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The Marx brothers

The Marx Brothers were an American family comedy act that was successful in vaudeville, on Broadway, and in motion pictures from 1905 to 1949. Five of the Marx Brothers' thirteen feature films were selected by the American Film Institute (AFI) as among the top 100 comedy films, with two of them, Duck Soup (1933) and A Night at the Opera (1935), in the top fifteen. They are widely considered by critics, scholars, and fans to be among the greatest and most influential comedians of the 20th century. The brothers were included in AFI's 100 Years... 100 Stars list of the 25 greatest male stars of Classical Hollywood cinema, the only performers to be inducted collectively.

The group is almost universally known today by their stage names: Chico, Harpo, Groucho, Gummo, and Zeppo. There was a sixth brother, the first born, named Manfred (Mannie), who died aged seven months; Zeppo was given the middle name Manfred in his memory.

The core of the act was the three elder brothers: Chico, Harpo, and Groucho, each of whom developed a highly distinctive stage persona. After the group essentially disbanded in 1950, Groucho went on to begin a successful second career in television, while Harpo and Chico appeared less prominently. The two younger brothers, Gummo and Zeppo, never developed their stage characters to the same extent as the elder three. They each left the act to pursue business careers at which they were successful, and for a time ran a large theatrical agency through which they represented their brothers and others. Gummo was not in any of the movies; Zeppo appeared in the first five films in relatively straight (non-comedic) roles. The early performing lives of the brothers owed much to their mother Minnie Marx (the sister of vaudeville comic Al Shean), who acted as their manager until her death in 1929.

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1933 - 1969

Roles Represented in DAHR: Vocal group, speaker

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor MS-76129 16-in. 5/15/1933 Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel. Episode XXV The Marx brothers Radio broadcast : Comedy speaker  
Victor MS-76130 16-in. 5/15/1933 Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel. Episode XXV The Marx brothers Radio broadcast : Comedy speaker  
Victor MS-76316 16-in. 5/22/1933 Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel. Episode XXVI The Marx brothers Radio broadcast : Comedy speaker  
Victor MS-76317 16-in. 5/22/1933 Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel. Episode XXVI The Marx brothers Radio broadcast : Comedy speaker  
Decca L 15235 mid-1969 Meet the brothers Marx The Marx Brothers Vocal group  
Decca L 15236 mid-1969 The inimitable Groucho The Marx Brothers Vocal group  
Decca L 15237 mid-1969 The implausible Chico The Marx Brothers Vocal group  
Decca L 15238 mid-1969 The sounds of Harpo The Marx Brothers Vocal group  
Decca L 15239 mid-1969 The zaniness of the Marx Brothers The Marx Brothers Vocal group  
Decca L 15240 mid-1969 The collected speeches of Groucho The Marx Brothers Vocal group  
Decca L 15241 mid-1969 Chico in recital The Marx Brothers Vocal group  
Decca L 15242 mid-1969 Groucho Marx does his thing The Marx Brothers Vocal group  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Marx Brothers, The," accessed October 27, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103548.

Marx Brothers, The. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 27, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103548.

"Marx Brothers, The." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 27 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103548

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