The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

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boblipton

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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

PostSun May 04, 2014 7:59 pm

Does he make them stand on a sugar-coated Kodak Brownie and order them: "Smile! You're on candied camera!"?

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FrankFay

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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

PostSun Jan 01, 2017 12:04 am

westegg wrote:Harry stands out simply because the other brothers were virtual lookalikes. Plus he would jitter his eyes.

:roll: :D


Harry was a lot like Eddie Foy Jr - he realized that to get ahead he had to forget that there was such a word as "Subtle".
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Puttin' On the

PostSun Jan 01, 2017 10:04 am

1. The other brothers for whom Berlin wrote
(as seen in On The Avenue, for which there is a nicely
restored DVD, with an over-enthusiastic commentary track)

2. Set in Sid's cement

3. The Youtube poster says they're on this Jessel show, but they're not in this clip

4. Silent clip with
The Borden Twins (they were Teensy & Weensy on I Love Lucy)

5. Maybe watch this one first

6. Al (the tallest, sitting) Jimmy (the least tall, standing next to JCD)

7. Bob Hope's dismal
"Joys" had a remarkable cast (e.g. Groucho; George Burns)
Last edited by JFK on Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

PostSun Jan 01, 2017 11:48 am

If a good director was in charge and kept the guys toned down, they were very tolerable. They are tolerable in
GOLDWYN FOLLIES (1938) and the new Universal Vault DVD of BEHIND THE 8 BALL (1941) and they are almost
normal in it!

The worst of their pics were HOTEL ANCHOVY and THREE MUSKETEERS---almost anything they did at Fox was too, too much craziness.
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

PostMon Jan 02, 2017 9:02 am

I've always enjoyed that scene from On the Avenue. Good lyrics, the brothers prove themselves surprisingly adept dancers, the girls are gorgeous and sexy, and you can see some of the girls unintentionally bump into one another when they go into their first "circle" turn.

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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

PostMon Jan 02, 2017 6:27 pm

Here are a couple of uploads I did a while back. The NBC show is a direct transfer from a 16mm kinescope.




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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

PostThu Jun 29, 2017 10:14 am

I'll throw in my two cents, for what they're worth.

My mother's hitting 92, this year. The Ritz Brothers were, and remain, her favorite comics. She used to catch their act live in New York City with her girlfriends. To hear her talk, they were silly and anarchic, more so than in the films, and required no thought--which is the way she's always liked her humor. (By contrast, she used to take great offense to the fact my father and I loved Bob and Ray, whom she never understood. Each to their own.) I bought her a DVD of The Three Musketeers for her last birthday, and she got a kick out of seeing it again, just for them. Certainly not Don Ameche's d'Artagnan.

It's difficult for a comic to carry indifferent or downright bad material, and too many of them got caught in the gears of the Hollywood machine doing just that: Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, and even in their own way, the Ritz Brothers--though it's really comparing apples and oranges, since they were song and dance men, not great gag creators-deliverers. They didn't do much of their own writing, but they wanted extremely funny material that acted as plot and filler around their song and dance numbers. And they didn't get it, which is hardly surprising, since they had no desire to adapt their act to make box office hits. Instead, they complained incessantly. (One of my mother's girlfriends supposedly went on to become, at least for a while, a secretary out at Fox. To hear her talk, they had a very active rumor mill, and both the offstage gags and strident anger of the Ritz Brothers was constantly making the rounds in the office.)

They were headliners in vaudeville, but their own films stink (The Gorilla is truly pathetic), and they were mostly consigned to guest star status, which they hated. That All Star Revue which is linked in this thread is a fine example of their talent, in my opinion, though it's still played far too large at times for the television screen. (I wince when I see Harry mugging to the camera at the start of the Don't Holla routine.) Interacting with an audience, being able to change out pieces as they go, making asides--they were truly in their element before a live, appreciative crowd.
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

PostSat Jul 01, 2017 6:54 pm

Keeping in mind that tastes in comedy are always changing (Jerry Lewis???), I think all the aforementioned guys all had their moments. I think the Ritz Brothers version of "Let's Go Slumming" in ON THE AVENUE is uproarious. They really could dance well. Eddie Foy Jr. was the most versatile, as he played different characters in the many Broadway shows he co-starred in. Benny Rubin is okay, but MGM wore out his welcome by sticking him in practically every early talkie they made....along with Cliff Edwards. I place the Marxes in their own category though...they were unique and created their own style of performing which no one else could approximate in any way.
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

PostSat Jul 08, 2017 6:04 pm

Are there any comedy teams (apart from L&H) that haven't been trashed on this thread? Jeez, what a sack of crabby burgers!

