ON THE SET OF 'ANIMAL CRACKERS' IN COLOR!
You won't believe what you're about to see--the above eighteen second clip. I still don't and I've watched it like twenty times already. It's a candid view of a rehearsal on the set of the Marx Brothers 1930 film 'Animal Crackers' and it's shot in color. In it, Groucho stares at the camera then paces away, clearly bored. Harpo comes out, sans costume, wearing a bathrobe--no wig, no hat, nothin'. Only his singular grin and mad eyes identify him as Harpo. Margaret Dumont crosses camera right and she and Harpo rehearse their introduction, where she reaches for his hand and gets his horn instead.
And that's it. No information on why this exists, why it's in color, why they shot this rehearsal or what else they may have shot. Possibly it was a test of a color system and they rolled on whatever was happening at that moment (which was this rehearsal)? One of the sparse user comments says this scrap was found in an attic. If anyone has any other clues about this, please leave it in the comments section. This is truly one of the most astounding snippets of film I've ever seen. For eighteen seconds, you're on the set of 'Animal Crackers', seeing the real brothers and the whole sh-bang in the non art-deco black and white that we're used to. Lurid thought the colors are, they bring the whole thing to life in a shocking and delightful way.
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Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 10:01 AM