Groucho Marx

Groucho Marx

  • Highest Rated: 100% At the Circus (1939)
  • Lowest Rated: 20% Copacabana (1947)
  • Birthday: Oct 2, 1890
  • Birthplace: New York, New York, USA
  • Although Groucho Marx was the third-oldest son of "stage mama" Minnie Marx, he was the first to take the plunge into show business. With his mother's blessing, the 14-year-old Marx took a job as a boy soprano with a group called the LeRoy Trio. This first engagement was nearly his last when, while on tour, he was stranded in Colorado and had to work his way back home. Marx was willing to chuck the theater and pursue his dream of becoming a doctor, but the undaunted Minnie organized Groucho, his younger brother Gummo, and a less than talented girl named Mabel O'Donnell into a vaudeville act called The Three Nightingales. Before long, Groucho's older brothers Chico and Harpo joined the act, which, by 1910, had metamorphosed into The Six Mascots (Minnie and the boy's Aunt Hannah rounded out the sextet). Fed up with indifferent audiences, Groucho began throwing jokes and insults into the act, directly addressing the crowd in as hilariously nasty a manner as possible. The audience loved it, and the four Marx Brothers eventually became a comedy team. Through the many incarnations of their vaudeville act, the characters remained the same: Groucho, the mustached, cigar-chomping leader of the foursome, alternately dispensing humorous invectives and acting as exasperated straight man for his brothers' antics; Chico, the monumentally stupid, pun-happy Italian; Harpo, the non-speaking, whirling dervish; and Gummo (later replaced by Zeppo), the hopelessly lost straight man. During the run of their vaudeville sketch Home Again, Groucho was unable to find his prop mustache and rapidly painted one on with greasepaint -- which is how he would appear with his brothers ever afterward, despite efforts by certain film directors to make his hirsute adornment look realistic. After managing to offend several powerful vaudeville magnates, the Marx Brothers accepted work with a Broadway-bound "tab" show, I'll Say She Is. The play scored a surprise hit when it opened in 1924, and the brothers became the toast of Broadway. They followed this success with 1925's The Cocoanuts, in which playwrights George Kaufman and Morris Ryskind refined Groucho's character into the combination con man/perpetual wisecracker that he would portray until the team dissolved. The Cocoanuts was also the first time Groucho appeared with his future perennial foil and straight woman Margaret Dumont. Animal Crackers, which opened in 1928, cast Groucho as fraudulent African explorer Capt. Geoffrey T. Spaulding, and introduced his lifelong signature tune, the Bert Kalmar/Harry Ruby classic "Hooray for Captain Spaulding." Both Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers were made into early talkies, prompting Paramount to invite the Brothers to Hollywood for a group of comedies written specifically for the screen. Monkey Business (1931), Horse Feathers (1932), and Duck Soup (1933) are now acknowledged classics, but box-office receipts dropped off with each successive feature, and, by 1934, the Marx Brothers were considered washed up in Hollywood. Groucho was only mildly put out; professional inactivity gave him time to commiserate with the writers and novelists who comprised his circle of friends. He always considered himself a writer first and comedian second, and, over the years, published several witty books and articles. (He was gratified in the '60s when his letters to and from friends were installed in the Library of Congress -- quite an accomplishment for a man who never finished grade school.) The Marx Brothers were given a second chance in movies by MGM producer Irving Thalberg, who lavished a great deal of time, money, and energy on what many consider the team's best film, A Night at the Opera (1935). The normally iconoclastic Groucho remained an admirer of Thalberg for the rest of his life, noting that he lost all interest in filmmaking after the producer died in 1936. The Marx Brothers continued making films until 1941, principally to bail out the eternally broke Chico. Retired again f

