Thursday, January 29, 2015

Horse Feathers (1932)

New college president Wagstaff (Groucho) is convinced by his undergrad son Frank (dull brother Zeppo) that what the school needs is a winning football team, and he sends him to a local speakeasy where a few top players hang out. Instead of recruiting ringers, he signs up the speakeasy thug and the dog catcher (Chico and Harpo). Marx style antics ensue.

Story really doesn't matter in a Marx Brothers movie. It's just a framework for them to perform their vaudeville. If you take anything here seriously, then you are missing the point.

Comedy footnote Thelma Todd plays the sizable role. Her career was cut shot because someone murdered her. Interesting to note that TCM presenter Ben Mankiewicz mentioned that his grandfather said he'd rather have their teeth drilled out before working with the brothers again. The Buster Keaton documentary I mentioned before had unkind words about their professionalism as well.

All Marx Brother films are alike, as far as I can tell. They don't fail to entertain, however. Would be nice if the musical numbers were shorter. AMRU 3.5.
"Are you suggesting that I, the president of Huxley College, go into a speakeasy without even giving me the address?"

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