Archive for May 19, 2010

Strangely Beautiful

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , on May 19, 2010 by dcairns

From A NIGHT IN CASABLANCA. Harpo waits for his big scene to begin. While, in the background, shadows from a gizmo known as a kookaloris (or cucaloris, cookaloris, cookalorus) suggest a vaguely North African mileu. And the outsize urns add something important too.

A NIGHT IN CASABLANCA is good fun, obviously not great like A NIGHT AT THE OPERA or God knows DUCK SOUP, but very agreeable. It’s also the movie that had Warner Bros threatening to sue over the use of the word “Casablanca,” leading Groucho to threaten a countersuit over Warners’ use of the word “brothers.” There are some good visual gags, some by gagman Frank Tashlin, so there’s a particularly cartoony feel to Harpo’s schtick, and some good verbal stuff too:

Groucho: “I’m crazy about her: I’ve completely lost my head!”

Chico: “Well, put your hat on your neck and get out!”

Also Sig Rumann, progressively deprived of hair, beard and moustache. The beard ends up on Groucho, transforming him into  a dead ringer for Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, although the cigar also recalls Castro.

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