more weight here and includes Groucho's theme, "I'm Against It." Music is again key as the musicals of the era are spoofed in the brothers' undisputed masterpiece, Duck Soup. From a land called Fredonia, Groucho plays a slapdash ruler who rewrites the rules of governing, leading to a most memorable war with Sylvania (so war gets lampooned. too). Duck Soup also boasts the most famous Marx brothers sketch: Groucho trying to fool his mirror. --Doug Thomas


Special Features

Disc 1 - Duck Soup:
  • Theatrical Trailer


  • Disc 2 - Horse Feathers:
  • Theatrical Trailer


  • Disc 4 - Animal Crackers:
  • Theatrical Trailer


  • Disc 6:
  • Today Show Interview with Harpo Marx (1961)
  • Today Show Interview with Groucho Marx (1963)
  • Today Show Interview with William Marx (1985)

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Zeppo Marx, Margaret Dumont
    • Directors: Norman Z. McLeod, Victor Heerman, Joseph Santley, Robert Florey, Leo McCarey
    • Writers: Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby
    • Producers: Herman J. Mankiewicz
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
    • Subtitles: French, Spanish
    • Dubbed: Spanish
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
    • Number of discs: 6
    • Rated: G (General Audience)
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: November 9, 2004
    • Run Time: 405 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (251 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B0002MHDYW
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,824 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection (The Cocoanuts / Animal Crackers / Monkey Business / Horse Feathers / Duck Soup)" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    4.4 out of 5 stars

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    486 of 498 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 11, 2004
    Format: DVD
    The Marx Brothers hit their peak with "Duck Soup". Sure, "A Night at the Opera" and "A Day at the Races" were both bigger box office hits and, while both those latter films have their moments they just can't quite compete with the inspired anarchy of "Duck Soup". Let's start with the positives first. It doesn't look like most of the films have any footage missing as near as I can tell. Sure, some of the editing still looks ragged but most of their early films (and films from that era for that matter) have that "look". The first three movies are a bit static looking (since the first two were based on their stage plays that's not a surprise--they look like photographed stage plays). With "Monkey Business" and "Horse Feathers" The Marx Brothers began to develop a style that was a bit more cinematic. All five films are essential for fans.

    Now the bad news. Universal has been slapping together boxed sets lately of older films and TV series with little to no extras and without any effort at restoration. They're where Warner Brothers was about 6 years ago. The prints often don't look as sharp as they could and there's plenty of analog blemishes to muddy up the picture as well. Digitally many of these flaws could easily be corrected on these prints. Since the original negatives are long gone (they were shot on nitrate stock. Nitrate stock is quite unstable begins to disintegrate and shrink after a couple of decades). Unfortunately, we're left with prints that are several generations removed from the original negatives which means that these will probably never look perfect. Could they look better? Absolutely as there's been minimal effort to clean them up and none of them look as if there has been an effort to restore them.
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    97 of 98 people found the following review helpful By J. Robelen on November 16, 2004
    Format: DVD
    In summary, I will echo what's been said already about this collection. The films are worth having, because after 70+ years of existence, this is apparently the best Universal will do with the classic Marx Brothers performances of their day.

    Now I will heap on some gripes of my own. First, there's just over six hours of material spread over six DVDs. You do the math--they're obviously NOT TRYING VERY HARD here. They could have easily fit this all on 3 discs, or fewer. It's not like there's a COMMENTARY TRACK or even a RESTORED PRINT that would make each film worthy of its own disc. Universal did the BARE MINIMUM knowing that real fans would buy these crappy prints anyway, and will pay again if they release restored and augmented versions later. (The Warner Collection beats this one hands down, but with different titles. Hell, even Universal's treatment of ABBOTT & COSTELLO was done better.)

    The "exclusive book" is fluff; it has credits and pictures but NOTHING you can't get elsewhere (like IMDB). And the "extras" disc is pitiful. The Today Show interviews of Harpo and Groucho are so brief, and in need of restoration themselves, they're actually cruel to watch. C'mon Universal, this is the BEST STUFF you could find? It's not like you were limited to supplemental material from the 1930s. These interviews are from the '60s and '70s!

    The only thing that remotely redeems this collection is the price--the Amazon price, not the retail price. Buy this for the movies if you love them, but this is a collection that ONLY MINNIE (the Marx Brothers' mother) should love.
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    196 of 205 people found the following review helpful By Paul J. Mular TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 11, 2004
    Format: DVD
    If you already own the previous DVD or Laserdisc releases of these great classic movies, you may want to think twice about investing more money for only 15 minutes total of "Today Show" interviews with Harpo, Groucho, and Harpo's son promoting their books. There is some fun here, but you want to kick the Today Show Director when they interrupt Groucho's story, after only 5 minutes, because they have other things to get to. Groucho really looks stunned and put out that he was stopped.

    There are also 3 trailers (Cocoanuts & Monkey Business have none) strangely tagged at the end to promote the MCA 1980's Home Video Tape release.

    I guess Universal forgot that they own the rights to the Marx Brothers half-hour 1950's TV special "THE INCREDIBLE JEWEL ROBBERY". This would have been a great addition to the box set! I have never seen this except for the old Castle Films home movie clip.

    Restoration? Well, Universal never used that word in their description, and they certainly didn't do it.

    The choppy splices are still there in several movies.

    The missing footage is still NOT there.

    Some reels are still out of focus.

    Some reels are still many generations away from the original negative and look very contrasty.

    Some reels still have a bouncy picture (warped negative).

    About 75% of the time the films do look good.

    This really looks like a quick patch-together box set by Universal (Owned by NBC, that is why their Today Show clips are used) to keep up with the competition (WB's DVD Box Set).

    BUT, if you never got the previously released DVDs or Laserdiscs, then this is a Must-Get box set!
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