I do like the Ritzes, and a couple of years ago I saw the newly-preserved print of HIYA, CHUM!, which turned out to be a remake of SAN ANTONIO ROSE. Found it (and them) highly enjoyable.

So there! :P

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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

PostSat Jul 08, 2017 7:30 pm

They never get mentioned here, but I have a liking for THE CRAZY GANG. This movie is a stitch & here is a sequence- setup: they've got a Geni (Alistair Sim) inside a brass button (His lamp was melted down for the war effort) WARNING-
some kind of imsage stabilization has been used & the faces stay in one place while the backgrounds swing around:
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What if The Ritz Brothers & The Crazy Gang got in a fight

PostSat Jul 08, 2017 8:13 pm

They never get mentioned here, but I have a liking for THE CRAZY GANG.
Considering the relatively cheap prices for their memorabilia-
signed photos and books, posters, sheet music etc.- I wonder if they are even mentioned much in the U.K. They are funny - they're sometimes compared to the Marx Brothers, though they, among other things, lack the American team's sex appeal.
(Forgive the blurry iPhoniness of the quickly snapped images below)
ImageImage
Last edited by JFK on Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What if The Ritz Brothers & The Crazy Gang got in a figh

PostSat Jul 08, 2017 8:32 pm

JFK wrote:
They never get mentioned here, but I have a liking for THE CRAZY GANG.
Considering the relatively cheap prices for their memorabilia-
signed photos and books, posters, sheet music etc.- I wonder if they are even mentioned much in the U.K. They are funny - they're sometimes compared to the Marx Brothers, though they, among other things, lack the American team's sex appeal.
(Forgive the blurry iPhoniness of the quickly snapped images below)
ImageImage


They were an odd team- not really a team of six as they were three double acts put together. Bits of brilliance: Two of them were famous for a slow-motion wrestling act:
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

PostSat Jul 08, 2017 10:42 pm

Are there any comedy teams (apart from L&H) that haven't been trashed on this thread? Jeez, what a sack of crabby burgers!


They don't have enough elaborate dance numbers in their films, and Hardy looks at the camera too much. Strictly second-raters.
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

PostSun Jul 09, 2017 2:46 am

Mike Gebert wrote:
Are there any comedy teams (apart from L&H) that haven't been trashed on this thread? Jeez, what a sack of crabby burgers!


They don't have enough elaborate dance numbers in their films, and Hardy looks at the camera too much. Strictly second-raters.


and those accents......
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

PostSun Jul 09, 2017 12:05 pm

I recently enjoyed The Best Of ... What's Left Of ... Not Only ... But Also... (yes, all those ellipses are in the title), which includes apparently the only surviving episodes of that seminal Peter Cook and Dudley Moore show.

Now that's a team that really intrigues. By far the best of their sketches is a hysterical parody of Thunderbirds, the marionette show, in which Cook and Moore play all of the characters as marionettes. Their body and facial control is mindblowing, especially whenever they fall down -- they really do fall exactly as marionettes do. Plus, the story and dialogue are both a scream. My sons and I really were ROTFLMAO.

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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

PostMon Jul 10, 2017 9:43 am

Jim Roots wrote:I recently enjoyed The Best Of ... What's Left Of ... Not Only ... But Also... (yes, all those ellipses are in the title), which includes apparently the only surviving episodes of that seminal Peter Cook and Dudley Moore show.