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Rating

Title

Credit

Box
Office

Year

No Score Yet TV Mania Too! Actor 2008
No Score Yet Groucho Marx & Redd Foxx Actor 2007
63% Lipstick & Dynamite: The First Ladies of Wrestling Actor 2004
No Score Yet On Your Marx, Get Set, Go! Actor 2004
No Score Yet Remarks on Marx: A Night at the Opera Actor 2004
No Score Yet Lucy: Queen of Comedy Actor 1990
No Score Yet Marx Brothers in a Nutshell Actor 1982
42% Skidoo "God" 1968
No Score Yet Merrily We Roll Along: The Early Days of the Automobile Actor 1961
No Score Yet The Story of Mankind Peter Minuit 1957
90% Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? Surprise Guest 1957
No Score Yet A Girl in Every Port Benjamin Franklin 'Benny' Linn 1952
No Score Yet Double Dynamite (It's Only Money) Emile J. Keck 1951
No Score Yet Mr. Music Himself 1950
No Score Yet Love Happy Detective Sam Grunion 1950
20% Copacabana Lionel Q. Deveraux 1947
57% A Night in Casablanca Ronald Kornblow 1946
67% The Big Store Wolf J. Flywheel 1941
89% Go West S. Quentin Quale 1940
100% At the Circus Attorney Loophole 1939
67% Room Service Gordon Miller 1938
100% A Day at the Races Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush 1937
No Score Yet The King and the Chorus Girl Screenwriter 1937
No Score Yet Yours for the Asking Sunbathers on Beach 1936
97% A Night at the Opera Otis B. Driftwood 1935
92% Duck Soup Rufus T. Firefly 1933
No Score Yet Groucho Marx's Home Movies Director Actor 1933
96% Horse Feathers Prof. Quincy Adams Wagstaff 1932
94% Monkey Business Groucho 1931
96% Animal Crackers Capt. Jeffrey Spaulding 1930
95% The Cocoanuts Hammer 1929

