Sunday, January 23, 2011

Marx Brothers Milestone

Today was a very big day in my life as a parent.  After years of hope, preparation and anticipation, I sat down with my young children and together we watched my absolute favorite movie of all time, The Marx Brothers' Duck Soup.

I have sprinkled their childhood with Marx Brothers' gags, with Groucho's wisecracks, and with occasional movie clips on You Tube (including Lydia the Tattooed Lady scene in At the Circus, the mirror scene from Duck Soup, Captain Spaulding's Adventures from Animal Crackers, and the Tootsie Fruitsie Ice Cream scene from A Day at the Races).  I warmed them up a few weeks ago with A Night At The Opera, which they really enjoyed.

And so tonight it was Duck Soup. They didn't quite comprehend the brilliance of the satirical commentary on subjects such as political leaders, government bureaucracy, diplomacy, law, and war.  And some of the wordplay was too quick and sophisticated.  But they loved the remarkable vaudevillian slapstick routines, the musical numbers, and the overall zaniness of the brothers' characters.  I would say it was a rousing success.  It's on to Animal Crackers, Horse Feathers, Monkey Business and the Cocoanuts.

Here is their favorite scene from Duck Soup, the mirror scene:


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