4 very Marx Brothers films are given to us on DVD.
Paltry extras.TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Marx Brothers features 4 films that showcased the range of this comedy troupe. They are:
- A Day at the Races
- A Night in Casablanca
- Room Service
- At the Circus
A Day at the Races gives us the Marx Brothers in the world of medicine. Enough said, right? A Night in Casablanca sees the Brothers going up against the Nazis. Room Service sees the brothers, along with Lucille Ball and Ann Miller, try to raise money to put on their broadway show. Lastly, At the Circus showcases the Marx Brothers in the venue that seems like it was made for them... the circus.
Again, "Classic Cartoons," "Theatrical Trailers" and "Cast and Crew Highlights" don't really pass muster as Bonus Features. Not in this age of Blu-laser beams and supplemental features on discs that are out of this world! However, give this release credit for giving us a commentary track from The Marx Brothers Encyclopedia Author Glenn Mitchell!
All of the movies in this collection are in standard version presented in a format preserving the aspect ratio of their original theatrical exhibition. The films are also all in black and white. Again, I was taken aback by how good these movies looked on DVD. Considering that some of these films are over 70 years old that is impressive. The compression on these discs really seems like it has allowed these films to breath.
All of the films are in Dolby Digital - English mono. I found the quality to be really good on DVD. I didn't hear any points where the audio dropped out or wasn't completely clear. I also listened to the audio on a few of the other films and everything sounded well above par. Sure, there was a noticeable hiss to these films but they were recorded so long ago that that adds a bit of character to how they play.
The stars of all four films in this set are given to us on the front of this amaray case. The back features movie listings, "Bonus Feature" lists, technical specs, and cast lists. On the vinyl overlay that accompanies this release there is a description for each film in this Marx Brothers collection.
Having never really seen any of the Marx Brothers films I was really excited about this release and it didn't disappoint. While I think that the jokes and site gags are a bit dated, that just makes these sorts of films richer fodder for film history.
A Day at the Races was released June 11, 1937.