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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aria You Kidding Me?, February 15, 2010
This review is from: A Night at the Opera [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is a review for the VHS tape of the MGM film of A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (1935) dby Sam Wood starring the Three Marx Brothers, Kitty Carlysle, Allen Jones, Walter Woolf King, Sig Ruman, Margaret Dumont.

The Marx Brothers --Groucho, Chico, and Harpo star in their most successful and in some minds, their best film. Produced by the legendary Irving Thalberg whose touch of genius was to lay on the schmaltz as thickly as possible and keep the brothers three under control as much possible, except for the comedy.

And the comedy is the main reason most anyone would want to watch A NIGHT AT THE OPERA today. All three Marxes are at the top of their form with one famous scene after another, more than enough material to fill two movies for "normal" performers.
Each time one of the brothers takes center stage I decide that he is really the best.
The truth is all three were tops at what they did and in this film they had the likes of George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskin, Al Boasberg and even uncredited Buster Keaton, among others, building gags alongside the story for them.

In A NIGHT AT THE OPERA the brothers become secondary characters when romance rears its romantic head and that, more than anything, kind of bothers me.
Here's where we need Zeppo, to carry the torch of Marxian romance and desire, just for the neatness of keeping it all in the family and to avoid having the brothers slip into becoming even for a few minutes, just an element of an ensemble cast.

Another problem with A NIGHT AT THE OPERA is some of the scene transitions are kind of jerky if not downright abrupt, not what you'd expect from MGM. Maybe the powers that be made some last minute cuts in the film and did not have the time to do a smooth editing job. If that's true wouldn't be something to see those out takes?

And finally, for years I have actively disliked the music in A NIGHT AT THE OPERA. But now that I have aged just a slight bit, I find it kind of pleasant and portions of it somewhat interesting. Also, as the years have passed, I have been able to forget TV's "To Tell The Truth" or whatever quiz show Kitty Carlysle appeared on and now can appreciate her for the remarkable beauty and fine singer she really was. I wonder if Chico noticed.

So, in my opinion, A NIGHT AT THE OPERA, a five star film, stands only slightly behind DUCK SOUP in the chorus line of high stepping Marx Brothers classics, which ain't bad by anyone's standards." With a Hey Non Nonny And a Hot Cha Cha."
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 17, 2010 12:03:42 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 17, 2010 12:04:06 AM PDT
What a fine review.
Keep up the excellent work, Tom! :?D

Posted on May 6, 2010 5:17:24 PM PDT
Tom,

You're spot-on in your thoughts and reactions to this wonderfully fun film.
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