austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Hooray for Captain Spalding

I hear there's a fresh new release of the Marx Brothers films on DVD, including documentaries for A Night At The Opera and A Day At The Races. I'm excited, of course, and will now make the rounds to see what store gets the region one set first. Allegedly Larry Gelbart offered commentary, though he doesn't remember doing so. Besides, Moneky Business is the funniest of them all.

Among the many odd books I've got are Why A Duck? which is basically a photonovel (remember photonovels?) with pictures from most of the Marx Brothers movies, ripped from the film, with memorable bits of dialogue printed by them. For reasons that are obscure it skips Animal Crackers, which got the entire Hooray For Captain Spaulding! book -- about the same size -- to itself, three years later. They're enjoyable (oversized, hardcover) books, wonderful for stepping back in time to the days before VCRs when this sort of photonovel stuff got going.

Why A Duck? only has three pages from The Big Store, one of them a Groucho love scene. That seems unduly harsh; the ``Swordfish'' scene from Horsefeathers gets as much space. The Big Store takes a while to get started but once it starts firing it's good viewing. Maybe they just needed another book.

Trivia: Nuna Pompilius is said to have started the annual festival of the Terminalia, held in February to celebrate the god of boundaries, Terminus. Source: Who's Who In Mythology: A Classic Guide To The Ancient World, Alexander S. Murray.

Currently Reading: The Frozen-Water Trade, Gavin Weightman.


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