PRESS RELEASE

 

‘We really need a second Mount Rushmore memorial: this one for Groucho,

Chico and Harpo... [who gave us] perhaps the most jubilant and inspired comic anarchy the world has ever known” -- Tom Shales, Washington Post

The Marx Brothers

A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races,

Room Service, At the Circus,

Go West, The Big Store

A Night in Casablanca

 






Seven Comedy Classics Debut as Deluxe Five DVD Gift Set on May 4 from Warner Home Video

 

Collection DVDs Include New Documentaries, Commentaries, Vintage Shorts, Cartoons and Audio Treasures

 

Burbank, Calif., January 27, 2004 – On May 4, Warner Home Video is releasing seven of the funniest and most popular films from one of the world’s most beloved comedy teams, the Marx Brothers.  These films, A Night at the Opera (1935), A Day at the Races (1937), Room Service (1938), At the Circus (1939), Go West (1940), The Big Store (1941) and A Night in Casablanca (1946) are being released on DVD for the very first time, as part of The Marx Brothers Collection, a deluxe five DVD gift set priced at $59.92.  A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, and A Night in Casablanca will also be available as single discs priced at $19.97 SRP. 

 

The Marx Brothers -- Groucho, the bushy-browed, cigar-smoking wisecracker with the funny mustache and walk; Harpo, the loveable mute with the curly blonde hair, top hat, raincoat and horn; and Chico, the rakish con artist with the Italian accent -- were madcap comedians of the first order who paved the way for generations of comedians and made the world safe for puns.  They started off in vaudeville in the 1920s and followed their popular stage act with a total of 13 sound feature films made between 1929 and 1949.  Their most popular and successful films were those made at MGM, where the brothers were brought under contract in 1935 by the studio’s legendary head of production Irving Thalberg.  Thalberg personally supervised A Night at the Opera and began preparation of A Day at the Races before his untimely death prior to the beginning of filming.  The brothers remained at MGM for several years thereafter, only leaving the studio on loan-out to RKO for 1938’s Room Service, and then making their last true comic romp for independent producer David L. Loew in 1946 entitled A Night in Casablanca. 

 

According to George Feltenstein, WHV's Senior VP, Classic Catalog, "The Marx Brothers trademark brand of lunacy has often been imitated but never equaled, and their unique style of comedy is timeless.  At the present time, no Marx Brothers features are actively in distribution on DVD and we know consumer demand has been building.  Warner Home Video is proud to reward the anxious Marx fans with these seven films, which are as fresh and hysterically funny as they were when they were first shown in theaters decades ago."

 

 

WHV’s Marx Brothers Collection DVDs

A Night at the Opera – Maltin calls this 1935 comic masterpiece “arguably their finest film.  This is as good as it gets.”  In it, the Marx Brothers turn Mrs. Claypool’s opera into chaos in their efforts to help two young hopefuls get a break.  It contains the famous scene where Groucho, Chico and Harpo cram a ship’s stateroom with wall-to-wall people, gags, one-liners, musical riffs and two hard-boiled eggs. 

 

Favorite quote:

Otis B. Driftwood: It’s all right, that’s in every contract. That’s what they call a sanity clause.

Fiorello: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ... you can’t fool me. There ain’t no sanity clause!

 

Enhanced content includes:

§   Commentary by Leonard Maltin

§   All-New Documentary Remarks On Marx

§   The Hy Gardner Show (1/1/61) excerpt featuring Groucho Marx

§   Three Vintage MGM Shorts: Fitzpatrick Traveltalk’s Los Angeles: Wonder City Of The World, Sunday Night At The Trocadero and Robert Benchley’s Academy AwardÒ-Winning How To Sleep    

§    Theatrical Trailer

 

A Day at the Races (1937) – Groucho stars as Hugo Z. Hackenbush, a horse veterinarian dispensing horse pills and quips with equal glee.  Chico selling racing tips, Harpo destroying a piano to turn it into a harp and favorite foil actress Margaret Dumont make this thoroughbred comedy wall-to-wall hilarity.  Many of the sequences in the film were performed by the Marx Brothers on a special road tour of live engagements before making it to the screen. 