TV

Rating

Title

Credit

Year

No Score Yet I Dream of Jeannie
1965-1970
Himself
  • 1967

QUOTES FROM Groucho Marx CHARACTERS

Groucho
I'm going back into the closet, where men are empty overcoats.
Stowaway
(Groucho) Oh I realize it's a penny here and a penny there but look at me, I've worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.
Stowaway
Oh I realize it's a penny here and a penny there but look at me, I've worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.
Stowaway
(Groucho) You're a woman who's been getting nothing but dirty breaks. Well, we can clean and tighten your brakes, but you'll have to stay in the garage all night.
Stowaway
You're a woman who's been getting nothing but dirty breaks. Well, we can clean and tighten your brakes, but you'll have to stay in the garage all night.
Capt. Jeffrey T. Spaulding
One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know.
Capt. Jeffrey T. Spaulding
As I say, we tried to remove the tusks. But they were embedded so firmly we couldn't budge them. Of course, in Alabama the Tuscaloosa, but that is entirely ir-elephant to what I was talking about.
Capt. Jeffrey T. Spaulding
I'm sick of these conventional marriages. One woman and one man was good enough for your grandmother, but who wants to marry your grandmother? Nobody, not even your grandfather.
Capt. Jeffrey T. Spaulding
Well, art is art, isn't it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west, and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce, they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now, uh... Now you tell me what you know.
Capt. Jeffrey T. Spaulding
Take the marriage problem. Take the foreign problem. Take Abyssinia. Say, you take Abyssinia and I'll take a hot fudge sundae on rye bread.
Capt. Jeffrey T. Spaulding
Africa is God's country, and he can have it.
Arabella Rittenhouse
Captain, this leaves me speechless
Arabella Rittenhouse
Captain, this leaves me speechless.
Capt. Jeffrey T. Spaulding
Well, see that you remain that way.
Capt. Jeffrey T. Spaulding
Do you mind if I don't smoke?
Capt. Jeffrey T. Spaulding
to Mrs. Rittenhouse and Mrs. Whitehead] Let's get married
Capt. Jeffrey T. Spaulding
[to Mrs. Rittenhouse and Mrs. Whitehead] Let's get married.
Mrs. Whitehead
All of us?
Capt. Jeffrey T. Spaulding
All of us
Capt. Jeffrey T. Spaulding
All of us.
Mrs. Whitehead
Why, that's bigamy
Mrs. Whitehead
Why, that's bigamy.
Capt. Jeffrey T. Spaulding
Yes, and it's big of me too.
Otis B. Driftwood
You know the old saying, twos company and fives a crowd
Otis B. Driftwood
You know the old saying. Two's company, fives a crowd.
Rufus T. Firefly
Go, And Never Darken My Towels Again!
Rufus T. Firefly
Go, and never darken my towels again!
Rufus T. Firefly
I Wonder Whatever Became Of Me? I Should Have Been Back Here A Long Time Ago.
Rufus T. Firefly
I wonder whatever became of me? I should have been back here a long time ago.
Rufus T. Firefly
I Could Dance With You Till The Cows Come Home, On Second Thought, I'd Rather Dance With The Cows When You Came Home.
Rufus T. Firefly
I could dance with you till the cows come home. On second thought, I'd rather dance with the cows when you came home.
Rufus T. Firefly
How Do You Like That? I Haven't Been On The Job Five Minutes And Already She's Making Advances To Me.
Rufus T. Firefly
How do you like that? I haven't been on the job five minutes, and already she's making advances to me.
Otis B. Driftwood
You know the old saying. Two's company, fives a crowd.
Otis B. Driftwood
Two beers, bartender!
Otis B. Driftwood
I'll take two beers, too.
Fiorello
I'll take two beers, too.
Otis B. Driftwood
Do they allow tipping on the boat?
Steward
Yes, sir.
Otis B. Driftwood
Have you got two fives?
Steward
Yes, sir!
Otis B. Driftwood
Well, then you won't need the ten cents I was gonna give you.
Otis B. Driftwood
You didn't happen to see my suit in there, did you?
Fiorello
Yea, it was taking up too much room, so we sold it.
Otis B. Driftwood
How much did you get for it?
Fiorello
Uh. . .dollar forty.
Otis B. Driftwood
That's my suit alright.
Fiorello
What'll I say?
Otis B. Driftwood
Tell them you're not here.
Fiorello
Suppose they don't believe me?
Otis B. Driftwood
They'll believe you when you start talking.
Rufus T. Firefly
Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot. But don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot.
Mrs. Emily Upjohn
I've never been so insulted in all my life!
Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush
Well, it's early yet.
J. Cheever Loophole
That night I drank champagne from your slipper. Two quarts. It would have held more but you were wearing inner soles.
J. Cheever Loophole
I don't know what I'm doing here wehn I could be at home in bed with a hot toddy. That's a drink. (not wanting toddy to be confused with actress Thelma Todd)
J. Cheever Loophole
I don't know what I'm doing here wehn I could be at home in bed with a hot toddy. That's a drink. [not wanting toddy to be confused with actress Thelma Todd]
Otis B. Driftwood
After receiving a hug from Rosa (Kitty Carlisle) "I'm going out and get another prescription."
Otis B. Driftwood
[After receiving a hug from Kitty Carlisle] I'm going out and get another prescription.
Prof. Ouincy Adams Wagstaff
What ever it is i'm against it
Prof. Ouincy Adams Wagstaff
What ever it is I'm against it.
Rufus T. Firefly
Clear? Huh! Why a four-year-old child could understand this report. Run out and find me a four-year-old child, I can't make head or tail out of it.
Rufus T. Firefly
Clear? Huh! Why a four-year-old child could understand this report. Run out and find me a four-year-old child. I can't make head or tail out of it.
Mr. Hammer
Money will never make you happy, and happy will never make you money. That might be a wisecrack, but I doubt it.
Otis B. Driftwood
It?s alright, that?s in every contract. That?s what they call a sanity clause.
Otis B. Driftwood
It's alright, that's in every contract. That's what they call a sanity clause.
Fiorello
You can't fool me! There ain't no Sanity Claus.
Fiorello
You can't fool me! There ain't no Sanity Claus.
Rufus T. Firefly
I suggest that we give him ten years in Levenworth, or eleven years in Twelveworth.
Chicolini
I?ll tell you what I?ll do. I?ll take five and ten in Woolworth.
Chicolini
I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll take five and ten in Woolworth.
Rufus T. Firefly
I could dance with you ?til the cows come home. On second thought, I'd rather dance with the cows ?til you came home.
Rufus T. Firefly
I could dance with you 'til the cows come home. On second thought, I'd rather dance with the cows 'til you came home.
Rufus T. Firefly
Remember, you're fighting for this woman's honor, which is probably more than she ever did.
Flo Marlowe
Oh, hold me closer! Closer! Closer!
Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush
If I hold you any closer, I'll be in back of you.
Capt. Jeffrey T. Spaulding
One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know.