Guide Harpo Marx as Trickster

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Bertet, Paloma et al. Blount Jr.

Harpo Marx - Publicity - IMDb

My main criticism would be that this background information sometimes goes too far — I don't want any speculations why there are more movies with mice than with ducks. As the book goes along Blount stays more on topic and overall it is a good read. He has done his homework, although the book contains a few factual errors. It would have been nice to have bibliography and index.

The appendix is a collection of quotes, but not all of them sound like Groucho's.


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No sources are given for any of the quotes. The publisher advertises this book as "filling an academic void", but others have been there before. The most part of the book is taken up by giving synopsis of the movies. The author is looking at 15! Marx Brothers movies by including "Copacabana" and "Double Dynamite". There are a few factual errors and typos and a lot of facts are repeated and some seem irrelevant. In general the author doesn't seems to be really interested in the Marx Brothers and the book doesn't add anything to an academic look at their work. Coniam, Matthew: The Annotated Marx Brothers - A Filmgoer's Guide to In-Jokes, Obscure References and Sly Details There are lots of scenes in the movies which we nowadays cannot fully understand because they refer to people or events who were well known at the time of filming.

Matthew has put together a great collection of material which helps us to understand what is really going on. Coniam, Matthew: That's Me, Groucho! The Solo Career of Groucho Marx. Translation from a manuscript in English, but it is unclear if the English version was also published. Eyles, Allen: The Marx Brothers: Their World of Comedy This was first published in a small paperback in and only three years later as a hardcover.

On the other hand, it does a very good job of considering the Marx film canon as a whole, drawing comparisons and showing parallels between the various films, rather than taking Adamson's approach of breaking things down into scenes. A good contrast, and worth having. Fix , Charlene: Harpo Marx as Trickster From the publisher's website: "The author invites readers to spend time in the pleasure of Harpo's cinematic company while comparing him to tricksters from folklore, myth and legend.

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The book demonstrates how Harpo, the sweetest, wildest, most magical Marx brother, accomplishes the archetypal trickster's work. Thirteen chapters examine Harpo's trickster persona closely in each of the Marx Brothers' films". Folio Society ed. Rejected by MGM studios, the script was thought lost forever[sic]. Gehring, Wes D.

Fields: Huckster Comedians Gehring compares these two comedians by their lifes, the characters they played and their films.


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  • Small wonder that film animators [ Their animated likenesses have since been wisecracking in television cartoons, direct-to-video movies, fan films, commercials, flip books, avatars, emoji, a slot machine, and two TV pilots so rare they were once thought not to exist. His discoveries include the backstories of the studios, moviemakers, and stars, rare test drawings from the Smithsonian Institution National Portrait Gallery, abandoned projects, connections, coincidences, and apocrypha. Hopkins, Jay ed. Tries to write in a funny language, but it doesn't always work out well.

    Apart from a short introductory note and a basic chronology and filmography, the main part of this book is a "Filmography in Pictures" with notes on the pictures and quotes from the movies or by people working on them. There are loads of film stills and promotional pictures, a few of which I cannot remember seeing anywhere else before. Kinske, Daniel ed.

    I Originally announced for , then made into a Kickstarter campaign in , which was cancelled, this book was finally published in It includes many illustrations and cartoons of the Marx Brothers from their lives and movies up to "Duck Soup". Koestenbaum, Wayne: The Anatomy of Harpo Marx Described on the publisher's website as "a luxuriant, detailed play-by-play account of Harpo Marx's physical movements as captured on screen". The author gives the best description of his book himself: "I will not seek [Bill Marx] out, lest he say: 'keep your fantasies away from my father's image'.

    The book looks at Harpo's gestures and expressions and over-analyses them. Koestenbaum shows off his knowledge of 20th century philosophy, but I don't think you can learn anything about Harpo. This review comes to a similar conclusion. Gary Wetstein writes: "Koestenbaum is hermetically sealed in his own mind - as if he couldn't care less whether his readers have any clue what he's talking about.

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    Worst of all is that Kostenbaum clearly has a brilliant mind, and a gift for language. This book, however, really should not exist anywhere but on his own computer's hard drive, where he can use it to get himself off whenever he needs to. I wish he had left the rest of the world out of it. This book has 72 numbered pages, but the text continues on the inside back cover. That text was missed in the second printing. Metzner, Holger: Say, am I stewed or did a grapefruit just flew by? Mills, Joseph ed. The collection's eleven essays examine the Marx Brothers' work from a number of critical perspectives ranging from reader-response theory to film semiotics.

    The contributors include international scholars in a variety of fields, such as literature, cultural studies, performance studies, and film history.

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    Roscoe W. Paperback , pages. Published February 6th by McFarland first published January 1st More Details Other Editions 4. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Harpo Marx as Trickster , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Harpo Marx as Trickster. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia.

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    Sort order. Dec 08, Mattie rated it it was ok. Fix analyzes the characters Harpo Marx played in the Mark Brothers movies as the archetypal "trickster" character. I think she's right about his role as trickster and her analysis is generally solid. Yet the book left me mostly unsatisfied. If Goodreads let me, I'd give this 2. I was, and perhaps the audience is supposed to be, but it struck me. Second, I didn't like the organization of the book. It's rather a filmography - each chapter looks at a different movie.


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    • But after the first couple, the analysis gets very repetitive. I think it would have been better to organize the chapters by the different aspects of the trickster archetype, weave in the examples from the movie and also bring in other trickster characters. One good thing about the filmography approach is that it did make me recall some things about some great movies that I hadn't seen in a long time. Nov 15, Oliver Ho rated it really liked it. This is an incredible book-length essay on how the characters played by Harpo Marx across 13 movies embodied the elements that make up the trickster archetype.

      It's a totally fascinating and fun exploration, very well thought out and convincing.