Groucho and the Marx Brothers (Goodtimes, 1988).

This collection of Marx Brothers ephemera is mildly interesting, more so if you're a Marx Brothers fan. It consists mostly of trailers from their movies, most of which are quite amusing. There's also a short clip from a newsreel featurette about a mini car race between Groucho, Harpo, and Jackie Coogan, a clip from a filmed wartime radio broadcast to the Marines featuring Groucho, and the complete, uncut 1949 tv pilot of Groucho's game show "You Bet Your Life" (reviewed seperately under "Early Film & TV").


Highlights:


  • In the trailer for The Big Store, the Marx Brothers announce their retirement from motion pictures and state that The Big Store is their "first farewell picture". Fortunately, they are persuaded not to retire by a stock footage crowd of screaming fans.
  • At the Circus features a "Colossal Congress of Stuff and Things!"
  • The trailer for Monkey Business is priceless. It features all four Marx Brothers auditioning for a producer, speaking entirely in rhyme (Harpo has a rhyming business card), and each doing a bad impression of Maurice Chevalier. And that's before things become totally chaotic!

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: ***.

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