films seen
average score
Alive and kicking


Road to Rio

1947 / 100m - USA
Comedy, Musical
Road to Rio poster

Horse Feathers

1932 / 68m - USA
Comedy, Sport
Horse Feathers poster

I'm not that familiar yet with the Marx Brothers (this is only my second one), but their comedies do show potential. While they mix in other genres, they never lose sight of the humor. It's just that their films are such a tremendous mess that it's hard to keep engaged, even when they're quite short.

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When professor Wagstaff takes charge of the university, things are about to get a little weird. Wagstaff is a quirky fella who likes to do things his way. When he needs to make sure his university's football team wins an important match against their rivals, he hires two lunatics to help him win the match.

Four brothers, four very different styles of comedy. It's almost as if they shot one storyline in four different ways, then cut everything up to edited it back to one singular film. The pace of the jokes is tremendous, but too many of them aren't funny at all, which just makes the overall experience very tiring (so many terrible puns). I wish I'd loved this more, but it's just too messy and not funny enough.

The Kid from Brooklyn

1946 / 113m - USA
Comedy, Musical
The Kid from Brooklyn poster

It's a Gift

1934 / 68m - USA
It's a Gift poster

W.C. Fields used to be a pretty hip comedian, nowadays, few people even recall his name. Where actors like Chaplin, the Marx Brothers and Keaton are still remembered for their comedy, W.C. Fields is material for the hardened classic cinema fan. After watching It's A Gift, it's not hard to see why.

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There isn't much in the way of a plot here, the film plays like a series of extended sketches. Fields plays Harold Bissonette, a grumpy old man who is tired of his family and decides to chase his dream: own an orange plantation. All of that is just an excuse for running through a series of gags.

The comedy hasn't aged very well though. Predictable jokes, many of which outstay their welcome, poor timing, not much variation. And since there isn't anything else, it's a pretty tough film to like. At least the runtime is relatively short, I would've given it an even lower score if they'd stretched it to 90 minutes.