That's a great collection, aside from the previously mentioned SUPERTHUNDERSTINGCAR parody of the Thunderbirds-type shows ("You've put on weight, your strings are showing!"), I recall a Tom Jones-style variety show parody featuring Moore as Beethoven. I thought I'd heard that more footage had been recovered since that compilation came out, either from a collector or one of those far-flung caches of BBC material in Africa or elsewhere, but that might just be wishful thinking on my part.
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

PostMon Jul 10, 2017 11:40 am

s.w.a.c. wrote:
Jim Roots wrote:I recently enjoyed The Best Of ... What's Left Of ... Not Only ... But Also... (yes, all those ellipses are in the title), which includes apparently the only surviving episodes of that seminal Peter Cook and Dudley Moore show.


That's a great collection, aside from the previously mentioned SUPERTHUNDERSTINGCAR parody of the Thunderbirds-type shows ("You've put on weight, your strings are showing!"), I recall a Tom Jones-style variety show parody featuring Moore as Beethoven. I thought I'd heard that more footage had been recovered since that compilation came out, either from a collector or one of those far-flung caches of BBC material in Africa or elsewhere, but that might just be wishful thinking on my part.


Yes, the set does include the Beethoven-as-Tom-Jones parody, too. It dragged a bit for me, since I can't hear the music, and it seemed to go on far too long. But there was so much else to enjoy in the collection.

Jim
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

PostFri Jul 14, 2017 11:43 am

Hmmm...I'm very fond of The Goon Show, but of course, they were a radio team, despite a few episodes being filmed, and a very few, not-well-received films. Language, timing, and sound effects where were they excelled, courtesy of Milligan's scripts, and his performances along with Sellers and Secombe. Those films seem earthbound without Milligan constantly poking the imagination with a stick.

L&H's sound films to me seem very different in pacing and editing from their silent ones, and in most cases I prefer the latter. (Way Out West is an exception. There are a very few others.) They also seem to go over much better in a large screen theater, where the carefully planned, audience-aimed slow burns of Jimmy Finlayson and the exasperated grimace for sympathy of Hardy set off chain reactions of laughter. (I've read they were actually timed and re-cut after viewing by preview audiences.) Just my opinion, mind.

Back to the Ritzes: I've never understood why they're compared to the Marx Brothers. The Ritz Bros. were a song-and-dance team that included some humorous bits which were, on occasion, very funny--and quite of a bit of it ended up being used by a host of comedians from their own generation on through into the Fifties. The Marx Bros. had musical skills to a varying extent, but were each (well, three of them) sharply defined stage characters with very different approaches to humor. Groucho was also a good writer, though when they moved to MGM their improvisations and his writing were immediately eliminated by the studio.
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

PostFri Jul 14, 2017 12:10 pm

Butterworth wrote:Hmmm...I'm very fond of The Goon Show, but of course, they were a radio team, despite a few episodes being filmed, and a very few, not-well-received films. Language, timing, and sound effects where were they excelled, courtesy of Milligan's scripts, and his performances along with Sellers and Secombe. Those films seem earthbound without Milligan constantly poking the imagination with a stick.

L&H's sound films to me seem very different in pacing and editing from their silent ones, and in most cases I prefer the latter. (Way Out West is an exception. There are a very few others.) They also seem to go over much better in a large screen theater, where the carefully planned, audience-aimed slow burns of Jimmy Finlayson and the exasperated grimace for sympathy of Hardy set off chain reactions of laughter. (I've read they were actually timed and re-cut after viewing by preview audiences.) Just my opinion, mind.

Back to the Ritzes: I've never understood why they're compared to the Marx Brothers. The Ritz Bros. were a song-and-dance team that included some humorous bits which were, on occasion, very funny--and quite of a bit of it ended up being used by a host of comedians from their own generation on through into the Fifties. The Marx Bros. had musical skills to a varying extent, but were each (well, three of them) sharply defined stage characters with very different approaches to humor. Groucho was also a good writer, though when they moved to MGM their improvisations and his writing were immediately eliminated by the studio.


No, the improvizations were honed by sending them out on the road to perform the movie as a play and see what developed. Famously, that's he the stateroom scene that. A Night at the Opera came about.

