7 Comedy Romps on 5 Discs!
Go West/ The Big Store
Groucho, Chico, Harpo - all certifiably wacko in a double-dip of comedies. The Marxmen Go West to where the sun always shines, the fun never sets and where they outwit a land grabber. Highlights include the $1 scam, the stagecoach ride, Chico and Harpo bellying up to the bar and the train-chase finale. What fools these mortals be and what fuels they need. The boys chop up passenger cars to get wood to stoke the locomotive. They go east in The Big Store, becoming detectives-cum-bodyguards for a department store. Crime is afoot in the store or, if the Fabrics Department, by the yard. Still, our sleuths don't have a clue except in laughing matters. Chico and Harpo share a piano keyboard, beds disappear into walls, roller skates provide in-store mobility Groucho warbles Sing While You Sell, Sold!
Room Service/ At the Circus
The Marx Bros. try to find a backer for a Broadway play. Then they scramble to find a backer for a circus. So we put them backer to backer in this hilarious twofer. In Room Service (co-starring Lucille Ball and Anne Miller), a cash-strapped theatrical troupe reasons no one would bounce a sick man from a hotel room. And that leads to a diagnosis of crazy comedy involving feigned illness, fake suicides, a bogus physician and more Marxist doctorin'. The 3-ring circus that is Groucho, Chico and Harpo provide big-top bedlam At the Circus. Groucho and Chico work a badge skit, Chico and Harpo scour a strongman's bedroom for evidence, Groucho extols Lydia the Tatooed Lady and logic, like the orchestra at the film's antic conclusion, is cut adrift and out to sea. You can learn a lot from Lydia. And you can laugh a lot with these two classic romps.
A Day at the Races
The Marxes skewer medicine and bring home a racetrack winner in the hilarious A Day at the Races. In his favorite role, Groucho is Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush - MD, PhD, RFD, MC, PDQ, BYOB and none of the above - dispensing horse pills and quips with equal glee. Chico, Harpo and favorite foil Margaret Dumont join the fun of this thoroughly thoroughbred comedy. Enjoy tootsie-frootsie, ice cream, Dumont's medical exam, Harpo's pretty-girl pantomime sketch, wallpaper wackiness and wall-to-wall hilarity the Marx way.
A Night at the Opera
Arts patron Mrs. Claypool intends to pay pompous opera star Lassparri $1,000 per performance. Hey, maybe that's why they call it grand opera!
Grand comedy, too, as Groucho, Chico and Harpo cram a ship's stateroom and more with wall-to-wall gags, one-liners, musical riffs and two hard-boiled eggs - all while skewering Lassparri's schemes and helping two young hopefuls (Kitty Carlisle and Allan Jones) get a break. To save the opera, our heroes must first destroy it. And they must also gain ocean passage as stowaways, pull the wool (if not the beards) over the eyes of City Hall, shred legal mumbo-jumbo into a Sanity Clause, pester dowager Claypool (Margaret Dumont) and unleash so much glee that many say this is the best Marx Brothers movie. Seeing is believing.
A Night in Casablanca
Groucho, Chico, Harpo... uh-oh! It's the Nazis vs. the nutsies when the legendary Marx Brothers foil Axis criminals during A Night in Casablanca. As the manager of a hotel swirling in intrigue, Groucho is up to his fake moustache in joyful if unfulfilled lechery. Chico - heywatzamatter - becomes Groucho's bodyguard by self-decree. Harpo, pantomime's clown prince, says more in whistles and gestures than most comics say in pages of dialogue. When this 1946 film began production, Warner Bros. threatened suit, saying the title infringed up on the studio's famed Casablanca. Groucho fired back: "You probably have the rights to use the name Warner but what about Brothers? Professionally, we were brothers before you were."