things to do in your home town
The Cleveland Cinematheque is an alternative film theatre located in Cleveland, Ohio. Founded in 1984, it is a part of the Cleveland Institute of Art. It releases a film schedule every other month.
watch a film about sunny florida by the sea in 1929
The Cocoanuts (1929) is the first feature-length Marx Brothers film, produced by Paramount Pictures. The musical comedy stars the four Marx Brothers, Oscar Shaw, Mary Eaton and Margaret Dumont. Produced by Walter Wanger and directed by Robert Florey and Joseph Santley, it was adapted to the screen by Morrie Ryskind from the George S. Kaufman Broadway play.
As one of the earliest examples of a transfer of a stage musical to the new medium, The Cocoanuts highlights the imperfect production methods of early sound films. Five of the film's tunes were composed by Irving Berlin including "When My Dreams Come True," sung by Oscar Shaw and Mary Eaton.
The Cocoanuts is set in the Hotel de Cocoanut, a resort hotel during the big Florida development boom of the 1920s. Groucho runs the place, assisted by "straight man" Zeppo, who would rather sleep at the front desk than actually help him run it. Chico and Harpo arrive with empty luggage, which they plan to fill by robbing and conning the guests. Margaret Dumont, in the first of her many appearances as a stuffy dowager wooed and tormented by Groucho, is one of the few paying customers. Her daughter is in love with a struggling young architect who works to support himself as a clerk at the hotel, but who has plans for the development of the entire area. Mrs. Potter (Dumont) wants her daughter to marry a man she believes to be of higher social standing than the clerk. This would-be fiance is actually a con man out to steal the dowager's diamond necklace with the help of his conniving partner, played by Kay Francis.
But the plot is beside the point. The story and setting are little more than an excuse for the brothers to run amok. The film is also notable for its musical "production numbers" similar to those used in the 1930s by Busby Berkeley, including techniques which were soon to become standard, such as overhead shots of dancing girls imitating the patterns of a kaleidoscope. All of these numbers were recorded live on the soundstage as they were shot, rather than pre-recorded, and all with an off-camera orchestra. The main titles are superimposed over a negative image of the "Monkey-Doodle-Do" number photographed from an angle that does not appear in the body of the film.
One of the more infamous gags in the film has Groucho giving directions to Chico, who keeps misunderstanding "viaduct" as "why-a-duck". In another sequence Groucho is the auctioneer for some land of possibly questionable value ("You can have any kind of a home you want to; you can even get stucco! Oh, how you can get stuck-oh!") He has hired Chico to artificially "bid up" during the auction. To Groucho's frustration, Chico keeps outbidding everyone, even himself. Still another sequence has Groucho, and later the necklace thief, perform a formal speech. Harpo repeatedly walks off, with a grim look on his face, to the punch bowl. (It's implied that the fruit punch has been spiked with alcohol).
Referring to directors Robert Florey and Joseph Santley, Groucho Marx remarked, "One of them didn't understand English and the other didn't understand Harpo." When the Marx Brothers were shown the final cut of the film, they were so appalled they tried to buy the negative back and prevent its release. Paramount wisely resisted — the movie turned out to be a big hit and earned close to two million dollars.
As the film was made in the early days of sound film, to eliminate the sound of the camera motors, the cameras and the cameramen were enclosed in large soundproof booths with a glass panel to allow filming fronting the booth. Before filming the cameraman was shut inside the booth with packs of ice to prevent condensation forming on the glass panel. The length of filming was therefore limited by endurance of the cameramen within the airtight booths. This practice was commonplace in the early years of sound film and is largely responsible for the static camera work of that era.
you can come down and watch it with us..or watch it here..enjoy your saturday evening
The Cleveland Institute of Art
11141 East Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-1710
Location of Second Building: 11610 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-1710
Phone: (216) 421.7000 or (800) 223.4700