READ & DOWNLOAD ✓ Harpo Speaks!

SUMMARY Harpo Speaks!

READ & DOWNLOAD ✓ Harpo Speaks! Ì This is a riotous story which is reasonably mad and as accurate as a Marx brother can make it Despite only a year and a half of schooling Harpo or perhaps his collaborator is the best writer of the Marx Brother Highly recommended Library Journal A funny affectionate and unpretentious autobiography done with a shFectionate and unpretentious autobiography done with a sharply professional assist from Rowland Barber New York Times Book Revie. I read a lot of biography and autobiography I love it dearly two of my favorite genres I can honestly say of all the film bios and autbios I have read this is the best My most favorite I love Harpo Marx my dear friend Lee hipped me to the Marx Bros many years ago and I of course loved Groucho's wit and Chico and Harpo's antics but when I saw Harpo play the harp it was a whole new thing I just fell in love I started to notice all the musical parts in their films and just watched and was blown away This book has assistance but the voice is essentially Harpoironic He tells the story of his life from extreme poverty to wealth and acclaim and the story of his incredibly happy marriage and home life I told my partner while I was reading that I kept expecting him to write something that would make me less enthralled with him but I will tell you I never did The story is by turns tragic and funny uplifting and funny No matter the situation Harpo finds the humor It's honest and informative and the humor is the backbone You get glimpses of the other Marx Bros mostly Chico and Groucho but you are really impressed by the talent inherent in the entire family The absolute most entertaining and happy making autobiography I have ever read Highly recommend

Harpo Marx ☆ 1 READ & DOWNLOAD

This is a riotous story which is reasonably mad and as accurate as a Marx brother can make it Despite only a year and a half of. I'm currently obsessed with the Marx Brothers which is somewhat significant because only a month ago they kind of terrified me Well actually it was mostly Harpo Marx the mute curly wigged trenchcoated one who tapped into my deep seated fear of clowns Fear of clowns isn't itself very remarkable It's pretty common from what I can tell but my phobia really got turbo charged in my early adolescence from watching WGN of Chicago's The Bozo Show which was a weekday morning nightmare a thon featuring skits cartoons games music and three clowns Bozo was the most responsible least terrifying one of the trio; he had weird male pattern baldness meaning he was bald on top but had really long teased out cherry red hair Cookie also suffered from similar hair loss but his remaining hair was orange and he had a penchant for picnic blanket gingham shirts Cookie was borderline creepy at times but most of the time I could deal with him because he wasn't the antagonist; he was usually the recipient of the pies in the face and the banana peel pratfallsNo the real ground zero of my ensuing mental illness was buckle yourself in for trauma Wizzo the allegedly 'Wacky' Wizard He was the villain of the three Aside from looking like Satan's apprentice Wizzo continually plotted and schemed against Bozo and Cookie As you can see Wizzo also happens to be an 'Arab' styled clown which may be the original cause of the East West cultural divide This clown is so demonic that I don't blame any Arab who might be offended Anyway Wizzo regularly sought the aid of magical forces summoned by a purple amulet around his neck called the Stone of Zanzibar He would touch the stone to a given object which he desired to work magic upon and say 'Doo dee doo dee doo dee' That's an exact uote by the way Of course Wizzo never won out in the end but there was something so grotesuely malevolent mischievous and satyric about him that he symbolized to me the innocent naif all that was unpredictable and dangerous about the worldYes of course I'm glorifying my simple childhood fears into grandiose psychological complexes touching on the very nature of lifedeath themselves It's what we do We don't want to believe we're any old schmoe with any old schmoe's two bit hang upsEarly movie stars like Charlie Chaplin and Harpo Marx recalled that untamed clownlike mischief that so occupied my early dreamlife Speaking of Charlie Chaplin did anybody but Chaplin and Hitler ever have that mustache In the early Paramount films Harpo certainly lives up to this reputation First of all mutes are inherently frightening Sorry mutes Since they cannot speak we reflexively presume there is something hidden or secretive about them something that mere physical expression can't satisfactorily mediate Next Harpo is always trying to fuck with everybody all the time It doesn't matter in the early films