11-29-2004, 06:03 PM
The Marx Brothers first film for MGM serves as a good beginning because it uses elements that would be part of their MGM films with elements from their Paramount films. A good beginning because of the many funny moments and lines that frequent A Night at the Opera. Opens with a scene that sets up the tone in terms of laughs and comic lines. By this film, the interactions between Margaret Dumont and Groucho Marx become an expected aspect in a Marx Brothers film. Dumont and Groucho do a good job in counterpointing each other with Dumont's seriousness and Groucho's wisecracking. A Marx Brothers picture where the anarchic style of their Paramount films is reigned in. Sure there are moments of anarchic comedy, but in more of a controled nature, and less anything goes. I think the compromise of the Marx Brothers style works here because a consistent tune is hit. I feel that their anarchic style would become less and less in each film. There would still be some of this style in doses(mostly for big set pieces), but not for the entire film. A Night at the Opera(1935) is my second favorite film with the Marx Brothers after Duck Soup(1933). Its one I enjoy watching with some classic one liners by Groucho that always has me laughing. The comedy is consistent and the singing interludes are decent. One of my ten favorite comedies whose humor never tires for me. Groucho with his performance here shows that he was one of the best comediens of his time. I enjoyed the interplay between the brothers. Groucho, Chico, and Harpo are at home in their scenes together because of the laughs they are able to bring out with their different routines. The "Party of the first part" scene is one favorite moment of Chico and Groucho's interactions. A favorite scene of many because of the back and forth banter between the two. Groucho's "reminded me of you" is a classic Groucho comment with a very funny punchline. With some terrific set pieces like the funny Stateroom scene, or the climatic scene at the opera. The city hall scene is another funny memorable moment. A well made comedy with good performances, well timed comedy, and classic lines.