Brothers Of Invention

Talking pictures were barely a year old when anarchy broke loose at the movies. At the start of The Cocoanuts, Groucho Marx stalked down the steps in his Neanderthal slouch and spat out a flood of puns and insults. It was a new cinema art: rude descending a staircase.

If the Four Marx Brothers--Groucho, mute Harpo, Italianate Chico (pronounced Chick-o) and straight man Zeppo--weren't the fathers of every aggressive film comic from the Stooges to Sandler, they were surely their Dadas. And they're seen to best effect on The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection (UMVD, $59.98), which gathers the five Paramount...

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