Marx Brothers: Swordfish Collection - 1929 The Cocoanuts

Marx Brothers: Swordfish Collection - 1929 The Cocoanuts

 
9.4 (2)
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Marx Brothers: Swordfish Collection - 1929 The Cocoanuts
Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
The Swordfish Collection - A complete reworking of The Marx Brothers cinematic legacy
Original Movie Title:
Genre:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1929
Original Running Time:
93
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
77
Time Cut:
16
Brief Synopsis:
I've been a lifelong Marx Brothers fan (from my earliest memories), owning all their work on DVD imported from the US. I could debate with myself all day about which of their 13 films is the best ('A Day At The Races'?). But I can say with no doubt that most of their films come with certain baggage...

Due to the commercial neccesities of the time and due to the radical nature of their comedy they usually peppered the popular songs of the day throughout the films, to keep people happy. At the time, this formula was boxoffice dynamite but some of these songs have not aged well and I almost always fast-forward through them (Other songs are still masterpieces, 'Cosi-Cosa' for example). Also sometimes the plots, subplots and supporting talent isn't up to the match of The Brothers' firecracker humour. But fast-forwarding through that material isn't really possible, so wouldn't it be wonderful to have a collection of these films with all the killer and none of the filler?
Intention:
These edits should be a fun diversion for me, from more time consuming and challenging edits. This 13 film project will be a long time in the making. I'll be editing through their filmography in chronological order. I will not be cutting out any of the comedy and as I move towards their mid-career films, I'll be cutting less and less. But their last 6 films will require the most editing with the final film 'Love Happy' being drastically recut.

I want these edits to feel like nothing is missing (or nothing that you will miss anyway!), just pure comedy magic.
Additional Notes:
1929's 'The Cocoanuts' was filmed at a time when sound recording technology was brand-new resulting in compromises to the ability of directors to move the camera and for the actors to move too (Chaplin elected to keep his films silent for years after because of this). Also it is little more than The Marx's stageshow filmed for posterity. It is the weakest of their first seven films as a result, so if you are unfamiliar with the Marx's work I wouldn't judge them on this edit (Their next film is of course one of the funniest movies ever shot). But removing 16 minutes of filler has freed up the comedy to flow from scene to scene as it does in most of their other work.
Other Sources:
The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection - Region 1 DVD Boxset
Special Thanks:
Thanks of course go to Chico, Harpo, Groucho and Zeppo for a lifetime of laughs.
Release Information
NTSC DVD-5
Special Features
Menus and the trailer for 'Animal Crackers'
Editing Details:
The goal of the edit was to keep all the comedy but to streamline and fix all the other material. The quality of the original DVD is very poor and shows evidence of being spliced together from different film stock sources. So I tried to improve matters by smoothing out some bad cuts and by sharpening the image a little.
Cuts and Additions:
CUTLIST:

- Tried to cut as much of Bob and Polly's romance and the Diamond necklace subplot as possible. Without removing any of the Brothers.
- Sharpened the image throughout (The print is of a low and variable quality)
- Smoothed out some of the primitive cuts and shots where possible. While still preserving the look of a film from this period.

00.00.00 Added TM2YC and Swordfish idents
00.00.11 Adjusted framing of opening credits to match rest of film
00.01.16 Opening Florida montage heavily reduced and recut (All dancing removed)
00.04.32 Bell boy/girl dance heavily reduced and recut
00.05.04 Start of veranda scene slightly trimmed
00.06.22 Bob and Polly's duet entirely removed
00.07.23 Bob singing as he walks off and some exposition removed
00.07.24 Shot of the Potters flipped so Mrs Potter doesn't magically appear in the next shot
00.08.10 The Potter's exit trimmed and redubbed
00.17.47 Awkward rapid pan removed in favour of a straight cut
00.18.20 End of exposition conversation trimmed
00.28.11 Start of Harpo playing dubbed over Groucho and Mrs Potter scene
00.30.39 Fade to black shortened
00.36.21 Fade to black shortened
00.41.29 Auction establishing shot removed to create a match cut of Chico and Groucho
00.42.13 Polly's singing and dancing heavily reduced and recut
00.43.13 Start of Groucho shot slightly trimmed
00.49.45 Created a proper match cut by removing a few frames of the policeman entering
00.54.04 Cropped Yates out of long shot
00.54.16 Cut Yates comforting Polly and created a match cut to her sobbing alone
00.55.04 Fade to black shortened
00.57.21 Fade to black shortened
01.01.04 Fade to black shortened
01.14.06 Trimmed Polly's entrance
01.14.38 Over-long reaction shots to the map unvailing removed
01.16.09 Added fade from cheering to Polly singing
01.17.24 Trailer for 'Animal Crackers' added to the end

Original Length: 93 minutes
FanEdit Length: 77 minutes
Removed: 16 minutes
Cover art by TM2YC (DOWNLOAD HERE) image

Opening 5 Minutes

User reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
9.4
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0  (2)
Visual Editing 
 
9.5  (2)
Audio Editing 
 
9.0  (2)
Narrative 
 
10.0  (2)
Enjoyment 
 
9.0  (2)
Overall rating 
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
10.0
Enjoyment 
 
9.0

I'm a Big fan of the Marx Brothers. Unfortunately as TM2YC knows the production quality of the majority of their films was lacking. It's all hit or miss with the Marx Brothers all across the board. Their editing was mostly sub par. Their sound suffered greatly over the years from neglect or even possibly it was never all that great to begin with. The stories in The Marx Brothers early movies are mostly their Vaudeville Acts connected together with a loose or sometimes non-existent story line. Coconuts is just one example.

TM2YC did a wonderful job in cleaning up Vol 1 and 2 of this Swordfish Collection. He tightened up the editing and cleaned up the musical numbers. The DVD menu screen is classy and a wonderful presentation for these two movies.

You accomplished exactly what you set out to do with Vol. 1 and 2, and did a great job of it too.

This is probably the best presentation of Coconuts anyone can see today. It's as coherent and logically put together as a it can ever hope to be. I'm very happy I got to see this version of it.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
DVD
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
9.2
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
9.0
Audio Editing 
 
8.0
Narrative 
 
10.0
Enjoyment 
 
9.0

Though I agree that this is isn't as good as some of their other films,
the film does move along quicker, which makes it more enjoyable to watch.
The video is fairly smooth considering the jump in picture quality during some of the scenes
in later half of the film,
although I did spot one or two brief jarring cuts but it didn't look like they could be helped.
You did all you could.
The audio sounded fine for the most part but in some scenes, I had some trouble understanding what was being said.
Had I not seen it before, I wouldn't have known you cut anything but that being said,
the map scene at the end feels odd without any reactions shots but it doesn't really matter.
A good edit and you did all you could, considering the source problems.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
DVD
Was this review helpful to you?