With the advent of the ‘talkies’, the Brothers signed to Paramount Pictures and brought their stage act to cinema audiences. They made five films in five years, all of which are collected here: The Cocoanuts (1929), Animal Crackers (1930), Monkey Business (1931), Horse Feathers (1932) and one of the greatest comedies of all time, Duck Soup (1933).
The Paramount era represents the Marx Brothers at their absolute finest, retaining all of the energy and controlled chaos of their stage shows. Plots are unimportant – it’s the gags, set-pieces and one-liners that matter: “Why a duck?”, “Hello, I Must Be Going”, “Hooray for Captain Spaulding”, “That’s the bunk!”, Horse Feathers’ “Swordfish” scene and classic mirror sequence in Duck Soup.
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of all five features, each scanned and restored in 4K from original film elements by Universal
Original 1.0 mono audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Commentary on The Cocoanuts by film scholar Anthony Slide
Commentary on Animal Crackers by film historian Jeffrey Vance
Commentary on Monkey Business by Marx Brothers historian Robert S Bader and Bill Marx, son of Harpo Marx
Commentary on Horse Feathers by film critic FX Feeney
Commentary on Duck Soup by Bader and film critic Leonard Maltin
The Marx Brothers: Hollywood’s Kings of Chaos, a feature-length documentary containing interviews with Leonard Maltin, Dick Cavett and others
Three excerpts from NBC’s The Today Show featuring interviews with Harpo Marx, Groucho Marx and Bill Marx
Sibling Revelry, an introduction to the Marx Brothers by critic David Cairns
MONKEYNUTCRACKERDUCKFEATHERS, a video essay about the films by David Cairns
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