The Marx Brothers
Bibliography

graphic

"Academic" texts about the Marx Brothers

Books and articles which have an academic view (in a very broad sense) on the Marx Brothers and their work


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Bartolomé, A.I.; Cabrera, G.: The translation of audiovisual humour of the Marx Brothers in "Sopa de ganso"
(Category: Articles about the Marx Brothers, their movies, stage shows etc.)
("Sopa de ganso" = "Duck Soup")

 

- in: Spanish in Context, 2005

Born, Simon: Die Marx Brothers und die Commedia dell'arte
(Category: Books about the Marx Brothers, their films etc.)

Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft / Baden-Baden, DE / 2019 / 3 8487 5012 0

- (deutsch) Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, Baden-Baden, DE, 2019, ISBN: 3 8487 5012 0 (ISBN-13: 9783848750122)
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Charney, Maurice: The Comic World of the Marx Brothers' Movies: Anything Further Father?
(Category: Books about the Marx Brothers, their films etc.)
The publisher advertises this book as "filling an academic void", but others have been there before. The most part of the book is taken up by giving synopsis of the movies. The author is looking at 15(!) Marx Brothers movies by including "Copacabana" and "Double Dynamite". He claims to have not been able to get a copy of "A Girl in Every Port", which is easily available outside the US. There are a few factual errors and typos and a lot of facts are repeated and some seem irrelevant. In general the author doesn't seems to be really interested in the Marx Brothers and the book doesn't add anything to an academic look at their work.

Fairleigh Dickinson University Press / Madison, NJ / 2007-09 / 0 8386 4124 5

- Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, Madison, NJ, Sep 2007, ISBN: 0 8386 4124 5 (ISBN-13: 9780838641248)
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Chesler, Judd: Toward a Surrealist Film Aesthetic with an Investigation into the Elements of Surrealism in the Marx Brothers and Jean Vigo
(Category: Books and articles which have the Marx Brothers not as their main topic, but have a significant part about them)
Ph.D. thesis

 

- Northwestern University, 1976

- University Microfilm No. 7701229, Ann Arbor, MI, 1977

Coniam, Matthew: The Annotated Marx Brothers - A Filmgoer's Guide to In-Jokes, Obscure References and Sly Details
(Category: Books about the Marx Brothers, their films etc.)
There are lots of scenes in the movies which we nowadays cannot fully understand because they refer to people or events who were well known at the time of filming. Matthew has put together a great collection of material which helps us to understand what is really going on.

<a href='https://mcfarlandbooks.com/product/the-annotated-marx-brothers/' target='_blank'>McFarland & Co</a> / Jefferson, NC / 2015 / 0 7864 9705 X

- McFarland & Co, Jefferson, NC, 2015, ISBN: 0 7864 9705 X (ISBN-13: 9780786497058)
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- McFarland & Co, Jefferson, NC, 2015 / Kindle edition
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Diot, Rolande: Chaos par K.O.: un exemple d'incompatibilité d'humour, le doublage et le sous-titrage des films de Marx Brothers
(Category: Articles about the Marx Brothers, their movies, stage shows etc.)

 

- in: Contrastes (Special Issue on Humour and Translation), Anne-Marie Laurion (ed.), 1985 / (conference proceedings of "Humeur et traduction. Actes du Colloque International 13.-14.12.1985")

Fix , Charlene: Harpo Marx as Trickster
(Category: Books about the Marx Brothers, their films etc.)
From the publisher's website: "The author invites readers to spend time in the pleasure of Harpo's cinematic company while comparing him to tricksters from folklore, myth and legend. The book demonstrates how Harpo, the sweetest, wildest, most magical Marx brother, accomplishes the archetypal trickster's work. Thirteen chapters examine Harpo's trickster persona closely in each of the Marx Brothers' films"

<a href='https://mcfarlandbooks.com/product/harpo-marx-as-trickster/' target='_blank'>McFarland & Co</a> / Jefferson, NC / 2013 / 0 786 47147 6

- McFarland & Co, Jefferson, NC, 2013, ISBN: 0 786 47147 6 (ISBN-13: 9780786471478)
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- McFarland & Co, Jefferson, NC, 2013 / Kindle Edition
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Fuentes Luque, Adrián: La recepción del humor audiovisual
(Category: Articles about the Marx Brothers, their movies, stage shows etc.)
estudio comparativo de fragmentos de las versiones doblada y subtitulada al español de la película "Duck soup" de los hermanos Marx (comparison of the subtitled and dubbed Spanish versions of "Duck Soup")

 

- (espagñol) Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain, 2001, ISBN: 84 338 2777 4 (ISBN-13: 9788433827777) / CD-ROM

- Translator, Vol 9, Part 2, pages 293-306, St Jerome Publishing, Manchester, UK, 2003,
   titled: An Empirical Approach to the Reception of AV Translated Humour A Case Study of the Marx Brothers' 'Duck Soup'

Fuentes Luque, Adrián: On the (Mis/Over/Under) Translation of the Marx Brothers' Humour
(Category: Articles about the Marx Brothers, their movies, stage shows etc.)

 

- in: "Translation, Humour and the Media: Translation and Humour", Vol 2. Delia Chiaro (ed.), Continuum, London, UK, 2010

Fuentes Luque, Adrián: Reír o no reír, esa es la cuestión: la traducción del humor verbal audiovisual. Estudio descriptivo de un fragmento de Duck Soup, de los Hermanos Marx
(Category: Articles about the Marx Brothers, their movies, stage shows etc.)
The title translates as "To laugh, or not to laugh, that is the question"

 

- (espagñol) Universidad de Cadiz, Cadiz, ES, 2004

Galestin, Paul: The Marx Brothers: Verbal and Visual Nonsense in Their Films
(Category: Articles about the Marx Brothers, their movies, stage shows etc.)
Keywords: general literature; film; use of nonsense; relationship to the visual; the verbal; in Marx Brothers films

 

- Dutch Quarterly Review of Anglo American Letters, 16:3, 237-248, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1986, ISSN: 0046-0842

- Tigges-Wim (ed.): "Explorations in the Field of Nonsense", Rodopi, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1987, ISBN: 90 6203 699 6 (ISBN-13: 9789062036998)
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Gardner, Martin Allen: The Marx Brothers: An Investigation of Their Films as Satirical Social Criticism
(Category: Books about the Marx Brothers, their films etc.)

<a href='https://mcfarlandbooks.com/product/the-marx-brothers-as-social-critics/' target='_blank'>McFarland & Co</a> / Jefferson, NC / 2009 / 0 7864 3942 4 McFarland & Co / Jefferson, NC / 2009 /

- New York University, Ph.D. diss., 1970

- University Microfilm No. 7026419, Ann Arbor, MI, 1970

- McFarland & Co, Jefferson, NC, 2009, ISBN: 0 7864 3942 4 (ISBN-13: 9780786439423) / titled "The Marx Brothers as Social Critics", this is an extended edition of the original Ph.D. thesis
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- McFarland & Co, Jefferson, NC, 2009 / Kindle Download
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Kamphausen, Heiner: Zur Komik der Marx Brothers in ihren frühen Filmen (Paramount 1929 - 1933)
(Category: Books about the Marx Brothers, their films etc.)
Masters Thesis

 

- (deutsch) Universität Marburg, 1994 / Diplomarbeit

LeMaster, David James: Charlie Chaplin and Harpo Marx as Masks of the Commedia dell'Arte: Theory and Practice
(Category: Books and articles which have the Marx Brothers not as their main topic, but have a significant part about them)
Keywords: dramatic arts; film; role of Chaplin, Charles Spencer; Marx, Harpo; relationship to commedia dell'arte

 

- Texas Tech University, Ph.D. thesis, 1995

- University Microfilm No. 9529798, Ann Arbor, MI, 1995

Mellencamp, Patricia: Jokes and Their Relation to the Marx Brothers
(Category: Articles about the Marx Brothers, their movies, stage shows etc.)
Keywords: general literature; film; role of jokes; in films; of Marx Brothers; semiotic approach; psychoanalytic approach

 

- Heath, Stephen; Mellencamp, Patricia (eds.): "Cinema and Language", Univ. Pubs. of America, Frederick, MD, 1983

Metzner, Holger: Say, am I stewed or did a grapefruit just flew by?
(Category: Books about the Marx Brothers, their films etc.)
(Untertitel/secondary title) Die Komik der Marx Brothers zwischen Unterhaltung und Avantgarde
Abstract: "Eine hermeneutische Analyse einer der erfolgreichsten und gleichzeitig avantgardistischsten Comedy-Gruppen des 20. Jahrhunderts. Die Marx-Brothers haben nicht nur ein Millionenpublikum unter einfachen amerikanischen Arbeitern gefunden, sondern auch Impulse für die bildende und darstellende Kunst Europas gegeben. Die Ursache dieses Erfolges liegt wesentlich in ihrer Verwurzelung in den großen Krisen und Umbrüchen ihrer Zeit.
Die vorliegende Arbeit verfolgt den Zusammenhang zwischen komischem Ausdruck und lebensweltlicher Realität. Groucho, Harpo und Chico - als festgelegte komische Figuren entstammen sie einer uralten Komödientradition. Dabei präsentieren alle drei eine jeweils verschiedene Lachkultur. Im Vergleich dieser historischen Vorbilder mit der Realisierung durch die Marx-Brothers in der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts werden die Abgründe, Absurditäten und Neurosen einer kapitalistischen Gesellschaft deutlich, die unserer eigenen Zeit in ihrer Schnellebigkeit, Dynamik und Aggressivität sehr nahe ist."

 

- (deutsch) Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Leipzig, Germany, 2000, ISBN: 3 838659 66 X (ISBN-13: 9783838659664) / MA Thesis / Diplomarbeit
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Mills, Joseph (ed.): A Century of the Marx Brothers
(Category: Books about the Marx Brothers, their films etc.)
"Most scholarly work on the Marx Brothers has focused on biographical aspects of their careers and lives; "A Century of the Marx Brothers" suggests a myriad of other useful approaches to their film and stage productions. The collection's eleven essays examine the Marx Brothers' work from a number of critical perspectives ranging from reader-response theory to film semiotics. The contributors include international scholars in a variety of fields, such as literature, cultural studies, performance studies, and film history." (Publisher's information)
Articles include:
- Joseph Mills: "The Faces of Twentieth Century Comedy"
- Matthew Daube: "The Case of Rabbi Cantor vs. Roscoe W. Chandler: The Marx Brothers' Ethnic Construction of Character"
- Renata Jackson: "Who's Your Dada? The Marx Brothers at Paramount"
- Dean Wilcox: "Surrealistic Heroes: The Marx Brothers and the European Avant-Garde"
- Thomas Grochowski: "Horse Feathers, Monkey Business, and Lion Taming: The Marxes in Transition"
- Eric Sterling: "The Marx Brothers and the Satire of the Upper Class"
- Matthew Turner: "Signs, Slapstick, and Silence: The Transformation of Semiotic Meaning in the Comedy of Harpo Marx"
- Christopher Kelen: "Nation, Anthem, Irony in the Figure of Rufus Firefly"
- Lance Duerfahrd: "The Extras to the Extraordinary: The Other Characters in the Marx Brothers Film"
- Marc DiPaolo: "'Italians' Know Nothing of Love: The Marx Brothers as Guardian Angels for Young Couples in Jeopardy"
- Joseph Alvarez: "Woody Allen: A Red-Headed Marx Brothers Stepchild?"
- Zoe Brigley: "The Big Grey Ir-Elephant: The Play of Language in the Marx Brothers' Scripts and in Charles Bernstein's L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Poetry"

