Marx Brothers: Swordfish Collection - 1949 Love Happy

Marx Brothers: Swordfish Collection - 1949 Love Happy
Faneditor Name:
The Swordfish Collection: A complete reworking of The Marx Brothers cinematic legacy
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Original Release Date:
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Fanedit Release Date:
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Time Cut:
Brief Synopsis:
I've been a lifelong Marx Brothers fan from my earliest memories but all 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. Also sometimes the plots, subplots and supporting talent isn't up to the match of The Brothers' firecracker humour. So wouldn't it be wonderful to have a collection of these films with all the killer and none of the filler?
I want these Marx Brothers edits to feel like nothing is missing (or nothing that you will miss anyway!), just pure comedy magic. With 'Love Happy', hopefully I've turned a somewhat painful mess into something rather enjoyable and more up to the usual high standard of The Marx Brothers.
Additional Notes:
Some history... 'Love Happy' was the last film the Brothers did and it was also perhaps the weakest. Originally conceived as a Harpo solo film, Groucho and Chico were added at a late stage in an effort to raise money to clear Chico's gambling debts. It is quite obvious as their characters feel stitched on to the plot as an after thought. However 'Love Happy' contains some of Harpo's funniest and most creative work and is a treat for fans of his silent comedy (Groucho fast-talking-dialogue fans get short changed though).

A second problem comes down to the production running out of money. So often the film felt disjointed and missing pieces somehow. To raise funds a new ending was concieved featuring a chase across a series of advertising billboards. Luckily Harpo turns what could have been a cheap marketing ploy into a superb showcase of his personna's superhuman/cartoon-like comedic abilities. But it feels very stitched on and after it's over the film just kinda ends with a sign off from Groucho.
Other Sources:
Love Happy - Region 1 DVD
Special Thanks:
Thanks to Dwight Fry and other contributers to the thread
Release Information:
Special Features
Animated menus
Editing Details:
As always my intention was to remove nothing of the brothers and streamline everything else. However with 'Love Happy' I did have to remove 30 seconds of Harpo that was featured at the end of a musical number that I've cut. Also despite the many technical improvements, there are still a few bad jumpcuts and continuity errors that could not possibly be fixed.
Cuts and Additions:
- Fixed all techinical problems with sounds, video and cutting where possible
- Cut scenes without the brothers down to the bare minimum while still leaving the plot intact
- Cut all musical numbers except the essential Harpo/Harp and Chico/Piano scenes
- Reordered a few scenes to improve the narrative and pacing

