Saturday, July 9, 2011

Movie Moments: #77

At the Circus (1939)

It seems somewhat eerie that the Marx Brothers were starring in a comedy about the circus as WW2 was about to start but 1939 was a good year for movies.  The 1939 Oscars (for 1938 movies) included Goodbye Mr Chips, Mr Smith Goes to Washington, Of Mice and Men, Stagecoach, The Wizard of Oz and Wuthering Heights.  By this stage Groucho was aged 48 and wore a toupee for the movie.The movie is memorable for Groucho singing Lydia the Tattooed Lady.

The Marx Brothers try to help a circus owner save his circus.

J Cheever Loophole:  I don't know what I'm doing here, when I could be at home in bed with a hot toddy. That's a drink!

Lydia the Tattooed Lady:

See the Muppets version of Lydia at:

For Groucho Marx’s performance of the song 'Lydia, the Tattooed Lady,' additional lyrics were written by lyricist E Y Harburg exclusively for screenings of the film for Allied servicemen in European war zones. The special lyrics included the line 'When she stands the world grows littler; When she sits, she sits on Hitler.' The version of the song featuring the special lyrics was filmed, and included in prints of 'At the Circus' distributed in Great Britain and France. The version of the song containing the special lyrics was greeted with marked enthusiasm during screenings in those countries.

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