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.
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