Marx Brothers At Paramount, 1929-1933 (BLU-RAY)
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The Marx Brothers – Chico, Groucho, Harpo and Zeppo – are one of the cornerstones of American comedy. Starting out in vaudeville, they conquered Broadway and the big screen in their own inimitable style, at once innovative, irreverent, anarchic, physical, musical, ludicrous and hilarious.
With the advent of the ‘talkies’, the Brothers signed to Paramount Pictures and brought their stage act to cinema audiences. They made five films in five years, all of which are collected here: The Cocoanuts (1929), Animal Crackers (1930), Monkey Business (1931), Horse Feathers (1932) and one of the greatest comedies of all time, Duck Soup (1933).
The Paramount era represents the Marx Brothers at their absolute finest, retaining all of the energy and controlled chaos of their stage shows. Plots are unimportant – it’s the gags, set-pieces and one-liners that matter: “Why a duck?”, “Hello, I Must Be Going”, “Hooray for Captain Spaulding”, “That’s the bunk!”, Horse Feathers’ “Swordfish” scene and classic mirror sequence in Duck Soup.
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of all five features, each scanned and restored in 4K from original film elements by Universal
- Original 1.0 mono audio
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
- Commentary on The Cocoanuts by film scholar Anthony Slide
- Commentary on Animal Crackers by film historian Jeffrey Vance
- Commentary on Monkey Business by Marx Brothers historian Robert S Bader and Bill Marx, son of Harpo Marx
- Commentary on Horse Feathers by film critic FX Feeney
- Commentary on Duck Soup by Bader and film critic Leonard Maltin
- The Marx Brothers: Hollywood’s Kings of Chaos, a feature-length documentary containing interviews with Leonard Maltin, Dick Cavett and others
- Three excerpts from NBC’s The Today Show featuring interviews with Harpo Marx, Groucho Marx and Bill Marx
- Sibling Revelry, an introduction to the Marx Brothers by critic David Cairns
- MONKEYNUTCRACKERDUCKFEATHERS, a video essay about the films by David Cairns
- A 60-page booklet containing writing by Robert S. Bader, author of Four Of The Three Musketeers: The Marx Brother On Stage, plus new writing on each of the films by Pamela Hutchinson, Christina Newland, Kevin Jackson, Michael Brooke, and Vic Pratt.