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I May Destroy You
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Marx is the best asset, the highlight of the show, we know it, they knew it, hence the celebration of his talent.
A Night At The Opera
Wood feels more like directing some sketch show. There is a lot of empathy visible in the hard work that goes in, on creating the various sketchy scenarios. But when it comes to stage a musical- exception being the piano sequence played around a bunch of kids. But I'd argue that even in that scene, the depth comes from the comic timing that displays this two sides of the characters subsequently- or relevantly moisturize the film with emotional drama, the director, Sam Wood feels like he is leaving those patches out to dry. With gags aplenty, even he knew that this is his strength and he should focus on it- the transaction to what is in paper and then what comes on screen, is sheer brilliance.
And I think that is the only thing that holds up with time. For almost a century later, the jokes are tend to not age well and feel a bit overridden by now. But once again, I'd say it is the confidence. Take the scene where they are literally trying to manipulate a man on convincing that he is in the wrong hotel room. The choreography is so smooth and polished with actors performing tasks quickly and with a hilarious body language, that you are left in awe.
Now as much as easy this was easy on paper, it was incredibly difficult to pull off. And as much as I loved and adored that scene. I would go back one act more to define A Night At The Opera. The obvious infamous scene where the physical comedy is practically turned to 11. His small hotel room gets crowded scene by scene and all the actors performing their bits with commitment, no matter whether they are part of the action or not, proves the most difficult task of an actor i.e. to make the audience laugh.
Reportedly, director Sam Wood, who was of a more dramatic and serious mind, grew increasingly frustrated (as I imagine most workmanlike filmmakers would) with the antics of the Marxes, at one point bemoaning on set that "you can't make actors out of clay"---to which Groucho clapped back, without missing a beat, "nor can you make a director out of Wood." However chaotic and contentious the production may have been, the result is a classic; and regardless how hard Wood and Thalberg may have tried to rein in the brothers, their innate anarchy simply cannot be contained. Yet even as the stateroom scene and the "sanity clause" bit are amongst the most legendary in comedy, it's Harpo on his 46 strings, like some demented angel, that best captures their spirit.
I have loved The Marx Brothers movies since I was a little kid and A Night at the Opera is one of my favourites. This is a good movie were you can just sit back and not concentrate and have a good laugh. The Marx Brothers are amazing as always and the rest of the cast is good as well. My only nitpick with this is sometimes it looks like they edited something out and the film kind of jumps and does not flow, but that is a little issue. The final act is one of my most favourite final acts out of any movie I have seen. It is so fun and funny. There's not much to say other then this is an extremely funnt movie.
As a fan of musical theater, it's funny to see the Marx Brothers take on the world of the stage in this romp! The OvercrowdeBoat Room, the tearing apart of a production of Il Trovatore, the song Alone, it's just a smashing good time, but there's just one concern.
A BATTLESHIP IN IL TROVATORE??!?!?!?!?!?!
Classic marx brothers,not as good as duck soup but still very good.
Unbelievably on point with the comedic timing. The numbers sans the main 3 Marx brothers are skip-worthy but everything Groucho, Chico and Harpo do delights and sometimes even mystifies
I don’t know if I need to spend a ton of time writing about A Night at the Opera because, even though the plotline and jokes differ from one Marx Brothers film to the next, the general feel you get from them is the same. I loved that this movie gave us huge chunks of time in the first act to just enjoy the witty puns of Groucho and Chico. They had me laughing a ton as they talked people in circles, and I almost lost it completely when they started arguing about contracts. This is the kind of stuff that I could watch for hours, because something about that vaudevillian banter appeals to me, and always strikes me as funny. I also love how Groucho downplays his punchlines without calling attention to the fact that he just made a joke. The second act, when they are on the boat, was also delightful. The dialogue was still a treat, and now they added some hilarious physical gags along with the jokes. Stuffing everyone into the small room was in contention for the best scene in the entire movie. It was one of those moments where it starts off funny, but at a certain point you think it’s going too far, until it comes back around and becomes funny again. This is also the section of the film where we get some great music. The opera singers are marvelous, particularly Allan Jones (assuming he does his own singing.) Chico does some of his magic with the piano, and Harpo dazzles with some time on the harp. It all sounded lovely and adds to the quality of the film. Where things kind of fell apart for me was in the final act. It started out well enough with the physical gag with the policeman in the apartment. I didn’t understand why the guys were doing all that nutty stuff, when they were moving things around, but at least it made for some good laughs at the sergeant’s expense. But the gags remained almost entirely physical as things moved to the final scene at the opera. I like a little physical comedy from time to time, but I wanted to get back to the dialogue a little more. It was almost entirely absent through the whole third act, and that was a big letdown. I wish A Night at the Opera hadn’t left me on a sour note, because up until that point I was in love with this film, and it might have been my favorite Marx Brothers movie. I still quite enjoyed it, and will happily watch it again any time.
It is true that this film is more uneven when compared to Duck Soup, stopping many times for musical numbers that hinder the comedy a bit (although I do love seeing Chico and Harpo at the piano), but even so there are a lot of hilarious moments here that make it pretty delicious as well.
***AN OLD HOLLYWOOD PAIN KILLER, PRE-DATING OPIODS... VERY ADDICTIVE***
A Night at the Opera is a funny film. It is about a sly business manager and two wacky friends of two opera singers help them achieve success. Groucho Marx and Chico Marx give amazing performances. The screenplay is well written. Sam Wood did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the humor and music. A Night at the Opera is a must see.