- Note: Blu-ray discs are in a high definition format and need to be played on a Blu-ray player.
The 4 Marx Brothers At Paramount 1929 - 1933
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The Marx Brothers Chico, Groucho, Harpo and Zeppo are one of the cornerstones of American comedy. Starting out in vaudeville, they conquered Broadway and the big screen in their own inimitable style, at once innovative, irreverent, anarchic, physical, musical, ludicrous and hilarious.
With the advent of the talkies , the Brothers signed to Paramount Pictures and brought their stage act to cinema audience. They made five films in five years, all of which are collected here: The Cocoanuts (1929), Animal Crackers (1930), Monkey Business (1931), Horse Feathers (1932) and one of the greatest comedies of all time, Duck Soup (1933).
The Paramount era represents the Marx Brothers at their absolute finest, retaining all of the energy and controlled chaos of their stage shows. Plots are unimportant it s the gags, set-pieces and one-liners that matter: Why a duck? , Hello, I Must Be Going , Hooray for Captain Spaulding , That s the bunk! , Horse Feathers Swordfish scene and classic mirror sequence in Duck Soup.
LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS:
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Perfect-bound book featuring new and archival writing on the films
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Main Documentary- The Marx Brothers: Hollywood s Kings of Chaos - Run Time - 1Hr.19.57.
Three excerpts from NBC s The Today Show featuring interviews with Harpo Marx, Groucho Marx and Bill Marx - Run Time- 16Min.37.
And the big bonus 2 documentaries NOT included on the US box set we actually get more on this UK edition from Arrow well done to them!!
MONKEYNUTCRACKERDUCKFEATHERS - 27Min:21.
Sibling Revelry - 19Min:50.
These are 2 great visual essays by David Cairns who again looks at these 5 films in more detail and another about the careers of the Marx Brothers great bonus editions to have that any Marx fan will appreciate.Commentary on The Cocoanuts by film scholar Anthony Slide
Commentary on Animal Crackers by film historian Jeffrey Vance
Commentary on Monkey Business by Marx Brothers historian Robert S Bader and Bill Marx, son of Harpo Marx
Commentary on Horse Feathers by film critic FX Feeney
Commentary on Duck Soup by Bader and film critic Leonard Maltin
Finally FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Perfect-bound book featuring new and archival writing on the films great posters and pics included here fab.
Hope this info is helpful to anyone thinking of purchasing this great box set i can assure you,you wont be disappointed just aching with laughter!!
Roll on, A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races,The Big Store, A Night in Casablanca etc. Mark Lees, ex Cinema Projectionist.Wallasey.4/7/17.
The overall result of is hugely increased immediacy: as if the veil of antiquity has been pulled away and we can get an idea of what theatre audiences must have seen in live Marx Brothers performances.
I have only had a chance to skim through three of the films but must comment on the astonishing clean up of The Cocoanuts, which suddenly looks far more modern and less clumsy then it has in the smokey version we have all been used to; on my astonishment at hearing cut lines in Animal Crackers restored - for the first time we can hear Groucho's wonderfully coarse rejoinder to Margaret Dumont's sung line "He is the only white man who covered ev'ry acre!" ("I think I'll try and make her!") and the exchange about 'scratching' Elsie in the Letter Dictation scene between Groucho and Zeppo.
I must also report the one great disappointment of this set: Horse Feathers remains in its butchered form with the Ice Delivery run-around scene with Thelma Todd still cut to ribbons as it has been in every version seen in television or video release. The notes provided are a little sketchy on this great mystery but it would appear that this is now the only version that exits and that we can never now hope to see a complete restoration of this sequence, for if it was not found as a result of the otherwise superb refurbishment, it never will be.