Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Los 4 hermanos Marx

Here's a bit of a mystery.. to me, at least. This is a poster for a South American Marx Brothers film festival, country unknown, dating from the late 60s-early 70s. A terrific line-up of the Marxes' finest work, and it's quite nice to see Zeppo taking his rightful place on the poster. I suppose the prints for this particular festival might have been fresh as Paramount was at that time cashing in on the Nostalgia Boom by re-releasing their Marx films to American theaters, but might these also have been new prints of the original foreign versions? Which begs the question, what was the nature of the foreign versions of the Marx Brothers' Paramount films? Were they subtitled? In the pre-dubbing world of 1929, I can't imagine the Marxes learning their lines phonetically for a foreign version of The Cocoanuts, so how were these produced? Moreover, if foreign versions of Horse Feathers were produced, might those prints provide the footage needed to renovate and complete the sadly mutilated American print we've been stuck with since the 1950s? You tell me.

2/27/07 addendum - Reader East Side writes: Furthering the mystery... I've attached what seems to be a poster for the original Spanish release of Monkey Business (which translates to Gunmen of the Open Seas). The re-release title on your site translates to Passengers without Tickets. Neither title particularly reeks of zany comedy.

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Blogger East Side said...

The BBC was running the complete prints of "Horse Feathers" as late as the 1950s, including the extra footage of Harpo and Groucho up in Thelma Todd's room. Whether it was cut for the original US release or TV, I don't know.

9:17 AM  

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