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The Marx Brothers were the last of the great vaudeville comic acts to make it to the silver screen. The reason is obvious: while many vaudevillians for whom the spoken word was important managed great silent screen careers, the Marx Brothers relied enormously on speech. Although Groucho was a fine physical comedian, his act was impossible without words; Harpo could easily dispense with sound, but even he whistled, honked, and played the Harp, and much of his humor was framed by the words of others, either friends or enemies; and Chico, who was the only one of the three main brothers who was ungifted in physical humor, would have been completely at sea without being able to speak his indecipherable concoction of Italian.Read more ›
This motion picture version differs from the play in the number of musical pieces used-- six for the film vs. twenty on stage. Irving Berlin's lovely ballad, "Always" was one of the songs that got cut. Two of the movie's half-dozen tunes, "When My Dreams Come True" and "Gypsy Love Song" were never in the theatrical production. Also, director Robert Florey invented a couple of pantomime bits so Harpo would have more screen time.
Groucho is a Florida resort hotel manager, Zeppo's his lazy assistant. Chico and Harpo are grifters who arrive carrying empty bags that they hope to fill with stolen property. Maggie Dumont is Mrs. Potter, a wealthy dowager and one of the hotel's few paying customers. Her daughter Polly (Mary Eaton) loves struggling architect Bob Adams (Oscar Shaw), who's currently employed as the hotel's clerk. Mrs. P. prefers that Polly wed the apparently well-heeled Harvey Yates (Cyril Ring). What no one realizes: larcenous Yates and Penelope (Kay Francis), his partner-in-crime, plan to steal Mrs. Potter's fabulously expensive diamond bracelet.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My apologies to all of the people who wrote great reviews for this movie -- but you have to be a real die-hard Marx brothers fan to enjoy this one. Read morePublished 6 months ago by mom of eight
This is their first film and if you imagine that you're sitting in a theater watching a show on stage, then it's really good. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Heather Knight
Magnificent movie . the first of many Marx bros. movies... AND one of the earliest sound moviesPublished 9 months ago by Factual Hunter
It is amazing that this film was made in 1929 just two years after the first talkie in 1927. It looks a lot like a modern movie but the timing is a bit strange, probably due to... Read morePublished 15 months ago by The Curmudgeon
This item arrived on time. It seems to be fine...part of a holiday present.Published 19 months ago by Katinka