Archive for The 4 Marx Brothers at Paramount

Good Humor

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on July 15, 2017 by dcairns

I have an article in the new Sight & Sound — for the Primal Screen column on silent film, I’ve contributed a piece on the Marx Bros’ only silent, the long-lost HUMOR RISK. Since the film doesn’t exist and nobody alive has seen it, I was forced to use my imagination…

The piece came out of a conversation with Pamela Hutchinson of Silent London at the Boone’s Hippodrome Silent Film Festival, and from my Marxian researches for my twin video essays which can be seen on the Arrow Academy release of THE 4 MARX BROS AT PARAMOUNT.

Sibling Revelry

Posted in FILM, Theatre with tags , , , on June 15, 2017 by dcairns

SIBLING REVELRY intro from David Cairns on Vimeo.

Extract from one of my Marx Bros pieces, with the kind permission of Arrow Academy. I was very pleased with this opening. Credit to Stephen C. Horne for cutting it together so nicely and for his lovely main title, which you just get a glimpse of before my clunky file-trimming programme hacks it off…

Still haven’t got a name for Manfred, the Marx Bro who was never part of the act. Stiffo doesn’t seem quite in the best taste.

I’ve now watched and read all the other extras on the box set — some fine essays and a great doc there!

More Marxian news soon! Well, I’ll mention it now — I have a little piece in the new Sight & Sound

The Floor Marx Brothers

Posted in FILM with tags , , , on June 14, 2017 by dcairns

As you know by now, whenever a new box set arrives to which I have contributed, I spread it out on a flat surface and take a photo of it. This one is Arrow Academy’s The 4 Marx Brothers at Paramount, comprising THE COCOANUTS, ANIMAL CRACKERS, MONKEY BUSINESS, HORSE FEATHERS and DUCK SOUP, plus a booklet with essays by Robert S. Bader, Pamela Hutchinson (yay!), Christina Newland, Kevin Jackson, Michael Brooke and Vic Pratt. All of the films have commentaries plus there are rare archival interviews with brothers and sons of brothers… and the feature-length doc, THE MARX BROTHERS: HOLLYWOOD’S KINGS OF CHAOS.

Where do I come into it? Arrow asked me to make a half hour video essay. Stephen C. Horne and I instead made TWO, totalling over 45 mins. Just couldn’t help it. The first, SIBLING REVELRY, profiles the brothers, while the second, MONKEYNUTCRACKERDUCKFEATHERS, deals with the movies. Steve Stoliar, Groucho’s secretary and author of Raised Eyebrows, My Years Inside Groucho’s House, generously gave me an interview which is interspersed throughout both pieces.

Looks like I may be doing quite a bit of work for Arrow — collect ’em all!

You can order this set here:
The 4 Marx Brothers At Paramount 1929 – 1933 [Blu-ray]