 

Favorite quotes:

Dr. Hackenbush (Taking a pulse):  Either he’s dead or my watch has stopped.

Dr. Hackenbush: If I hold you any closer, I’ll be in back of you.

 

Enhanced content includes:

§   Commentary by The Marx Brothers Encyclopedia Author Glenn Mitchell

§   All-New Documentary On Your Marx, Get Set, Go!

§   Four Vintage Shorts: Robert Benchley’s OscarÒ-Nominated A Night At The Movies plus the rarely-seen MGM Cartoons Gallopin’ Gals, Mama’s New Hat and Old Smokey

§   Audio-Only Treasures: Musical Outtake A Message From The Man In The Moon (performed by Allan Jones) and an MGM Radio Promo Leo Is On The Air

§   Theatrical Trailer

 

 

Room Service/At the Circus – These two films are combined on one disc to provide double doses of laughter.  In Room Service (1938), Lucille Ball and Ann Miller provide comic co-star support while the Marx Brothers play producers trying to keep their show above water and a hotel room over their head.  In At the Circus (1939) Groucho stars as professional shyster lawyer J. Cheever Loophole in the middle of big-top bedlam as the boys try to save the circus and look to Margaret Dumont for the money to do so.  Groucho sings one of his famous songs, “Lydia the Tattooed Lady.”

 

Favorite Quotes:

Room Service

Leo Davis: Well, if you fellows don't mind, I'm going to wash up.

Harry Binelli: Yeah, go ahead. The rest of us are already washed up.

 

At the Circus

J. Cheever Loophole: No, no, I'd rather not. I have an agreement with the houseflies. The flies don't practice law and I don't walk on the ceiling.

 

Enhanced content includes:

Side A:

§   Vintage Our Gang Comedy Short Party Fever plus Daffy Duck and Porky Pig in the Looney Tunes Classic The Daffy Doc

Side B:

§   Vintage Our Gang Comedy Short Dog Daze and Classic MGM Cartoon Jitterbug Follies

 

Go West/The Big Store – Another Marx Brothers twin bill makes this a hilarious comedy “two-fer.” In the first, the Marxmen Go West (1940) to the land of outlaws and Indians where the fun never stops and where they outwit a land grabber.  Highlights include Chico and Harpo bellying up to the bar, the $1 scam, the stagecoach ride and the brilliant train chase finale.  In The Big Store (1941), Groucho plays Attorney Wolf J. Flywheel who with sidekick Wacky (Harpo) and bodyguard Ravelli (Chico) are investigating the shady dealings of a crooked department store owner.  This is the last of nine films in which Margaret Dumont would appear with the Marx Brothers.

 

Favorite Quote:

Go West

S. Quentin Quale: I'd have thrashed him to within an inch of his life, but I didn't have a tape measure.

 

DVD enhanced content includes:

Side A:

§         Leo Is On The Air Radio Promo

 

Side B:

§   Vintage MGM Short Flicker Memories and Vintage MGM Cartoon Officer Pooch

§   Audio Musical Outtake: Where There’s Music     

 

A Night in Casablanca (1946) – This parody of the Bogart/Bergman 1943 classic features the Nazis vs. the “nutsies” as the Marx Brothers foil Axis criminals when they find stolen jewels and paintings Nazis have hidden in a hotel.  Playing Ronald Kornblow, Groucho is the manager of the Hotel Casablanca swirling with intrigue, while Chico is his bodyguard and Harpo plays a not- so-loyal valet to the villain.

 

Favorite quote:

Beatrice Rheiner: I shall be in the Supper Club.

Ronald Kornblow: The Supper Club?

Beatrice Rheiner: Yes. Will you join me?

Ronald Kornblow: Why? Are you coming apart?

 

Enhanced content includes:

§   Bugs Bunny in the Looney Tunes cartoon classic Acrobatty Bunny

§   Vintage Joe McDoakes Short So You Think You’re A Nervous Wreck

 

All the films will be presented in their standard version formats, preserving the aspect ration of their original theatrical exhibition.

 

 

Visit The Marx Brothers DVD site for further information.

Marx Brothers Night at the Opera Treasury
Marx Brothers Night at the Opera Treasury