Thursday, June 23, 2011


‘Nobody should try to play comedy unless they have a circus going on inside.’

-Ernst Lubitsch

It is only too clear that Chico, Harpo and obviously Groucho Marx has each had quite a circus going on inside them and that reflects on screen as something so touchstone hard to imitate. The world is unconditionally funny in Marx Brothers movies. Immaterial to your age, the comedy of their films works so original and brilliant that even today watching their B&W gems is equal treat as watching masterpieces of two other geniuses- Chaplin and Buster Kaeton.

Much before it release, Warner Bros studio blamed Marx Bros. to encash their film at box -office on WB’s recent successful Bogart-Bergman starrer ‘Casablanca’. However Groucho wrote some of the funniest letters as reply. Though it’s as mad cap comedy and wonderfully executed by the most talented trio of Marx Bros, it didn’t work well at box-office when released. The plot begins like noir where an old manager died natural death or murdered at Hotel Casablanca. The Nazi conspiracy plotting and hidden treasure around in the air and here arrives the new manager Monsier Ronald Kornblow, who else than the legend Groucho! The rest is all hilarious fun till the movie ends.

There are many scenes which I love to watch repeatedly- the encounters between Groucho and coquettish Beatrice, the hide and seek of wig, closet and clothes game of trio making the things upside down for Pffermann and above all the climax where Harpo helmed the airplane. It’s always moments to laugh loud watching the brilliant chemistry between Harpo and Chico on screen. Oh, I just love watching Harpo’s deliberate silence and his crazy tomfoolery around. Watch the scene where Harpo is explaining the murder plot to Chico with his whistling and crazy body language and Harpo making sense out of it… just brilliant! The other classic moments are Chico playing polka tune on piano and Harpo playing liar strings…watch their fingers movement…there’s fun, melody and magic in their timing.

Another amazing Marx Bros film with value of fine repeat watch…unfortunately the cinema and audience of today no longer remained as innocent in the matter of fun.


No comments: