The Marx Brothers

Icons of the Century

Bushy, waggling eyebrows, a thick smear of a mustache, a suggestive leer and, of course, the cigar, are all one needs to conjure up Groucho Marx.

He eclipsed his other brothers, Zeppo, Chico, Harpo and Gummo, as the headmaster of their chaotic brand of comedy. Coming from the vaudeville stage to Hollywood, the musically gifted brothers turned out insanely anarchic films where nothing was sacred and no pun was left unsaid.

The stateroom scene in 1935’s “A Night at the Opera” is rightly an absurdist classic, with more and more people cramming into a tiny stateroom until they’re literally on top of each other.

With “Cocoanuts,” “Duck Soup” and “Horse Feathers,” among others, the Marx Brothers always happily tweaked authority and delivered physical comedy alongside biting wit.

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