22 June 2006

Marx (1949)

1949 - Love Happy - More of a simulation of a Marx Bros. comedy than the real McCoy. Sure, all three of the Bros. are in the picture and they inhabit basically the same characters that they normally do. Yep, there's a greedy bad gal as an antagonist and some needy good folks who could use a hand. But, some things just aren't right.

It seems clear that Groucho had to be dragged into this film kicking and screaming. He probably has less than ten minutes of screen time and seems to exist in his own bubble for the majority of the movie. He doesn't encounter a character from the main story until 85 minutes in. This is more of a "The Two Marx Brothers" movie than the typical trio.

However, it's really just the Harpo Marx show. I thought I'd love a movie that was Harpo-centric. He's my favorite brother and I usually can't get enough of him. This film has shown me that Harpo's best when you look forward to his next appearance. When he's onscreen all of the time, his antics lose their impact.

One would've thought that a movie written by Harpo himself and a former Looney Tunes director might be excellent. Unfortunately, this wasn't so, though the film isn't without its good points. I liked the historically interesting chase under the neon billboards. Torturing the mute Harpo to try to get him to speak was a dark, but funny idea. And, Marilyn Monroe was indeed beautiful for the two seconds she was onscreen. (5/10)

d. David Miller & Leo McCarey