The Best of the Marx Brothers

The Best of the Marx Brothers

14 Episodes

Having honed their whirlwind brand of anarchic absurdity on the vaudeville stage, the Marx Brothers exploded onto the screen in the late 1920s and proceeded to wreak mayhem bordering on the surreal for the next two decades. The quip-spouting eyebrow-waggler Groucho, skirt-chasing silent clown (and harp virtuoso) Harpo, and ivory-tickling swindler Chico—joined in their earliest films by resident straight man Zeppo—combined genius wordplay, antic slapstick, and outlandish musical numbers to create barely controlled comic chaos that blew any semblance of narrative logic to smithereens. Poking irreverent fun at the pomposities of politics, academia, and high society in classics like Horse Feathers, Duck Soup, and A Night at the Opera, the Marx Brothers brought an improvisatory, anything-goes invention to screen comedy that remains as close to pure Dada as mainstream entertainment has ever come.

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The Best of the Marx Brothers
  • The Best of the Marx Brothers Teaser

    Episode 1

  • The Marx Brothers Home Movies Teaser

    Episode 2

  • Animal Crackers

    Episode 3

    Directed by Victor Heerman • 1930 • United States
    Starring Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx

    “I shot an elephant in my pajamas; how he got in my pajamas, I don’t know,” quips Groucho Marx’s celebrated African explorer Captain Geoffrey T. Spaulding, who’s just returned to the States to inflict...

  • Monkey Business

    Episode 4

    Directed by Norman Z. McLeod • 1931 • United States
    Starring Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx

    The Marx Brothers’ third screen outing—and their first to feature an original script not adapted from one of their Broadway shows—finds the boys playing a quartet of stowaways who get mixed up with ...

  • Horse Feathers

    Episode 5

    Directed by Norman Z. McLeod • 1932 • United States
    Starring Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx

    The title is 1930s slang for nonsense—and that’s just what the marvelous Marx Brothers deliver in this zany tale of newly elected college president Quincy Adams Wagstaff (Groucho Marx, declaring “wh...

  • Duck Soup

    Episode 6

    Directed by Leo McCarey • 1933 • United States
    Starring Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx

    The marvelous Marx Brothers are at their anarchic best in this wildly hilarious tour de force of comic invention. When Groucho’s Rufus T. Firefly, president of the bankrupt nation of Freedonia, picks a f...

  • A Night at the Opera

    Episode 7

    Directed by Sam Wood • 1935 • United States
    Starring Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx

    “You can’t fool me. There ain’t no Sanity Clause!” The legendary Marx Brothers take riotous aim at the pomposity of high society in one of the funniest movies ever made. Groucho Marx’s seedy promoter Otis B...

  • A Day at the Races

    Episode 8

    Directed by Sam Wood • 1937 • United States
    Starring Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx

    The Marx Brothers come to the rescue to save a small-town sanitarium from a ruthless businessman by entering a derby—betting everything on a horse that wants to jump instead of run! In his favorite role, Gr...

  • Room Service

    Episode 9

    Directed by William A. Seiter • 1938 • United States
    Starring Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx

    Check out who’s checked in! In this adaptation of the play by Allen Boretz and John Murray—the only Marx Brothers film based on a preexisting property not written specifically for them—Groucho Marx...

  • At the Circus

    Episode 10

    Directed by Edward Buzzell • 1939 • United States
    Starring Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx

    When a trio of circus performers steal $10,000 from the box-office till, it’s up to the Marx Brothers to save the day—and keep the show from going under—in this antic slice of big-top bedlam. Scripted...

  • Go West

    Episode 11

    Directed by Edward Buzzell • 1940 • United States
    Starring Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx

    The Wild West was never quite so wild as when the Marx Brothers rode into town! In this spoof of classic oaters, Groucho, Harpo, and Chico are three lovable losers from New York who head west in searc...

  • The Big Store

    Episode 12

    Directed by Charles Reisner • 1941 • United States
    Starring Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx

    The last film the Marx Brothers made at MGM casts Groucho, Chico, and Harpo as a trio of detectives-cum-bodyguards hired to protect the heir to a department store from the murderous machinations of t...

  • Groucho Marx on “The Dick Cavett Show”

    Episode 13

    This 1969 episode of “The Dick Cavett Show” features Groucho Marx discussing his career in film and on stage.

  • The Marx Brothers Home Movies Collection

    Episode 14

    This collection of home movies from the Marx Brothers is narrated by Bill Marx, son of Harpo Marx.