00.00.00 Added TM2YC and Swordfish idents
00.00.30 Fixed badly done necklace fade
00.00.56 Fixed bad jumpcut by creating a new Newspaper fade
00.01.15 Fixed 15 second dialogue audio dropout
00.03.07 Shortened Mike dancing and Shortened Maggie intro
00.03.15 Shortened Maggie outro and shortened more of Mike's dancing
00.03.28 Shortened more of Mike's dancing again
00.04.57 Removed a couple of unnecessary establishing shots of Madame Egelichi
00.08.03 Removed sequence of Throckmorton walking through his shop
00.09.00 Removed some of Madame Egelichi's gloating
00.09.40 Removed shot of Sardines being opened
00.09.41 Removed reaction shot of the DeSoto Brothers
00.09.46 Removed two more reaction shots
00.09.55 Shortened torture of Throckmorton and created new fade
00.11.03 Removed Throckmorton using the telephone
00.11.29 Shortened Mike ancing and created new fade
00.15.02 Shortened shot of theatre troup
00.16.22 Shortened Maggie dancing
00.16.44 Shortened Maggie dancing again
00.17.18 Shortened Maggie dancing again
00.17.23 Shortened Maggie dancing again
00.18.10 Removed 'Who Stole the Jam?' musical number an created new fade
00.19.27 Fixed terrible Throckmorton matchcut
00.19.51 Removed closeup of Madame Egelichi
00.20.08 Shortened Madame Egelichi walking
00.22.27 Fixed damaged frame
00.26.42 Removed 'Willow Weep for Me' musical number
00.39.26 Removed a chunk of Mike's speech and recut footage
00.39.35 Removed 'Old Thesp's' speech and recut footage
00.39.41 Removed the whole start of the dressing room scene
00.39.55 Removed a chunk of the chat between Maggie and Mike
00.40.40 Shortened Mike talking with Madame Egelichi
00.40.43 Shortened more of Mike talking with Madame Egelichi
00.40.45 Fixed mis-timed Sardines Tin sound FX
00.40.47 Fixed (Or at least improved) problem with the dialogue audio
00.41.00 Removed more of Mike talking with Madame Egelichi
00.41.02 Removed more of Mike talking with Madame Egelichi
00.41.03 Fixed mis-timed Madame Egelichi dialogue
00.41.05 Removed Bunny talking
00.41.48 Removed dressing room scene and created new fade
00.42.05 Shortened shot of Sardines and pushed back Mike and Maggie scene
00.42.15 Removed needless exposition dialogue between Madame Egelichi and Throckmorton
00.44.24 Created new fade into Throckmorton alley scene
00.49.55 Removed some of Maggie's hysterics
00.52.07 Removed shot of Maggie leaving
00.52.28 Cropped shot to remove empty park bench
00.52.41 Cropped and reframed shot to remove empty park bench
00.55.38 Cropped and reframed shot to remove empty park bench
00.54.00 Cropped and reframed shot to remove empty park bench
00.57.56 Fixed problem of badly timed establishing shot by omitting it
00.57.59 Removed two shots of Madame Egelichi and Throckmorton
00.58.36 Removed footage of Maggie leaving her dressing room
00.58.47 Removed start of Maggie and Mike scene
01.00.03 Removed scene of Mike being beaten
01.04.11 Removed shot of Maggie checking on Mike
01.05.16 Fixed obvious jumpcut
01.07.10 Fixed bad fade by bring Chico piano scene forward and removing applause
01.08.40 Removed original fade to black
01.09.29 Created new near seemless matchcut/fade to put the two halves of the smoking bird scene back together
01.14.01 Fixed bad fade to black
01.15.52 Fixed another bad fade to black
01.19.18 Added in a missing United Artist's logo (Thanks to Dwight Fry for finding that for me)

Original Length: 91 minutes
FanEdit Length: 79 minutes
Removed: 12 minutes
Cover art by TM2YC (DOWNLOAD HERE) image

6 minute highlights compilation

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Even as a child I found the songs (but not the piano playing ) interminably boring and they just got in the way of the genius of the Marx Bros. I almost can't believe anyone would ever have cared for them other than those retained for Groucho or comedic plot value. These edits are perfect in driving home the pace and frantic chaos of the Bros, and I for one have them burnt to disc and in the official box set with the words "WATCH THIS VERSION ONLY" emblazoned on the printing.

Thank you so much for making these. There are not enough editors tacking older classics.
I hope you do some more...I may even join in (but not with the Marx Bros).

Delightful and highly recommended!
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Love Happy is the worst Marx Brothers movie (The Story of Mankind doesn't count), but it's still pretty good, more so if you view it as a "Harpo Marx movie". A lot to like here, even if it's more of a "smile throughout" film than a laugh-out-loud one like most of the Brothers' filmography. TM2YC does a pretty good job in eliminating pointless, fun-stopping filler, yet I would have left "Who Stole the Jam" in, not only because it's a pity to lose any footage of the Brothers but because its removal creates a continuity error: one moment Harpo is enjoying a nice lunch with Maggie, the next he's running up the aisles for no apparent reason. I won't miss any of the other removed scenes, though.

Editing itself is well done, other than a stray audio bit from the removed Throckmorton torture. One of the "agh's" happens during the dissolve in low volume and calls distracting attention to itself as digitally edited. The rest has nothing to fault, and the technical audio/video quality is fine.

I'm not sure it would be a replacement disc for me, but it's a fun watch when one's in the mood for some Marx Brothers (which is about always!)

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