Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Harp glissandos imparted dexterity
Now his hands swiftly dart with celerity
He gets octopoid quickly
You'll be shocked! Are you tickly?
'Cause this randy upstart has temerity!
Harpo Marx is all over the ladies in Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935). Harpo plays Tomasso, "dresser" of opera singer Rodolfo Lassparri.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
A steamship's small cabin, congested
Its teeming inhabitants nested
But asleep where he stands
Is a creep who's all hands
So some females are grabbed as he's rested.
Surly Hack and David Cairns
A somnambulant Harpo Marx mauls the maids in Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935).
Monday, August 14, 2017
Don't call on this flop, though he's famous
Walk tall when you shop for a shamus
Give the go-by to Flywheel
He's nobody's i-deal
If you fall for his slop, well, don't blame us!
Harpo photobombs Groucho and Margaret Dumont in a still from The Big Store (Charles Reisner;1941). Groucho plays private eye Wolf J. Flywheel.
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Friday, August 11, 2017
Thursday, August 10, 2017
As stowaways barreled like herring
Each bro had a berth without sharing.
But this time, with means,
They're packed like sardines.
It's fishy how foully they're faring.
Donald B. Benson
Buster Keaton contributed to the visual comedy of the stateroom scene in the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935). The Marxes were "stowaways barreled like herring" in Monkey Business (1931).
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Three Marxes, a tenor, and then
A girl who does nails, plus some men
To look at the plumbing --
Now waiters are coming
An aunt-hunter? Time to say when.
Donald B. Benson
The Marx Brothers fill the bill in A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935).
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
A cruise should be restful and quiet
A snooze-fest, not overfilled riot
So make sure your trunks
Aren't quaking with punks
Who choose hard boiled eggs for their diet.
James Finn Garner
The Marx Brothers run a tight ship in A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935). Jim Garner is still pitching Bardball, the site dedicated to reviving the art of baseball doggerel.
Monday, August 7, 2017
Didn't rate room where four could unpack.
In a stateroom, like cordwood they stack.
But before they admit
Many more than will fit
Tempting fate, they all order a snack.
Surly Hack and Donald B. Benson
The Marx Brothers crowd into A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935).
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Here's the awesome and super Ms Boop
Who would often say "Boop-Oop-A-Doop"
As a dog she debuted
Quite a slog for her dude
Who, by law had to scoop up her poop.
Betty Boop began life as a cartoon dog, an anthropomorphic French poodle with floppy ears, ears which over time evolved into hoop earrings as Betty became fully human. Image: Betty with Bimbo, who remained a dog, in Bimbo's Initiation (Dave Fleischer; 1931).
Friday, August 4, 2017
With bodies "donated" we screwed
Playing God, we created a...dude
But without a sound mind
It's a lout, unrefined
A big clod in a hateful bad mood.
Fitz (Dwight Frye) looks down as Doctor Waldman (Edward Van Sloan) and Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) subdue the Monster (Boris Karloff) in Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931). Title by LimerWrecks insider Donald B. Benson.
Thursday, August 3, 2017
She's a classy, respectable lady
He's a sassy detective, and shady
But this gumshoe and dame
Can summon a flame
To surpass that of Mrs. O'Grady.
Margaret Dumont and Groucho Marx flirt in The Big Store (Charles Reisner;1941). Groucho plays private eye Wolf J. Flywheel.
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
She'd act matronly, playing a part
But the haters won't say she was smart
Far from clueless old bag
Maggie knew from a gag
Playing "straight" for this lady was art.
Groucho Marx and Margaret Dumont in At The Circus (Edward Buzzell; 1939). In a 1940 interview, Dumont said, "Scriptwriters build up to a laugh, but they don't allow any pause for it. That's where I come in. I ad lib—it doesn't matter what I say—just to kill a few seconds so you can enjoy the gag. I have to sense when the big laughs will come and fill in, or the audience will drown out the next gag with its own laughter. ... I'm not a stooge, I'm a straight lady. There's an art to playing straight. You must build up your man, but never top him, never steal the laughs from him." --Wikipedia
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
This berserk and combative "front-stabber"
Began work for the chief pussy grabber
But the crude Scaramucci
Went and screwed his own poochie
When the jerk was removed for lewd jabber.
