THE MARX BROTHERS AT THE MOVIES by Burt & Paul Zimmerman Goldblatt

THE MARX BROTHERS AT THE MOVIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Leonard, Adolph and Julius, three slum sons who made it as Chico. Harpo and Groucho are now immortalized in film festivals and in this book which certainly succeeds as a critique of the kind of raucous, pun-filled, fun-filled, anarchical comedy they represented. There is a clever breakdown of each movie and the lines can stand alone. And there are lovely snatches of the clowns offstage--in the stone cold story conferences: literally smoking out their producer Irving Thalberg when he kept them barred from his inner sanctum: incorporating S. J. Perelman's humor into a sketch (the Perils of Perelman at that point) and breaking up a young orchestral violinist Benny Kubelsky, later known ""Weh-ll!"" as Jack Benny. It was an era of antics and even one writer, George S. Kaufman had a hard time keeping up--""How can you write for Harpo? . . . All you can say is, 'Harpo enters!'"" Another writer could, Al Boasbery, the one line gagster who didn't like to be rushed--in retaliation he pasted an entire script Scene on the ceiling of his office. . . in 1,000 one-line strips. For the merry Marxists, it'll be Duck Soup.

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 1968
Publisher: Putnam