whether you're a 'good guy' or a 'bad guy' Harpo will kick you in the ass literally and do his utmost to humiliate or anger you Lastly he's costumed another allusion to hiddenness or subterfuge So basically over the past month I overcame my fear of Harpo Marx although I still have to say that he is probably my least favorite of Three Marx Brothers Yes that's right Nobody's favorite Chico himself noses Harpo out of second place If we expand the pool to the Four Marx Brothers Zeppo takes last place Zeppo barely registers at allI have watched all five films in which The Four Marx Brothers starred The Cocoanuts Animal Crackers Monkey Business Horse Feathers and Duck Soup and the eight films in which The Three Marx Brothers starred A Night at the Opera A Day at the Races Room Service At the Circus Go West The Big Store A Night in Casablanca and Love Happy Now I accept Harpo He is almost I said ALMOST a comforting cinematic presence to me Actually I only outright dislike two of their films Room Service and Love Happy and since Harpo is a major part of them all he certainly deserves a lot of creditNow for this book It's apparent from reading this book that Harpo in real life beyond the film persona aka Adolph Marx is the kindest least fucked up of the three 'main' brothers I don't know about Zeppo Groucho who is needless to say my favorite could be cruel and aloof and Chico was a womanizing gambling addict apparently also with a temper Harpo as far as one can tell was a family man mostly self deprecating and timid about his shortcomings Harpo only attended school through the SECOND grade Therefore you can pretty much be sure that Rowland Barber his collaborator on this autobiography did all or most of the writing Harpo likely just provided the raw materialHarpo's stories about the hardships of working in vaudeville with his brothers at the turn of the century under the dictatorial but well meaning control of his mother Minnie are fascinating This is a world that is all but forgotten any as most of the people who experienced vaudeville have died away It was a rough life traveling across the country to smaller second rate vaudeville houses the familial troupe not sure if they would get to perform or if they would be paid for their performance Sometimes the audiences were cruel and true to cliche threw fruit In Boston an audience member spat chewing tobacco on Harpo during the performance This is especially upsetting when you remember that Harpo was only a child at the time Also very interesting are the stories about living in New York City in the late 1800s and early 1900s horsedrawn carriages seedy speakeasies Tammany Hall It's all chronicled uite excitingly in this bookLess interesting are Harpo's adventures with the intellectual hoi polloi of the time including Alexander Woollcott a pompous buffoon in my less than humble opinion who was the theater reviewer for The New York Times and a member of the Algonuin Round Table with such luminaries as Dorothy Parker and George S Kaufman Harpo holds Woollcott in much higher esteem than I do and I can't help faulting him for dwelling on the peculiarities of Woollcott's character instead of telling the readers stuff they really want to know but obviously Harpo isn't going to divulge too many negative details about his brothers whom he obviously loves dearly despite their foibles Postscript As an avid movie list maker I was apparently remiss in not including the official ie my rankings of all thirteen of the Marx Brothers films I know you were thinking to yourself 'I was really hoping to watch or re watch some Marx Brothers films but David didn't offer me any spiritual guidance' Well although you didn't really ask ye shall receive anyhow1 A Night at the Opera 1935Their first film for MGM under the supervision of 'The Boy Wonder' Irving Thalberg and their first film sans Zeppo who generally filled the role of the dull superfluous romantic lead in the preceding films Most I said most Marx Brothers films conform to a strict formula Chico and Harpo are usually associates friends acuaintances who 'meet' Groucho during the course of the film; there is a bland romantic story involving Zeppo or a Zeppo surrogate punctuated by a few sappy ditties; at one point in the film Chico will usually have a piano solo and Harpo will have a harp solo Be sure to watch Harpo during his harp solos You can see his face change out of the Harpo persona during most of them He admits as much in Harpo Speaks; he tells the reading audience that they've seen the true man behind Harpo if they've seen his harp playing performances In the MGM films there is a relatively straightforward plot involving a villain pitted against the romantic leads; the Marx Brothers are then enlisted to help foil the plot of the villain This latter point was