White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci got the kiss-off after just 10 days on the job.
We all worship at Margaret's feet
Feel nourished, not starved but replete
This lady prestigious
Has made us religious
With a flourish her heart we entreat.
Groucho Marx and Margaret Dumont in At The Circus (Edward Buzzell; 1939). Dumont was comic foil to the Marx Brothers in seven of their films. Groucho called her "practically the fifth Marx brother."
Monday, July 31, 2017
This spoofster's hips thrust in a groove
Aloof bluebloods just don't approve
But Teasdale's a freak
Her knees go all weak
When Rufus starts busting a move.
Vera Marcal (Raquel Torres) and Gloria Teasdale (Margaret Dumont) are amused by the wacky dance steps of Rufus T. Rirefly (Groucho Marx) in Duck Soup (Leo McCarey; 1933). Title by off-the-hoofer David Cairns.
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Friday, July 28, 2017
Overacting is Frye's bread and butter
With bent back, rolling eyes, constant mutter
Playing warped, mad or freaky
Stealing corpses, all sneaky
A slack-jawed, unwise little nutter.
Fritz (Dwight Frye) goes brain-hunting in Frankenstein (James Whale; 1931). Dwight Frye-Days is a weekly feature here at LimerWrecks.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
This "doctor" can't get to first base
One knock and forget an embrace
For soon it's a crowd
Both loony and loud
Two blockheads now pet in his place.
Chico and Harpo Marx interfere with Groucho's tryst with Esther Muir in A Day at the Races (Sam Wood; 1937). Groucho playes Hugo Z. Hackenbush, a veterinarian posing as a doctor.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
On this wild man this broad took a chance
Even smiled at his bawdy romance
What gets Teasdale excited,
Has her pleased and delighted?
She's beguiled by his vaudeville style dance!
Rufus T. Rirefly (Groucho Marx) entertains Mrs. Gloria Teasdale (Margaret Dumont) and Vera Marcal (Raquel Torres) in Duck Soup (Leo McCarey; 1933).
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Monday, July 24, 2017
Sunday, July 23, 2017
On Popeye's big chin baddies beat
But he'll stop 'em, beginning tout suite
He'll grow buff, and pack power
From this stuff he'll devour
Nothing tops the canned spinach he'll eat.
Popeye downs his spinach in Beware of Barnacle Bill (Dave Fleischer; 1935).
Friday, July 21, 2017
Live spiders and flies, he demands
He eyes one, and sighs when it lands
No ifs, ands, or buts,
Dwight Iliff is nuts
Surprising these guys with jazz hands!
Dwight Frye-Days celebrates actor Dwight Iliff Frye. Here he is (as Renfield) with Charles K. Gerrard and Edward Van Sloan, in Dracula (Tod Browning; 1931). Title by Donald B. Benson, lord of the open flies.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
We pause at these matches risqué
Drop jaws at attachments four-way
No honeymoon's sweeter
(How fun! A three-seater!)
But the law's gonna catch them someday.
Thelma Todd, Chico and Groucho Marx in Horse Feathers (Norman Z. McLeod; 1932). Title by Donald B.Benson, always a bridesmaid.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Some people find Harpo endearing
They leap to their feet and start cheering
He's sweet and angelic
Not some heated old relic
A creep who at starlets keeps leering.
Harpo Marx is the center of attention in this still from The Cocoanuts (Robert Florey, Joseph Santley;1929).
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Each son has been taught since a lad
That fun, though it's naughty, ain't "bad"
If you fool with a tart
After school, play it smart
Or one day a snot calls you "Dad".
Surly Hack and Donald B. Benson
David Landau, Thelma Todd, and the Marx Brothers in Horse Feathers (Norman Z. McLeod; 1932).
Monday, July 17, 2017
Sunday, July 16, 2017
When his muscles pop out like balloons
Popeye busts all those loutish great goons
All this winning is due
To the spinach he'll chew
It's more trusty than sprouts, peas or prunes.
Popeye pumps up in Beware of Barnacle Bill (Dave Fleischer; 1935).
Friday, July 14, 2017
Three dummies, one's merely a relic
All keep mum, one looks queerly angelic
One man's back has a crook
One hangs slack from a hook
So in sum, they are weird, psychedelic.
