Welcome, Backstage Blogathonners! And a special thanks to our hosts Movies Silently and Sister Celluloid. This is my tardy entry that was written and stored away in December, waiting for the blogothon dates to arrive… and yada yada yada… I completely forgot to post the thing. Better early and late at the same time than never.
Backstage at A Night at the Opera
Research has proven that the Marx Brothers have turned more people into classic movie fans than any other act in show business. There are pie charts and Venn diagrams to back this theory. It’s fact. Incontrovertible. Contained on certified documents stored in the vaults of the First National Bank of Freedonia.
I couldn’t have been more than six or seven when my parents first showed me a Marx Brothers movie – Animal Crackers. The result? A lifelong love affair with classic cinema. Well, I attribute that to the Marx Brothers and a whole bunch of Universal horror flicks I devoured one special Halloween. Special props to The Invisible Man.
At such a tender, innocent age, I couldn’t fully grasp Groucho’s wordplay or keep up with Chico as he sparred, in staccato fits and spurts. No matter how much I consciously understood, the Marx Brothers enchanted me through physical comedy and dialogue with the rhythm and unpredictability of a great jazz improvisation. Though I eventually grew to understand the finer linguistic machinations of Groucho’s acerbic wit, the brothers Marx were always immediately accessible. I’m embarrassed to admit, however, that it would be years before I realized Groucho’s mustache was actually *gasp* painted on. I was slow on the take there.