Wednesday, 19 February 2014
The jokes and verbal wordplay come so fast and so furiously that it would be more than possible to miss a line of dialogue whilst still laughing at a proceeding line. The script is delivered with such skill and joyful aplomb that it feels almost as if they are making it up as they go along and I mean that in a great way. Even though this movie was released way back in 1931 Groucho is cracking knowingly ironic jokes about restricting immigration in order to prevent cultural and social disintegration, the same bogeyman, all these years later, which haunts the pages of almost every newspaper sold throughout the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. It would seem the cultural zeitgeist is older but no wiser.
To think the brothers performed these scenes live as part of their vaudeville act is just astonishing. The different energies generated by each of the brothers leap like sparks from scene to scene. It is a remarkable chemistry shared by these men, all four of them. What amazing and complex set of variables combined to produce these remarkable men, some unique set of circumstances which to my knowledge has never been repeated.
There has only ever been one set of Marx brothers.
I wonder if The Doctor ever met them.