Joe E. Brown, with Just a Touch of Marx Madness

We’ve dedicated ourselves to watching a few Joe E. Brown pictures of late, to see if he perhaps will grow on us (after seeing one or two of his films years ago, we had written him off).

Broadminded (1931), which we watched today, is our favorite so far, perhaps not surprisingly given that it was written by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, who did stellar work with the Marx Brothers.

Another thing this picture also has going for it (in addition to the presence of the always-welcome Thelma Todd—another Marx Brothers connection)? Béla Lugosi as something of a foil for Brown’s misadventures. Best of all, Lugosi plays a character named Pancho Arango who, when asked what country he’s from, responds, “South America!”

A movie poster from Broadminded, featuring Joe E. Brown and Thelma Todd

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