Tag Archives: Marx Brothers

The Set of 400: #2 – My Favorite Doghouse Tattoo

Today! Because you’re fighting for this woman’s honor, which is probably more than she ever did –

Duck Soup (1933)

Directed by Leo McCarey

Starring Groucho Marx (x8), Harpo Marx (x8), Chico Marx (x8), Zeppo Marx (x5), Margaret Dumont (x5), Louis Calhern (x2), Raquel Torres, Edgar Kennedy (x3)

There have only been a handful of movies I’ve ever serious proclaimed were my favorite of all-time, at any given point in my life. Sure, for purely comic purposes, I will often lean over to the wife in a movie theater and declare that whatever nonsense we’re watching is my favorite movie ever, usually after Captain America punches someone through a building, but the actual list is much smaller. Prior to ’89, I don’t recall informing of my parents over the morning’s Cheerios that, like, I Am Curious Yellow was now my favorite film – I just wasn’t ranking stuff back then, too busy mastering all the walking and talking that life requires. But, summer ’89, Batman got to the top of the list first, followed without break (I think) by Hook in ’91, Batman Returns in ’92, and then came the cinematic awakening when I put away childish things (shoutout, First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians!) and Unforgiven scaled the film mountain. Given this rapid adjustment of preferences, you’d think that the title would’ve changed hands many times in the subsequent years, but basically since then, only one of two movies has been #1 in my personal catalog. Tomorrow’s film most often has been named my favorite, but in any given month, Duck Soup could supplant it, so interchangeable is my love for these movies. Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #173 – My Favorite Breeder’s Guide

Today! Because I really am a horse doctor, but marry me, and I’ll never look at another horse –

A Day at the Races (1937)

Directed by Sam Wood

Starring Groucho Marx (x3), Harpo Marx (x3), Chico Marx (x3), Allan Jones, Maureen O’Sullivan (x2), Margaret Dumont (x2), Sig Ruman (x3), Esther Muir, Douglass Dumbrille, Dorothy Dandridge, Leonard Ceeley

The last really good Marx Brothers movie (and even that is up for some debate), A Day at the Races functions as a solid last gasp for the team, even though they couldn’t have known it when production began. Like on A Night at the Opera two years earlier, they had the benefit of road testing some of the material, to get the jokes down solid and the timing together to hold for laughs. They had the enthusiasm and support of MGM boss Irving Thalberg, who threw them the money and resources to make this work, and got the film launched before cameras in the fall of ’36.

For two years, they were quite the team

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