Thursday, November 15, 2012
Horse Feathers - 1932
“Horse Feathers” (1932) is about winning a college football game. You have to remind yourself of that from time to time, because so much else happens in the maelstrom of Marx Brothers shenanigans, that football seems hardly the issue. What is the issue? Everything, and nothing.
Although, Groucho would not have let that go.
“Bargain of the Century” (1933). Unfortunately, as is the case in Marx Brothers movies, Thelma does not really get to show off her marvelous comedic talent; instead she can do little more than react to their antics. This was her second film with the boys, however; she also appeared with them in “Monkey Business” the previous year.
It’s pretty neat that Harpo peels a banana as if it had zippers on either side. In the early 1930s, zippers were just beginning to be used in some clothing, but hadn’t really been used widely by manufacturers in until the end of the decade.
We have another topical reference when Thelma tumbles out of the canoe and pleads Groucho to throw her a lifesaver. Of course, he throws the candy. And the “Jumping Anaconda!” line which refers to the stock that dropped like lead during the Crash.
Harpo and Chico are recruited to kidnap the star players of the rival school, but are kidnapped themselves instead. By the end of the film, they are recruited as students to play on the team, with hilarious results.
Oh yeah, and then there’s football. Have a look here at the climax of the big game, where, naturally, anything goes.