In celebration of American films, Dogbotz Boneyard is making available for purchase top-quality, mint-condition, glossy black-and-white photographic prints of well-renowned movie stars of the 1930s, ‘40s, ‘50s and early ‘60s. Each print comes in a clear document holder and is ready to be matted and/or framed.
The Marx Brothers were a family comedy act that was successful in vaudeville, on Broadway, and in motion pictures from 1905 to 1949. Five of the Marx Brothers’ thirteen feature films were selected by the American Film Institute as among the top 100 comedy films, with two of them (Duck Soup and A Night at the Opera) in the top twelve. The brothers were included in the American Film Institute’s 100 Years...100 Stars list of the most significant screen legends, the only performers to be inducted collectively.
The core of the act was the three elder brothers, Chico, Harpo, and Groucho (shown in the attached photograph); each developed a highly distinctive stage persona. The two younger brothers, Gummo and Zeppo, did not develop their stage characters to the same extent, and eventually left the act to pursue other careers. Gummo was not in any of the movies; Zeppo appeared in the first five films in relatively straight (non-comedic) roles.
By 1924, the brothers’ act had evolved into its familiar incarnation. Groucho was the master of wit and verbal timing, and he delivered wisecracks and non sequiturs at a dizzying, relentless pace; his visual trademarks included grease-painted eyebrows and mustache, glasses, tailcoat, and an ever-present cigar. Harpo played a mute, clad in rags and battered top hat, who communicated through gestures, whistles, horn-honking, and wild facial expressions; his character is that of pure, unbridled emotion and impulse, devilish and angelic in equal measure. Although he had no formal musical training, Harpo was a proficient harpist, and virtually all Marx Brothers films feature one of his impressive solos. Although Groucho and Harpo are regarded as the comic geniuses of the act, audiences found Chico the most immediately ingratiating. In the manner of dialect comedians of the time, Chico adopted a bogus Italian accent for his character of a somewhat thick-headed shyster with a heart of gold. He was not in Harpo’s league as a musician, but his dexterous “trick” piano playing was an audience favorite. As their films evolved, The Marx Brothers were celebrated for their inventive attacks on the socially respectable and upon ordered society in general.