This documentary has an appropriate beginning, showing a number of people reciting one adjective apiece to describe the Marx Brothers. I don't have to repeat them here; you know what people are going to say - mostly things like "zany." I liked what Carl Reiner said: "our court jesters." Yup, for years - especially in the 1930s with films like "A Day At The Races," the Marx Brothers were America's court jesters.
In this half hour collection of comments and scenes from the MB films, we learn about these famous comedians and some of the reasons their movies were so likable. We learn how and why their stage careers helped them immensely in their films and how some of their best-known movies have similar characteristics. We learn what a key man Irving Thalberg was to their career and how much he was missed after his tragic death at the age of 37. Jack Warner replaced him and Groucho and the boys did not get along with him. When Thalberg died, in effect, so did excellent Marx Brothers films. They loved Thalberg but hated Mayer and director. (You'll have to see this to find out who!)
There are all kinds of stories in here about the boys, except for Zeppo who wasn't on film long with the other three. It was nice to see Margaret Dumont receive a tribute for her contributions and it was almost shocking to hear about Chico's exploits with the women. This guy got about every woman in Hollywood, it was said in here, which made Groucho - who also loved the women - very jealous. Speaking of women, we see Maureen O'Sullivan today talking about Groucho. It's always interesting to see what classic-era movie stars look like today and I give people like O'Sullivan credit for doing the interviews knowing she's an old lady now, not the glamor girl of the past. Her comments on rebuffing Groucho's advances were fun to hear.
If you're a Marx Brothers fan, this is a "must" bonus feature to watch. It can be viewed on "A Day At The Races"
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