at the insistance of Irving Thalberg He believed that one problem with the five anarchic Paramount films 1929 1933 was that the audience didn't have a rooting interest in the Marx Brothers in that they caused problems for everybody in the film good and bad and they were largely amoral A Night at the Opera is the first film to place the brothers firmly and devotedly on the side of moral good as coded by conventional Hollywood standards In addition to George S Kaufman Buster Keaton assisted in writing the screenplay although without credit Keaton and the Marxes would suffer creative differences in their collaborations because the Marxes believed the kind of humor Keaton was writing was not appropriate for them Nevertheless Groucho repeatedly said that A Night at the Opera was the greatest film they ever made and I agree which only goes to show what a master Irving Thalberg was Their MGM films after the death of Thalberg in 1936 during preproduction on Opera's follow up A Day at the Races would pale in comparison to their earlier efforts2 Duck Soup 1933The final film for Paramount Duck Soup is usually the only film mentioned in competition with A Night at the Opera for the Marxes' best It is often recalled as a box office flop but this isn't entirely the case; it was successful to a limited extent but failed to meet the financial expectations set up by their previous films The plot thin as it is focuses on Rufus T Firefly a wiseacre buffoon who is instated as the leader of the fictional nation Fredonia under the patronage of wealthy Mrs Teasdale played by wonderful Marx film regular Margaret Dumont Chico and Harpo are 'spies' sent in by the neighboring country of Sylvania to dig up dirt on Firefly in order to start war This is the film which contains perhaps the most famous scene in the Marx canon Harpo happens to be dressed up like Groucho greasepaint mustache eyebrows and all and tries to mimic Groucho through a doorway so that Groucho believes he's looking in a mirror An homage was paid to this gag during Harpo's visit to the I Love Lucy show in the 1950s But let's discuss Margaret Dumont for a second please Dumont starred in seven of the thirteen Marx brothers films essentially playing the same character a priggish proper upper crust type of woman who is alternately being wooed and insulted by Groucho Some of her characters don't notice or understand the insults and some of them notice the insults but forget about them in a matter of seconds She is such a great comic foil in these films that it's a little disappointing when you realize you're watching one of the films without her3 Animal Crackers 1930 Animal Crackers was the second stage play written for the Marx Brothers which was adapted mostly literally to screen The other play was their film debut The Cocoanuts In this one Groucho plays a dubious African explorer named Captain Spaulding who is being feted by a New York society grand dame played by Margaret Dumont The plot is forgettable and involves the theft of an expensive painting during the party and the attempts to figure out whodunnit All in all this skeletal plot is merely there to prop up the jokes the skits the banter the sight gags and the brothers are mostly at the top of their game here including a scene where Groucho dictates a ridiculous letter in meaningless legalese to his secretary Zeppo One of the drawbacks of this one however is that it's very stagey It seems that Groucho is even leaving breathing room after his one liners for audience laughs which works in the theater but on film not so much So there is a tonal clunkiness but all is forgiven because the writing is sharp and the humor is brisk4 The Cocoanuts 1929First Marx Brothers film Early talkie with poor sound little camera movement and poor picture uality Songs written by Irving Berlin Based on the Marx Brothers' second stage play Harpo wears a red wig in this one but it is changed to blonde in his later films because the red reads too dark Plot concerns the Florida real estate boom with Groucho managing a hard luck local hotel5 A Day at the Races 1937Thalberg died during pre production of pneumonia but it still bears the stamp of uality assurance Contains the famous 'tootsie fruitsie ice cream' routine Maureen O'Sullivan Mia Farrow's mother stars as the romantic lead Groucho is a horse doctor mistaken for a human doctor by a wealthy hypochondriac Margaret Dumont at a clinic near a race track6 Horse Feathers 1932Very good but not as funny as I expected given its reputation The football game at the end drags on and on and on in my opinion But there's still a lot of good stuff here in this satire on higher education Groucho plays the new dean of a university charged with the task of recruiting two star football players He ends up with Chico and Harpo instead