Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: A Night at the Opera - Marx Brothers

          
   
    Bookmark and Share
  1. #1
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    9,311
    Post Thanks / Like

    A Night at the Opera - Marx Brothers

    Believe it or not, as I type this I'm watching this classic for the first time.



    Available on Amazon for $14, or to stream for $3. The DVD is subtitled in English, French, or Spanish. No insert. Region 1, B&W, 91 minutes plus the extras (see below).

    Sure, the humor is, well, a little bit dated (the movie is from 1935).

    The famous crowded stateroom scene is kind of funny.

    The best part is watching Chico Marx, an accomplished musician, playing the piano himself, with his finger pecking technique. There is beautiful harp solo playing too, by Harpo of course.

    Chico Marx is the most talented and funniest of the brothers, and he was the one responsible for their initial stardom. His fake Italian accent/impersonation is cool.

    I frankly find Groucho Marx quite annoying and unfunny.

    The over-the-top Harpo Marx with the mute routine is OK.

    Zeppo Marx wasn't in this movie (had already retired).

    Kitty Carlisle and Allan Jones do have nice voices and they sang their own songs and arias. They actually both had operatic training. Nothing spectacular (him better than her) but impressive for actors anyway.

    I expected more opera fragments. It's just a little bit of Pagliacci and a lot of Il Trovatore.

    "What is this, high C or vitamin D"? I liked this line.

    The scene with Harpo and the sets during the Trovatore performance is quite interesting.

    I enjoyed it, but dispute the idea of it being one of the best comedies ever made. Take Charlie Chaplin, for instance, he is 1,000 times funnier.

    The DVD has some nice extras. The theatrical trailer with the MGM Lion parody sequence is arguably funnier than the movie itself. There is a documentary with interviews, including Kitty Carlisle in her old age remembering her role, quite interesting, 33 minutes long.

    Also, the DVD includes Groucho Marx on The High Gardner Show (1961 Broadcast - a 5' interview with him) and two unrelated vintage shorts, Sunday Night at the Trocadero (20 minutes, very bad sound track, hard to understand, but a good sample of life at the time, and some musical numbers), and the Academy-Award winning How to Sleep (10 minutes, not that good, I thought). There is commentary that can be turned on during the movie, by Leonard Maltin. I didn't do that.

    The movie had lost scenes and cuts to eliminate all references to Italy during WWII. What a pity. The opening scene in Milan with people singing on the streets is one of the lost ones, forever.

    All things considered, I'd rate this a 3 1/2 stars out of 5.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); March 29th, 2017 at 10:10 AM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  2. Likes Ann Lander (sospiro) liked this post
  3. #2
    Senior Member Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Bloomfield Hills, MI
    Posts
    844
    Post Thanks / Like
    I am far from certain of this, but If I am correct, tenor Anthony Marlowe supplied the voice for the Il Trovatore. He later settled in the Detroit area and was a voice coach at the long defunct Detroit Institute of Musical Arts. I studied (briefly) with him. I heard him perform with the Detroit Symphony doing a memorable O Paradiso that suggested that his comprimario status concealed a very good voice.

    As for the movie, I saw it once and have no desire to see it again. Slapstick doesn't make me laugh much. Grouch as a quiz show host had some funny moments, though.

  4. #3
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    9,311
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGerald View Post
    I am far from certain of this, but If I am correct, tenor Anthony Marlowe supplied the voice for the Il Trovatore. He later settled in the Detroit area and was a voice coach at the long defunct Detroit Institute of Musical Arts. I studied (briefly) with him. I heard him perform with the Detroit Symphony doing a memorable O Paradiso that suggested that his comprimario status concealed a very good voice.
    That is correct, for the character Lassparri, but the character Ricardo Baroni played by Allan Jones has all the singing done by Jones himself.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

Similar Threads

  1. What's a night at the opera cost in your town?
    By raindog308 in forum General Operatic Discussion
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: January 6th, 2016, 01:58 AM
  2. Silent Night at the Cincinnati Opera
    By MAuer in forum Opera House & Theater Performance Reviews
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: July 13th, 2014, 04:36 PM
  3. Article: Silent Night at Opera Philadelphia - a review
    By Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) in forum Opera House & Theater Performance Reviews
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: February 17th, 2013, 02:01 AM
  4. Best Night to see an Opera
    By Couchie in forum General Operatic Discussion
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: September 16th, 2012, 11:43 AM
  5. Fathers & Sons, Mothers & Daughters, Brothers & Sisters
    By Elektra in forum General Operatic Discussion
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: June 12th, 2012, 06:13 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


free html visitor counters
hit counter




Official Media Partners of Opera Carolina

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Opera Carolina

Official Media Partners of NC Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of North Carolina Opera

Official Media Partners of Greensboro Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Greensboro Opera

Official Media Partners of The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute and Piedmont Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute
of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Piedmont Opera

Official Media Partners of Asheville Lyric Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Asheville Lyric Opera

Official Media Partners of UNC Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of UNC Opera
Dept. of Music, UNC-Chapel Hill College of Arts and Sciences

www.operalively.com

VISIT WWW.OPERALIVELY.COM FOR ALL YOUR OPERA NEEDS