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The Annotated Marx Brothers: A Filmgoer's Guide to In-Jokes, Obscure References and Sly Details (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 28 gen 2015

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4 di 4 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle One of the best books on the Marx Brothers I've read 18 settembre 2016
Di Alan Beggerow - Pubblicato su
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
The movies of The Marx Brothers are classics in the sense that much of their humor still plays well today. Except for some exceptions. The movies have many references to the current events and people of the 1930's and 1940's, some of them rather obscure to modern ears. The author of this book has created a guide to these references and their meanings.

For any Marx Brothers fan, this book will be most welcome. The brother's movies bear repeated viewing, for there is something the viewer may not have noticed before. There are a lot of things going on and especially with Groucho (and to a lesser extent Chico) a lot of things being said, with some of the choicest tidbits being an aside (often an adlib) to other action going on. And now withthis book, those off tghe cuff remarks can be deciphered, and adds more enjoyment to the movies.

It is plain that the author (who is English) is a devoted Marx Brothers fan. He writes very well and with humor, and some of his descriptions and explanations of American in-jokes and phenomena for the unknowing British audience are very good. Americans take it for granted that people know our culture and slang.

Exccellent book, recommended for the die-hard Marx Brothers fan as well as those who are interested in the history of early talking films and films of the 1940's.
3 di 3 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Essential Reading if you are Studying the Cinema of the Marx Brothers. 20 settembre 2016
Di Thomas Stamper - Pubblicato su
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
If any comedy team could use an annotated treatment it would be the Marx Brothers. I would lament that someone hadn't thought of it sooner, but I doubt they would have done as well with it as Matthew Coniam. To Start, his research is thorough. He explains jokes that I didn't even realize were jokes. There were references in movies I have seen 10 times that my mind ignores and he explains them. This is especially true in the earlier movies where there are more references and Coniam is more thorough.

What makes this book unique among the plethora of books on the brothers is that it talks about the films themselves more so than the biographies of the players. You get both to some extent, but the lives have always gotten more discussion in books. Previous writers have failed to explore so many of the things that make them interesting on screen.

It helps to know going in that Coniam is firmly in the camp of fans and critics that prefer the anarchist brothers from the Paramount films over the nary-do-well misfits from the later years. He goes in depth to explain how much Groucho's persona shifts by the time they make At the Circus, for instance. He doesn't see Groucho Marx as a performer making acting choices but as a character having choices forced upon him through the writers and directors. Keaton and Chaplin wrote their own material during the silent era so they did have the power of consistency or evolution the Marx Brothers lacked directly, but the brothers had the writers they liked even if the directors were a mixed bag. I personally like the variety of characterization within the characters.

I really enjoyed was Coniam's appreciation of Chico Marx. Like Harpo and Groucho, there is no one else like Chico. I love Chico's con man word play as much as Groucho's puns and Harpo's antics. I can also appreciate that Chico made it possible for them to have a longer movie career with his connections and love of the work.

Another service Coniam provides here is that he debunks some long held stories like Dumont didn't understand that jokes or that the brothers roasted potatoes in Thalberg's fireplace. These have been repeated and said so many times by other authors Coniam was first I know who looked at the logic of these statements instead of just repeating them.

This book stands alone in several ways and it's essential reading if you plan to study the cinema of the Marx Brothers.
4 di 4 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Enrich Your Marx-Viewing Experience 12 luglio 2016
Di Andrea Orlando - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
I’m not sure what I like more about Coniam’s writing- the fact that his mind is capable of presenting intricate, detailed information in a fascinating way, or that his wit and charm in doing so seem so effortless! This book is an indispensible, constant companion to a Marx enthusiast and should be part of your collection if you consider yourself a fan. The best thing about it is that it will enrich your viewing experience of the entire Marx canon. Expertly written, it is an enjoyable read full of information on a subject that you can tell the author is passionate about. Plus, it is apparent that he had fun telling it. I can only imagine how much work went into fact-finding these items about a comedy team from almost 100 years ago, but if you are a fan of the beloved brothers, you will be thankful he was obsessive enough to do it. Excellent book. Highly recommended. Worthy of the Marx Brothers.
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle (While some Marxians may disagree with his assessments -- rating the two Broadway-based films better than, say 11 maggio 2017
Di Anca Vlasopolos - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
I worried that Matthew Coniam's book might spend its time explaining jokes that most people already knew the meaning of. But such was not the case. Coniam offers information and insight into the entire Marx oeuvre. (While some Marxians may disagree with his assessments -- rating the two Broadway-based films better than, say, DUCK SOUP, his opinions are not arbitrary but well-informed and the stuff that makes for lively debate.)

As a Brit, Coniam explains some Americanisms that need no explanation to those of us living in the U. S., but that's part of the fun of reading the book (smiling inwardly and saying to yourself, "Aha! I already knew that!" and/or "What a cultural divide there is between our two English-speaking nations").

The book is broken up into chapters on each film, beginning with an overview before providing time-coded descriptions/explanations/annotations/analyses of various aspects of the films. I have read a number of books on the Marx Brothers, some dating back to the 1960s and 1970s (e.g., THE MARX BROTHERS: THEIR WORLD OF COMEDY and GROCHO, CHICO, HARPO, AND SOMETIMES ZEPPO); recently, I read GIMME A THRILL (the story of I'LL SAY SHE IS) and FOUR OF THE THREE MUSKETEERS (about the Marxes' stage career), and I can say that this book adds greatly to the store of knowledge about the comedy team.
22 di 24 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Best Marx Bros. Book Since Adamson's Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Sometimes Zeppo 27 marzo 2015
Di Robert N. Farr - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
So much has been written about the Marx Bros since the 1970s that I was skeptical that any new insights could be added. Was I surprised when I read The Annotated Marx Brothers. What sets this book apart is that Matthew Coniam challenges past critical consensus and presents new ways of looking at each of the films. One cannot overstate how hard it is to write about the Marxes without the voices of Crichton, Zimmerman, Eyles, Adamson, Maltin, Louvish, Blount, not to mention the brothers themselves, echoing in the author's head. Coniam examines each film with fresh eyes and offers his own conclusions. He even made me want to revisit Room Service and Love Happy. Each chapter starts with a historical/critical overview of the film in question followed by witty scene-specific commentary at various points marked by the PAL/NTSC timecodes so readers can follow along while viewing the film. On top of this it's a great read. Who can ask for more?