Dwight Frye-Days meets the Marx Brothers: Frye and Harpo in Frankenstein (1931) and Horse Feathers (1932). Title by meaty Donald. B. Benson.
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Bullets struck! The gun's rat-a-ta-tat!
What a ruckus! This thunderous gat!
Firefly's friendly fire's fraught
It's his men that he's shot
Here's five bucks, keep it under your hat.
Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) shoots his own soldiers and--at least momentarily--attempts to pay to cover it up: Duck Soup (Leo McCarey; 1933). Firefly slips the bribe to his assistant, Bob Roland (Zeppo Marx).
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
When his generals' course proves too tame,
At the enemy's forces he'll aim
It's brutal, but, oops!
He shoots his own troops
Oh, the men and the horses he'll maim.
In one of the edgiest moments of Duck Soup (Leo McCarey; 1933),.Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx), the president of Freedonia, mows down his own soldiers.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Why the deuce are they going to war?
What excuse? Who can know just what for?
Who needs rhyme or a reason
With high crimes and high treason
Plus, a truce is a low-ratings bore.
The four Marx Brothers whip up patriotic war fervor in Duck Soup (Leo McCarey; 1933).
Monday, July 10, 2017
On blowhards, pretension, and pomp
These lower class menaces stomp
As their antics provoke
Those who can't take a joke
It's the Bros most commendable romp.
Freedonia's going to war! The Brothers Marx send up patriotic fervor in Duck Soup (Leo McCarey; 1933).
Sunday, July 9, 2017
That mean bully Bluto, his foil,
Bugs lean beanpole beauty, his goil
But chopped and canned veg
Gives Popeye an edge
And greens save that cutie Miss Oyl!
Popeye and Bluto square off in a frame from Bridge Ahoy! (Dave Fleischer, Seymour Kneitel; 1936).
Friday, July 7, 2017
The nearness of skeletons bony
Strikes fear in Frye's hell-raising crony
For the mute on the right
the acute case of fright
Is clearly just deli baloney.
Dwight Frye-Days meets the Marx Brothers: Frye and Harpo attend anatomy class in Frankenstein (1931) and Horse Feathers (1932). Title by ampersandy Donald B. Benson.
Thursday, July 6, 2017
Mrs. Teasdale believes he's the best
The bee's knees -- she's deceived, it's a jest
Firefly cannot be trusted
This man should be busted
For treason, the devious pest.
In Duck Soup (Leo McCarey; 1933), Mrs. Gloria Teasdale (Margaret Dumont) insists that Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) lead the nation of Freedonia.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
They trumpet Freedonia's ruler
He's jumped-up, a phony, a fooler
He's jeering and tainted
And appears to be painted
They should dump him alone in the cooler.
Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) arrives at his gala reception in Duck Soup (Leo McCarey; 1933).
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Harpo's eyes, when a chick is in sight,
Open wide with a wicked delight
And then seeing his leer
The poor female knows fear
No surprise that they quickly take flight.
Harpo Marx gives Verna Hillie the eye in Duck Soup (Leo McCarey; 1933).
Monday, July 3, 2017
This motley crew's tossed on a ship
They're not at a loss for a quip
No esprit d'escalier
They flee as Chevalier
And the plot gets impossibly flip.
The four Marx Brothers are stowaways in Monkey Business (Norman McLeod; 1931). From Wikipedia: "The most famous sequence from this film involves the four brothers attempting to get off the ship using a passport stolen from famous singer (and fellow Paramount star) Maurice Chevalier."
Monday, June 26, 2017
Driving to the coast to sit on a beach for a week. What could possibly go wrong? We'll see you when we get back--if we get back.
Barbara Stanwyck and Ralph Meeker in Jeopardy (John Sturges, 1953); Ann Savage and Tom Neal in Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer; 1945).
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Friday, June 23, 2017
"A torch," Fritz opined, "is a treasure.
To scorch a behind is sheer pleasure.
Searing rears till they smart
Is so dear to my heart,
To torture is my kind of leisure."
Hunchback Fritz enjoys making the Monster's new life miserable: Dwight Frye and Boris Karloff in Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931). Don't play with matches on Dwight Frye-days.