Thursday, September 7, 2017

Formula Won

No target too tall for a zinger,
The Marxes put all through the wringer
Said Metro, "That's stupid!
They better play Cupid."
So Barta gives Thalberg the finger.

The Marx Brothers with "Boy Wonder" Irving Thalberg, head of production at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Seen in retrospect, A Night at the Opera, first film for MGM, marked the beginning of a tamer Marx Brothers. From Wikipedia: "In their Paramount films, the brothers' characters were much more anarchic: they attacked anybody who was so unfortunate to cross their paths whether they deserved it or not, albeit comically. Thalberg, however, felt that this made the brothers unsympathetic, particularly to female filmgoers. So in the MGM films, the brothers were recast as more helpful characters, saving their comic attacks for the villains."

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