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Love Happy (Blu-ray Review)

Love-HappyLove Happy marks the end of the Marx Brothers, kings of comedy in their hay day, as group on film.  It was their 14th outing, which is incredibly impressive.  Could you imagine trying to convince The Avengers to do 14 films together (I’m sure Marvel has, haha).  The film is also noted for having Marilyn Monroe.  Monroe is indeed in the film, but doesn’t show up til much later and has a little bit part, but man does she just exude star power.  Unlike most Marx Brothers film affairs, the silent one-Harpo gets the lead role with Chico being the lead supporter.  While it is their last film as starring players, the three never altogether share a frame (or scene) together once.  Olive Films is bringing this final Marx Brothers film over to the Blu-ray format next new release Tuesday, May 6.

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Film 

There’s a musical company putting together a show called Love Happy.  Harpo Marx is the group’s mascot.  He steals canned goods in order to feed the troupe.  One day he accidentally steals a sardines can full of diamonds.  This sets off Madame Egilichi and she sends her goons as well as makes attempts herself at getting back the diamonds.

Love Happy is the 14th film from the Marx Brothers and ended up being the last starring one for them as well.  And, you can easily see that they have pretty much run out of gas at this point.  The film consists of musical number after musical number with some route comedic bits in between.  And its really weird as the music bits aren’t always just song and dance.  There are many moments of someone just sitting and playing generic and uninspiring tunes on an instrument.

Its a weird sort of setup for the Marx Brothers as Groucho is barely a part of the movie.  He narrates the film and pops in every once in a while.  His whole section feels sort of like an afterthought.  Through post movie research I discovered the Marx Brothers were kind of forced into this movie and didn’t really want to do it.  Apparently it started as a solo Harpo movie, but Chico had gambling debts to pay off so he was put in it.  At that point the financers said the film wasn’t happening unless Groucho joined in, too.  In addition to the Marx Brothers, the film is also notable for sporting an early Marilyn Monroe.

I didn’t think the film was downright terrible.  It did bring about some charming moments that remind you of why the Marx Brothers were so good.  But those moments are few and far between.  Its biggest crime is being kind of boring.   It crutches and gets a little too into its musical numbers and some of the times isn’t doing anything with them (like I said, just a person sitting and playing), its a film – give me something with it or make the song outstanding!  I was looking forward to seeing a Marx Brothers film I’d never seen before with the added bonus of an early career Marilyn Monroe, and I can’t help but say I was a little disappointed.

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1:37.1

Clarity/Detail:  The print for this is in great shape.  You can make out creases and wrinkles on lighter colored fabrics.  There are scratches to the metal on a smoking penguin sign and on which you can see the wood grains.  Also, if you look at the surface of the roof you can see footprints all over.  The image is impressively sharp and has a lot of detail to offer.

Depth:  There are some awesome rooftop moments that feature some good depth of field .  But for the most part this takes place inside.  Characters appears 3 dimensional within there settings but distance can be rather flat.

Black Levels:  Black’s are pretty bold.  During some very dark moments there is some crushing.  For the most part I think the blacks here help to craft a more defined and sharper picture.

Color Reproduction:  N/A

Flesh Tones:  N/A

Noise/Artifacts:  It’s a little grainy and features some aging with specs and dirt, but nothing incredibly distracting at all.

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Audio 

Audio Format(s):  English Mono DTS-HD MA

Subtitles:  N/A

Dynamics:  This is a really solid mono track.  Score, dialogue and effects are all wonderfully balanced and make themselves pronounced without intruding on the other.  Also, very surprised there is no analog vinyl sounding hiss with this one.  Its a really clean track.

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is clear and centered.  Sometimes Chico’s raspy voice brings about distortion and some highs can peak, but its a rare occasion when it does.

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Extras 

Absolutely nothing!

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Summary 

This is great presentation of a crummy ass movie.  Olive Films brings a great looking transfer matched by an equally impressive audio track.  Since there’s no bonus features we have think of the strength of the film here and…well…that’s not going to help at all, is it?   Definitely recommend the release for Marx Brothers fans and collectors of Olive Films.  I’d also like it to be known that Duck Soup is not yet on Blu-ray, but this one is.

Love-Happy-Blu-ray

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

4 Responses to “Love Happy (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Brian White

    We get this but still no Double J 🙂

  2. Brandon Peters

    Haha. This is a Marx Bros movie, I can see where it has more clout when it comes to getting out first. Plus, its an independent distributor putting it out too. Also, I’m sure the sub-licensing and production of this one was way cheaper to produce too.

    Unfortunately, for your case of Double Jeopardy, it is a Warner Bros title and they refuse to sub-license to anyone. Even if they never plan on releasing it ever. They’d rather let it sit and collect dust than have to share earnings with an indie company who really wants to put it out. Yup, i’m thinking the exact same thing = grow up WB!

    There is hope that if it doesn’t get a normal release that it might wind up on Warner Archive (their blu-ray print ondemand service).

  3. Brian White

    And it’s Marilyn Monroe. Ashley Judd can suck it I guess, huh? 🙂

  4. Brandon Peters

    Ah, yes! That’s a pretty big factor too! Great point