Taking a Chance on Laughs: A Lost Marx Brothers Film Is Found

A 23-second fragment of the lost silent Marx Brothers film HUMOR RISK, self-financed by the team in 1921. The film was discovered earlier this month and is now in the hands of a private archive.

Previously thought destroyed in its entirety, this small portion of the film was found in the garage of the former Great Neck, NY, estate of Groucho Marx.

In Their Words: Chico Marx

An amusing quote from Chico Marx

It’s Chico Marx‘s 127th birthday, and you’re probably wondering how best to mark the occasion.

We have a suggestion for you: Why not show your support for Marxfest, NYC’s celebration of all things Marx Brothers, coming this May? Visit our Kickstarter site (we’re on the planning committee) and toss a few bucks into the kitty.

There are even some cool premiums to make it doubly worth your while. But really, do you need a better reason than it’s Chico’s birthday? Of course you don’t.

Cladrite Classics: Happy Birthday, Lillian Roth!

This post first saw the light of day on 12/13/2012:

In 1974, big news was made when prolonged legal wrangling over the rights to the Marx Brothers‘ second movie, Animal Crackers (1930), was finally resolved and the movie was released for public screenings for the first time for the first time in many years.

Imagine that: A “new” Marx Brothers movie (new in the fact that no one had been able to view it, in a theatre or on television, for so long—and of course, there were no VHS tapes yet, much less DVDs or Blu-Rays).

It was our junior year in high school, and we were working part-time evenings and weekends at the Northpark Cinema 4 in Oklahoma City. Already very devoted to all things Marx Brothers, we were thrilled when Animal Crackers was booked there. The movie settled in for an inexplicably long run (our memory might be playing tricks on us, but we recall it being there for a month or more), and we spent many an hour on those slow weekend afternoons soaking up the Marxian magic when we should have been out front taking tickets and sweeping up spilled popcorn. (To this day, we have the dialogue from that picture all but memorized.)

But it wasn’t just Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo who held our attention. The winsome Ms. Lillian Roth, who played the ingénue in Animal Crackers and whose 102nd birthday it is today, hooked us but good with her flirtatious ways and deep-dish dimples.

We’ve had a crush on her ever since, and we trust that, after watching the following clips, you will, too. Happy birthday, lovely Lillian, wherever you may be.