3/20/15

'A NIGHT AT THE OPERA'--THE CASE OF THE MOVING BEDS


Continuing our severing of the funny scenes from the unfunny scenes in 'A Night At The Opera', here's one of the most underrated of the Marx's farcical room shuffle chases (they have one in almost every movie--hotel doors slamming, mistaken identities, confused authorities, confounded blackmailers etc.) This is the 'missing beds' boogie, where Chico and Harpo move all the furniture from one room of the hotel suite to another right under the nose of the law. In addition to the impeccable timing, the scene also contains what is clearly an on-set ad-lib that got left in. Henderson the Private Eye, in response to Groucho's Garboesque "I vant to be alone" says "You'll be alone once I throw you in jail!" And Groucho--with a lack of conviction that makes me think he truly did just stumble upon the thought at precisely that moment--says "Isn't there a song called something like that, Henderson?" It's not the funniest line he ever delivered, but you kind of feel you're in the moment on-set with him, as he tosses another strand of spaghetti at the wall and sees if it will stick. This one did...

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