Tuesday

Groucho in "Duck Soup"

"... (he) maybe talks like an idiot and looks like an idiot, but don't let that fool you, he really is an idiot".

Groucho refers here to the character played by Harpo. Aside from their film-relation, Groucho was always talking in the highest tones about his brother Harpo, as in his autobiography "Groucho and Me" where he compares Harpo to geniuses like Beethoven and Bach. Groucho was full of admiration for Harpo and characterized him as one of the kindest persons he ever knew. Chico on the other hand was a self-centered troublemaker for Groucho. Groucho acknowledged Chicos performance on stage and in their films but was often frustrated by Chicos selfish behavior and his lavish life-style.

Interestingly Harpo was talking in a similar way about Chico as Groucho was about him. In his autobiography "Harpo speaks" 'Harpo speaks' about Chico's great talent with numbers and musical instruments such as the piano, regreting Chico never reached his full potential due to his passion for gambling (and because he was always hanging around with the wrong kind of people).

One of Grouchos sons later said, he saw his father cry only once in his life, the day Harpo died.

6 Comments:

Blogger Sander said...

That's really interesting to know that Chico was a bit of a bad 'un - it doesn't come across on film at all.

I was also fascinated by this on wikipedia about Harpo:

"Harpo learned how to hold it properly by going to a five-and-dime store where he found a picture of a girl playing a harp. No one in town knew how to play the harp, so Harpo tuned it as best he could, starting with one basic note and tuning it from there. Three years later he found out he had tuned it incorrectly, but he could not have tuned it properly; if he had, the strings would have broken each night. Harpo's method placed much less tension on the strings. Although he played this way for the rest of his life, he did try to learn how to play correctly, and he spent considerable money hiring the best teachers. They, however, spent their time listening to him, fascinated by the way he
played."

Interesting too, how the original script for Duck Soup metamorphised into the final film.

Thanks for posting, interesting blog.

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Blogger Kersti Lou said...

Groucho actually refers to Chico not Harpo. It's after Chico got caught after the famous mirror scene. Awesome blog tho! Love it!

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