The movie I picked this time was Monkey Business, an early Marx Brothers film. It was an easy choice, since plot is hardly the point of most Marx Brothers movies; one can watch them without needing to follow the plot too closely. Basically, the Marxes are stowaways on a cruise ship, and there are gangsters involved, and... [handwaves] It doesn't matter.
#TCMParty Never seen this one b4. Dig the opening credits.— Rich Watson (@ratzo318) August 15, 2015
The nice thing about #TCMparty is that one can jump right in whether one is a newbie or a regular and be accepted right off the bat.
In Monkey Business, the role of Margaret Dumont will be played by Thelma Todd. Talk about reinterpretation. #TCMParty— Der Müde 'Tude (@DerMudeTude) August 15, 2015
I kinda missed Margaret Dumont in this one, but Thelma Todd brings a different dynamic to this movie, being younger and sexier - and funnier! She holds her own in her scenes with Groucho without having to settle for setting up his jokes, and the result is a chemistry that's unique in a Marx Brothers movie. It's too bad she didn't do more movies with them.
And sure enough...#TCMParty I want a Harpo puppet.— Rich Watson (@ratzo318) August 15, 2015
You gotta love it.
Groucho does a lot of dancing in this one, both solo and with Todd. Not that he was Fred Astaire or anything, but it's all part of the anarchic, anything-goes vibe that the Marxes generated in their films. If Groucho wants to dance, he'll dance.
I saw S.J. Perelman once in the lobby of the Gramercy Park Hotel. Still wish I'd kissed his hem #TCMParty #MonkeyBusiness— Lesley Gaspar (@zleegaspar) August 15, 2015
Perelman was one of the screenwriters. He also co-wrote Horse Feathers. Won the Oscar for co-writing Around the World in Eighty Days for the screen.
Now that's something I wish I could've seen.On stage, Zeppo acted as understudy to all three brothers. He was said to have played Grouchos part better than Groucho. #TCMParty ^TJ— TCM Party (@TCM_Party) August 15, 2015
At some point someone brought up Zeppo's resemblance to Michael Cera... and pretty soon...
Once you've seen it, you can't un-see it.
There's a running gag in which they have to impersonate Maurice Chevalier by singing. How does Harpo, who doesn't speak, do it? The answer is priceless.Harpo gets my vote for best Chevalier impression #TCMParty— Danny Adler (@danny_reviews) August 15, 2015
It's so peculiar! He leans forward and kinda squats as he walks.#TCMParty I wonder how long it took Groucho to perfect that walk of his.— Rich Watson (@ratzo318) August 15, 2015
Chico and Harpo both were exceptional musicians, with personal playing styles that made watching them as much fun as hearing them. Also:Am I the only person who's had a crush on Chico? I mean, is that weird? Because when he plays the piano, wow. #TCMParty #MonkeyBusiness— Meredith Riggs (@MeredithRiggs39) August 15, 2015
Definite possibility.Did Paul Muni borrow his SCARFACE accent from Chico Marx? Because I'm hearing a lot of similarity tonight. #TCMParty #MonkeyBusiness— Will McKinley (@willmckinley) August 15, 2015
#TCMParty This fight scene needs some BATMAN sound effects.— Rich Watson (@ratzo318) August 15, 2015
And then it doesn't end so much as stop. I was distracted by something, so it didn't hit me at first that the movie was over so soon. I hate to think that they ran out of jokes!