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The Marx Brothers Collection (A Night at The Opera/A Day at The Races/A Night in Casablanca/Room Service/At the Circus/Go West/The Big Store) (5DVD)

Groucho Marx , Chico Marx    Unrated   DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 74.90
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

When it comes to long-awaited treats like The Marx Brothers Collection, you can never get too much of a good thing. These seven comedies can't compare to the sheer lunacy of the five classics (The Cocoanuts, Animal Crackers, Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, and Duck Soup) that the Marx Bros. made for Paramount between 1929 and 1933 (available in The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection), but when uber-producer Irving Thalberg signed Groucho, Harpo, and Chico to an MGM contract in 1935 (by which time sibling costar Zeppo had become the team's off-screen manager), he knew just how to cure their box-office blues. As a result, A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races were critical and commercial hits, lavishly produced according to the "Tiffany" studio's golden-age formula of glamorous set pieces and musical numbers combined with sensible plots that smoothly integrated snappy, well-written Marxian antics. Opera is the jewel of this set, with timeless scenes (the Stateroom, the Groucho-Chico contract negotiation, etc.) that rank among the greatest bits of silver-screen comedy... not to mention Groucho's flirtatious insults at Margaret Dumont's upper-crust expense.

A Day at the Races deserves near-equal acclaim ("Get-a your tootsie-fruitsie ice cream!"), but Thalberg's death in 1937 dealt a devastating blow, and the Marxes suffered from studio indifference, resulting in a succession of comedies that are timelessly enjoyable even as they fall prey to diminishing returns. By the time they made Go West and The Big Store, the Marxes were out of their element, and a few of the musical interludes indulge racial stereotypes that were common in the studio era. Despite this, these movies remain fresh and frantic, and Warner Bros. (holder of the RKO and MGM libraries) has done a marvelous job of packaging The Marx Brothers Collection to nostalgically approximate the filmgoing experience of the 1930s and '40s, with vintage shorts (Our Gang, Robert Benchley comedies, MGM cartoons, etc.) from the time of each feature's original release. Archival materials are slim but worthwhile (especially Groucho's 1961 interview with TV talk-show host Hy Gardner), and while Glenn Mitchell's commentary on Races is sparse and superficial, Leonard Maltin brings his usual superfan's enthusiasm and encyclopedic knowledge to bear on a full-length Opera commentary track. The new documentaries are somewhat redundant, but essential viewing for Marx Bros. neophytes. With all seven films presented in pristine condition, this is definitely a Marx Brothers Collection worth having. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

This Set Includes Seven Of Only Thirteen Marx Brothers Films Ever Made! Collection Includes: "A Night At The Opera" (1935) - 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. "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. "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. "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." "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. 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. Bonus Extras Include C