The only surviving print of this film is damaged in parts and skips over several lines of dialogue7 Monkey Business 1931The Marx Brothers as stowaways on a cruise ship This for me was the least of the Paramount films But there is hilarious scene in which all three of the brothers try to get off the ship by impersonating Maurice Chevalier because they find his passport on board 8 At the Circus 1939This third film for MGM is where the decline begins There's a lot to love in At the Circus but you sense the film isn't uite as sharp as it used to be and the romantic leads in this film may be blandest least interesting of any Marx Brothers film Eve Arden costars as a woman who walks upside down for the circus leading to a scene in which Groucho walks upside down as well trying to get some money out of Arden's cleavage while he remarks to the camera not violating the Hayes Production Code which established guidelines for what might and might not be shown in films in America before the MPAA rating system came about Also famous for a scene in which a orchestra stage on the beach is unmoored and the orchestra is cast off to sea still playing Margaret Dumont also stars9 Go West 1940This one's infamous for some Indian stereotypes which I suppose is to be expected from a 'western' of this time period The film starts fairly strongly but inevitably gets bogged down with uninteresting plot towards the end in a train scene somewhat reminiscent of Buster Keaton's The General 10 A Night in Casablanca 1946The first Marx Brothers 'comeback film' marking a return to the screen after a five year absence during WWII Appropriately enough this so so film originally intended as a Casablanca parody ended up featuring Nazis as the villains Recalling The Cocoanuts Groucho is the inept manager of a hotel this time in Casablanca where some shenanigans involving hidden Nazi loot transpire This one's much too long for its own good The airplane scene at the end is incredible but strangely unfunny You really notice the brothers looking older in this one The story is that they only agreed to make it to help Chico pay off his out of sight gambling debts11 The Big Store 1941Eleven twelve and thirteen on my list are probably not films I would recommend to anyone The Big Store for instance is an overblown ridiculous mostly unfunny affair in which nearly every ethnic stereotype is employed at some point to no comic effect I couldn't even really latch on to the plot of this thing because it was too convoluted for a light Marx Brothers film It involved Groucho working as a private detective at a large department store That much I can say The romantic leads were just awful in this one and the woman who works in the infants department in the store is so bizarre I had to watch her performance in one of the big production numbers three times in a row Harpo has an interesting harp playing scene here where he dons an Amadeus era wig and outfit and has some fun with his rebellious reflections in two mirrors12 Love Happy 1950The second 'comeback film' and the final Marx Brothers film The only film in which Groucho doesn't have greasepaint eyebrows and mustache The DVD case shouts at me that this thing stars THE MARX BROTHERS and MARILYN MONROE Marilyn Monroe was in it for less than one minute No exaggeration She was unknown at the time and is only a glorified extra Also interesting about Love Happy It's considered Harpo's film because he came up with the story idea and wanted to make it but Groucho wasn't into it as such Groucho role in this film is very diminished Additionally the three brothers don't appear on screen together much in this film A mostly pathetic farewell You really can never go home again 13 Room Service 1938I really really hated this one Really It's the only Marx Brothers film that wasn't written specifically for the Marx Brothers and it shows It costars Lucille Ball and Ann Miller and is the story of a play director Groucho holed up in a hotel suite with no money until he finds a way to get his funding Chico and Harpo show up I forget the details of how or why and encamp with him along with a thoroughly irritating doofus also the romantic lead opposite Ann Miller who is the author of the play within the play Not one laugh here for me Not one


Harpo SpeaksSchooling Harpo or perhaps his collaborator is the best writer of the Marx Brother Highly recommended Library Journal A funny af. Groucho was my favorite Marx brother when I was a kid but as I got older I discovered what a sweetheart Harpo was and what a prick Groucho could be This is still one of my favorite film biographies and my hardcover edition is a prized possession When you're done with the book find a recording of Jonathan Richman singing When Harpo Played his Harp eually affecting in English or Spanish