Escaping the In-Laws? Double Down on Laffs
The Marx Brothers and W.C. Fields in 35mm!

Wednesday, November 21st @ 7:30pm – Portage Theater – 4050 N. Milwaukee
Comedy Double Feature! Two Films for Only $5!

Directed by Norman Z. McLeod • 1931
Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo wreak havoc on an ocean liner crossing the Atlantic and sing “Sweet Adeline” from empty barrels of kippered herring. (Whether or not the usually-mute Harpo joins the chorus is a point of scholarly contention. . .) To save face, the Brothers split up and work for two opposing thugs, impersonate Maurice Chevalier, and find a girl in a haystack. (It doesn’t hurt that the girl is Thelma Todd, rather than Groucho’s usual squeeze, Margaret Dumont.) Featuring the most gorgeous opening credits sequence Paramount ever produced, this was also the first Marx Brothers vehicle that wasn’t an adaptation of one of their Broadway shows (this is, uh, their first Off Broadway production), and if you can’t beat it, join it. (JA)
78 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal
PLUS: Betty Boop in “Stopping the Show” (Fleischer Studios, 1932) – 8 min – 16mm


Directed by Clyde Bruckman • 1935
After lying about the death of his mother-in-law to get the afternoon off of work, Ambrose Wolfinger (W. C. Fields) is fired from his job as a memory expert (where he remembers his boss’s appointments and saves him the embarrassment of forgetting acquaintances’ names). With Fields left to return to an ungrateful wife and brat of a son, Trapeze still gives the feeling that Fields has it together and the rest of the world are the ones losing their minds. An acrobat in the 20th century workplace we’ve all come to know and regret, Fields never had it harder than in The Man on the Flying Trapeze. (For a man who reportedly went into show business to avoid getting up before noon, Fields’s portrayal of a man who hasn’t had a day off in twenty-five years
is actually terrifying). Did we mention the Portage has a liquor license? (JA)
66 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal


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2 Responses to Escaping the In-Laws? Double Down on Laffs
The Marx Brothers and W.C. Fields in 35mm!

  1. Do visit, enjoy, and share the Official Web site for our grandfather, W.C. Fields We update it frequently with latest news, information, rare family photos and so much more.

  2. Becca Hall says:

    Thanks for the link, and wonderful to hear from you!

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