Bob
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

PostFri Jul 14, 2017 5:52 pm

boblipton wrote:
Butterworth wrote:Hmmm...I'm very fond of The Goon Show, but of course, they were a radio team, despite a few episodes being filmed, and a very few, not-well-received films. Language, timing, and sound effects where were they excelled, courtesy of Milligan's scripts, and his performances along with Sellers and Secombe. Those films seem earthbound without Milligan constantly poking the imagination with a stick.

L&H's sound films to me seem very different in pacing and editing from their silent ones, and in most cases I prefer the latter. (Way Out West is an exception. There are a very few others.) They also seem to go over much better in a large screen theater, where the carefully planned, audience-aimed slow burns of Jimmy Finlayson and the exasperated grimace for sympathy of Hardy set off chain reactions of laughter. (I've read they were actually timed and re-cut after viewing by preview audiences.) Just my opinion, mind.

Back to the Ritzes: I've never understood why they're compared to the Marx Brothers. The Ritz Bros. were a song-and-dance team that included some humorous bits which were, on occasion, very funny--and quite of a bit of it ended up being used by a host of comedians from their own generation on through into the Fifties. The Marx Bros. had musical skills to a varying extent, but were each (well, three of them) sharply defined stage characters with very different approaches to humor. Groucho was also a good writer, though when they moved to MGM their improvisations and his writing were immediately eliminated by the studio.


No, the improvizations were honed by sending them out on the road to perform the movie as a play and see what developed. Famously, that's he the stateroom scene that. A Night at the Opera came about.

Bob


It's true that they did get to take some of their MGM movies out on the road as plays, leading to some great improvised material. I forgot that; thanks. :) What I was thinking of was how the Marx Bros would essentially treat plays that became their two earliest surviving films as subject to improvisation throughout--basically, whenever they were on and felt like it. I can't speak to what they were allowed to mess around with in the road versions of the MGM films, but--just a suspicion, mind--I can't believe it was anywhere near as much. It feels as though they were worked around the plot, where Coconuts and Animal Crackers, for all their flaws, used the Marx Brothers more intrinsically. Which allowed them to do that much more damage to the original material.
Last edited by Butterworth on Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

PostFri Jul 14, 2017 7:23 pm

I like The Crazy Gang, they remind me of a very early version of Monty Python and for their time period of course.

I grew up watching and enjoying The Three Stooges with my older brother, and my lifetime personal favorite is Ernie Kovacs.
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

PostSat Jul 15, 2017 1:31 am

The Crazy Gang originated at the London Palladium in 1930 with a Crazy Week.Originally Carlyle and Munday were part of this.Eventually it became The Crazy Gang with Merck and Knox,Naughton and Gold and Flanagan and Allen.They worked together on stage and film till the early forties when they went their separate ways.They were reformed by Jack Hylton from 1946 till 1962.Allen retired and was subsequently replaced by the Monsewer Eddie Gray.They retired in 1962 and their final performance before the tv cameras has been available on You Tube.They were my great favourites.I saw Bud at what I think was his last stage appearance at the last night of the Golders Green Hippadrome.I also saw Chez performing strolling at the show celebrating the Gang at the Prince of Wales theatre in 1984'
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

PostSat Jul 15, 2017 3:39 am

wingate wrote:The Crazy Gang originated at the London Palladium in 1930 with a Crazy Week.Originally Carlyle and Munday were part of this.Eventually it became The Crazy Gang with Merck and Knox,Naughton and Gold and Flanagan and Allen.They worked together on stage and film till the early forties when they went their separate ways.They were reformed by Jack Hylton from 1946 till 1962.Allen retired and was subsequently replaced by the Monsewer Eddie Gray.They retired in 1962 and their final performance before the tv cameras has been available on You Tube.They were my great favourites.I saw Bud at what I think was his last stage appearance at the last night of the Golders Green Hippadrome.I also saw Chez performing strolling at the show celebrating the Gang at the Prince of Wales theatre in 1984'



and I believe some of the members appeared in silent films- though god knows if any survive.
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