Cambridge Scholars Publishing / Newcastle upon Tyne, UK / 2007 / 1 84718 240 2

- Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, 2007, ISBN: 1 84718 240 2 (ISBN-13: 9781847182401)
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Morris, Christopher-D.: The Ithyphallus as Lacanian Signifier in the Marx Brothers' Comedies
(Category: Articles about the Marx Brothers, their movies, stage shows etc.)
Keywords: general literature; film; comic film; phallic imagery; as signifier; in films; by Marx Brothers; theories of Lacan, Jacques

 

- Film Criticism, 12:1, 11-18, Meadville, PA, 1987, Fall, ISSN: 0163-5069

Tiersma, Peter Meijes: Language-based Humor in the Marx Brothers Films
(Category: Books about the Marx Brothers, their films etc.)
"[This study] will analyze [...] those instances of humor which are linguistic in nature, in other words, those which are amusing because of the way in which language is manipulated." (taken from the Introduction)

 

- Indiana University Linguistics Club, Bloomington, IN, 1985
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Trahair, Lisa: The Comedy of Philosophy: Sense and Nonsense in Early Cinematic Slapstick
(Category: Books and articles which mention the Marx Brothers in a larger context)

State University of New York Press /  / 2008 / 0 7914 7248 5

- State University of New York Press, 2007, ISBN: 0 791 47247 7 (ISBN-13: 9780791472477) / (hardcover)
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- State University of New York Press, 2008, ISBN: 0 7914 7248 5 (ISBN-13: 9780791472484)
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- State University of New York Press, 2012 / (Kindle ebook)
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Voncken, David : From "Five and Ten in Woolworth" to "Negen Jaar in Tienhoven": An Analysis of the Dutch Translation of the Puns and Wordplay in the Marx Brothers Movies
(Category: Articles about the Marx Brothers, their movies, stage shows etc.)

Universiteit Leiden, NL /  / 2018 /

- Universiteit Leiden, NL, 2018 / Master thesis, Linguistics (MA)

Wigell, Christine Steiner: A comparison of the non-verbal and verbal lazzi performed by the Zanni of the commedia dell'arte and the visual and verbal gags performed by the Marx Brothers in their films
(Category: Books about the Marx Brothers, their films etc.)
MA Thesis

 

- University of Illinois, 1976

Winokur, Mark Brian: 'Smile Stranger': Aspects of Immigrant Humor in the Marx Brothers' Humor
(Category: Articles about the Marx Brothers, their movies, stage shows etc.)
Keywords: general literature; film; humor; treatment of immigrants; Marx Brothers

 

- Literature Film Quarterly, Vol. 13, No. 3, Salisbury, MD, 1985, ISSN: 0090-4260

Winokur, Mark Brian: American Laughter: Immigrants, Ethnicity, and 1930's Hollywood Film Comedy
(Category: Books and articles which have the Marx Brothers not as their main topic, but have a significant part about them)
Abstract: "My dissertation begins with the fact that American film comedy is produced by a disproportionate number of ethnics and immigrants, from creative staff (Chaplin, the Marx Brothers) to businessmen (Mayer, Thalberg, Zukor). I use historical parallels in literature to justify the sence that thematic treatment of assimilation in comedy is a distinctly American development. [..] But the bulk of the work consists of readings of three comedies, and so of three comic subgenres: Modern Times and silent comedy, Duck Soup and antic comedy, The Thin Man and the screwball. "

 

- PhD thesis, University Of California, Berkeley,CA, 1985

- St. Martin's Press, New York, 1995, ISBN: 0 312 12342 6 (ISBN-13: 9780312123420)
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This site uses material originally created by Frank Bland for his website Why A Duck?. Frank did kindly give me permission to use this material.

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