From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Marx Brothers were a team of sibling American comedians that appeared in vaudeville, stage plays, film, and television, known for their surrealist and absurd films. Salvador Dalí described Harpo Marx to André Breton as one of "the three American Surrealists" (along with Walt Disney and director Cecil B. DeMille). In 1937, the Marx brothers even planned a film with Salvador Dalí, Giraffes on Horseback Salad, but the project was never realized.
Films with the Four Marx Brothers:
- Humor Risk (1921), previewed once and never released; thought to be lost
- The Cocoanuts (1929), released by Paramount Pictures
- Animal Crackers (1930), released by Paramount
- The House That Shadows Built (1931), released by Paramount (short subject)
- Monkey Business (1931), released by Paramount
- Horse Feathers (1932), released by Paramount
- Duck Soup (1933), released by Paramount
Films with the three Marx Brothers (post-Zeppo):
- A Night at the Opera (1935), released by MGM
- A Day at the Races (1937), released by MGM
- Room Service (1938), released by RKO Radio Pictures
- At the Circus (1939), released by MGM
- Go West (1940), released by MGM
- The Big Store (1941), released by MGM
- A Night in Casablanca (1946), released by United Artists
- Love Happy (1949), released by United Artists
- The Story of Mankind (1957), released by Warner Brothers
- Copacabana (1947), released by United Artists
- Mr. Music (1951), released by Paramount
- Double Dynamite (1951), released by RKO
- A Girl in Every Port (1952), released by RKO
- Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957), released by 20th Century Fox (uncredited)
- The Mikado (1960), made for television
- Skidoo (1968), released by Paramount.
- Papa Romani (1950), television pilot
- A Kiss in the Dark (1925), released by Paramount (cameo)
|Humor Risk||1926||The Villain||The Italian||Watson, Detective||The Love Interest|
|The Cocoanuts||1929||Mr. Hammer||Chico||Harpo||Jamison|
|Animal Crackers||1930||Captain Geoffrey T. Spaulding||Signor Immanuel Ravelli||The Professor||Horatio Jamison|
|The House That Shadows Built||1931||Caesar's Ghost||Tomalio||The Merchant of Weiners||Sammy Brown|
|Horse Feathers||1932||Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff||Baravelli||Pinky||Frank Wagstaff|
|Duck Soup||1933||Rufus T. Firefly||Chicolini||Pinky||Lt. Bob Roland|
|A Night at the Opera||1935||Otis B. Driftwood||Fiorello||Tomasso|
|A Day at the Races||1937||Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush*||Tony||Stuffy|
|Room Service||1938||Gordon Miller||Harry Binelli||Faker Englund|
|At the Circus||1939||J. Cheever Loophole||Antonio Pirelli||Punchy|
|Go West||1940||S. Quentin Quale||Joe Panello||Rusty Panello|
|The Big Store||1941||Wolf J. Flywheel||Ravelli||Wacky|
|A Night in Casablanca||1946||Ronald Kornblow||Corbaccio||Rusty|
|Love Happy||1949||Sam Grunion||Faustino the Great||Harpo|
|The Story of Mankind||1957||Peter Minuit||Monk||Sir Isaac Newton|
* (To avoid a possible lawsuit, this name was chosen instead of the intended "Quackenbush" after it was discovered that there was a real doctor by this name.Template:Fact)
Ownership status of films
All the films that were released are still intact. However, due to certain studios selling many of their films from the Golden Age of Hollywood, the rights to many of the Marx Brothers' films have changed hands over the years.
In 1957, Paramount sold many of its pre-1950 sound features to EMKA, Ltd. - a subsidiary of the Music Corporation of America. After MCA merged with Universal Pictures in 1962, the rights to these films went to Universal (now a part of NBC Universal).
MGM held on to their Marx Brothers films longer than Paramount did. In 1986, media mogul Ted Turner bought MGM outright. But after amassing huge debts, Turner sold the studio, but kept the pre-1986 MGM library for his own company, Turner Entertainment. Today, Turner Entertainment is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with Warner Bros. handling sales and distribution.
Due to being an RKO film, the transfer of this film's rights has been more complicated than most other Marx Brothers films. In 1955, RKO sold television rights to many of their films to C&C Television for most markets, and General Tire for markets in which they owned TV stations. General's rights ended up being auctioned as successor RKO General was in the midst of a licensing scandal. Meanwhile, C&C sold its rights to United Artists in 1971. UA was in turn sold to MGM in 1981. Turner inherited UA's rights as part of his acquisition of MGM's library. Turner then acquired television rights in the markets where RKO had owned stations. All US and Canadian and Region 4 rights are now with WB/Turner.
On the other hand, distribution rights in the rest of the world have been sold on a country-by-country basis. For example, PolyGram Filmed Entertainment purchased the underlying UK rights in later years, and passed on to Universal following the sale of PolyGram to Universal.
A Night in Casablanca
Warners now owns this film as part of the Castle Hill Productions library.
This and many other UA films released before 1952 were sold to National Telefilm Associates in 1955. In 1984, NTA changed its name to Republic Pictures, which itself became part of the Spelling Entertainment Group in the mid-1990s. Spelling was sold to Paramount's current parent Viacom in 1999.
In the mid-1990s, Republic licensed US video rights to Artisan Entertainment. Artisan was sold to Lions Gate Entertainment in 2003. Then, in 2006, US video rights to certain Republic properties - including Love Happy - reverted to Paramount, who also owns video rights in Region 4 and in France.
Television distribution is now in the hands of CBS Television Distribution (formerly known as CBS Paramount Domestic Television), having inherited them from Republic, Worldvision Enterprises, and Paramount Domestic Television. Video rights in much of the world are also divided by country, with Universal owning the UK video rights.