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars To help clear up some of the confusion ... Dec 8 2003
By Daniel
Format:DVD
As mentioned elsewhere, this collection does not include any of the complete films, but rather tv & misc. other clips. Since I will probably return the item, I haven't yet broken the seal and cannot comment on the quality. However, I should note that the total run-time is approx. 5 hours -- much less than one would assume for a 5-disc set.
If you are looking for more content information, don't bother with Koch Vision Entertainment's site. They are clearly not enthuastic about revealing more details about this release.
The discs are:
#1 "Inside the Marx Brothers" (this is sold separately, as well)
#2 "You Bet Your Life" TV Pilot
#3 "Papa Romani" and "Person-to-Person"
#4 "The Marx Brothers Radio Days" (is this just an audio CD?)
#5 "Marx Brothers Mixed Nuts"
For the price, perhaps it's not all that bad, but there still isn't a good set of their films out there yet.
The amazon.co.uk set DOES contain complete films (four of them, I believe), but the item seems to be no longer in active inventory. Be aware that it supposedly is lacking any meaningful DVD extras.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading March 3 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
When one sees a box set saying it is a Marx Brothers Collection, you would expect it to BE A MARX BROTHERS COLLECTION. This is not a movie collection, but a collection of clips and uninteresting, unless you want personal information and other facts, DVD.
When I go to a site which states it has a certain collection, I think, an explanation should be included, if this is not a collection of movies.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mama Marx's lads on the loose! July 20 2004
Format:DVD
Why a Duck? Why not! The Marx Brothers were such a timeless delight and it's such a thrill to have these marvellous movies all in one bundle. DVD is really so great for collectors, being able to have whole television series, or as in this having several movies in the group. This one is loaded with Groucho, Harpo and Chico.
This set (and I presume there will be a second set!) has seven of their films. I loved the lesser favourite of "A Night in Casablanca" - the packing suitcase scene with Harpo is a riot! "A Day at the Race" with Groucho as Hugo Hackenbush is full of charm and the brothers horse around. "At the Circus" is another gem with poor Margaret Dumont running in circles "keeping up appearances" and of course, you cannot forget Groucho's rendition of Lydia the Tattooed Lady. And in "The Big Store" I love Harpo's climbing through the top of the elevation in the big store and finding the harp to play Liszt! There are just so many fun moments it's hard to list them all.
So if you're a Marx Brothers' fan, you must get this super collection and this wonderful price.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A total pointless buy Feb. 14 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I bought the set for my boyfreind for xmas. The dvd did not work on his MAC dvd computer let alone my dvd player. How could these dvd's not work??!?
Enough said-I wasted my money on this
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Amazon tries to weasel out Jan. 18 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Got this for a gift. Three of the discs won't even play. I was at least interested in having the content, so I sent it back to exchange. Amazon is deducting a "restocking" fee that is roughly half of the price of the set! There is no restocking to be done - it is a DEFECTIVE SET. They are not sending a replacement, apparently until I cough up another $13. The discs are defective. It is THEIR fault. The set rates 2 stars, the customer service is a 0.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's equivilent to today's DVD extras July 17 2004
Format:DVD
I can't believe the silly negative reviews here. Of course there are no movies on this collection. This is not a rip off, it is a rare treasure of non-movie material from TV, radio (they put a picture on the screen while you hear the radio material. Of course there's no video to this, remember radio?) and film items such as trailers and newsreels of the day. What can one expect from the 20's through the 50's? This is supplementary material that likely has never been seen by the public since it was originally aired. Of course it will be black and white and not what one is used to from modern films. That's doin' Marx Brothers fans a favor. This is a wonderful collection of, as it says on the box, "...clips, interviews, TV shows, and rare footage that span the careers of all five Marx Brothers." It's not a consistent laugh riot because it's not their moview, it's bits and pieces where the Marx Brothers appeared to the public outside of their films.
DVD 1 is "Inside The Marx Brothers" a documentary on them. DVD 2 is "You Bet Your Life the TV Pilot which is not very good viewing quality. The real rarities are the next three: DVD 3 is "Papa Romani" a TV episode or pilot staring Chico, essentially it's an early sitcom and Edward R. Murrow doing his famous TV studio to the star's home interviews with Groucho and then Harpo. DVD 4 is "The Marx Brother: Radio Days" with numerous radio segments some or all of them did. Try and find that material anywhere else. Finally, DVD 5 is "Marx Brothers Mixed Nuts" which is film trailers and newsreels (that's what they had in those days) and other studio film related segments with some or all of the brothers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 Box Set, 5 disc, and 7 Marx Brothers films Feb. 12 2004
Format:DVD
Disc 1: "A Night at the Opera"
Special Features:
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
Robert Benchley's Academy Award -Winning How To Sleep
Theatrical Trailer
Disc 2: "A Day at the Races"
Special Features:
Commentary by The Marx Brothers Encyclopedia Author Glenn Mitchell
All-New Documentary "On Your Marx, Get Set, Go!"
Four Vintage Shorts: Robert Benchley's Oscar 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
Disc 3: "Room Service" and "At the Circus" (double feature)
Special Features:
Vintage Our Gang Comedy Short Party Fever plus Daffy Duck and Porky Pig in the Looney Tunes Classic The Daffy Doc
Vintage Our Gang Comedy Short Dog Daze and Classic MGM Cartoon Jitterbug Follies
Disc 4: "Go West" and "The Big Store" (double feature)
Special Features:
Vintage Shorts, Pete Smith Specialty Quicker 'N A Wink and Fitzpatrick Traveltalk Cavalcade Of San Francisco
Vintage Cartoon, The Milky Way
Leo Is On The Air Radio Promo
Vintage MGM Short Flicker Memories and Vintage MGM Cartoon Officer Pooch
Audio Musical Outtake: Where There's Music
Disc 5: "A Night in Casablanca"
Special Features:
Bugs Bunny in the Looney Tunes cartoon classic Acrobatty Bunny
Vintage Joe McDoakes Short So You Think You're A Nervous Wreck
A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, and A Night in Casablanca are also available separately.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars MARX BROUTHERS MOVIE
after watching duck soup of marx brothers I became intrested to watch all their movies , its very comedy I loved it
Published 8 months ago by ansarali kassam
3.0 out of 5 stars Inconsistently Rendered Image Quality a Real Downer
After a career in Vaudeville and a film tenure at Paramount Pictures, MGM signed Groucho, Chico and Harpo to a studio contract under the inspired tutelage of Irving Thalberg. Read more
Published on March 5 2005 by Nix Pix
4.0 out of 5 stars Films are Uneven, DVD Set is Good
Warner Brothers' "The Marx Brothers' Comedy Collection" includes seven films from later in the brothers' career: A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, Room Service,... Read more
Published on Dec 27 2004 by J. Pinkerton Snoopington
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh la la !!
Realy a great value !
The technical quality of the DVD is good, the scene selection is sentively done, the bonuses are interesting and the set is unexpensive ! Read more
Published on June 29 2004 by FREDERIC
4.0 out of 5 stars A Day and a Night at the movies
Let's be perfectly honest. The films in this collection are not exactly the highest regarded films of the Marx Brothers' illustrious career. Read more
Published on June 24 2004 by Andrew McCaffrey
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the price...Good but not great
Day at the Races is my favorite from this set, but they're all enjoyable in their own way. What makes it worth shelling out $40 for the box set is all the extras: cartoons, shorts,... Read more
Published on June 13 2004 by Bryan Barrow
5.0 out of 5 stars MARX BROS. PERFECTION! SPELL IT Z-V-B-X-R-P-L !!!!!!
This is an outstanding set with 7 superb Marx Bros. classics, beautifully packaged by Warner Brothers in a gorgeous box. These films represent the Marx Bros. at their best. Read more
Published on June 9 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars all wrong
A Night At the Opera is the only classic here. The three M G M films are horrible and the other two are OK. Read more
Published on June 6 2004 by A. Grossman
5.0 out of 5 stars "There ain't no Sanity Clause!"
Well, my sanity for one, is finally back to normal (if such a thing is possible with the Marx Brothers) with the release of this Warner Bros. set. Read more
Published on June 3 2004 by devotedmarxist
4.0 out of 5 stars Hello Hugo Z. Hackenbush
I purchased the box set of the Marx Brothers movies issued by Warner Brothers. I must say that "Night At The Opera"(1935) is the obvious superior movie in the set. Read more
Published on June 2 2004
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