The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

When Legends Gather #355


W.C. Fields and Groucho Marx

6 comments :

swac said...

Wow, great image!

I'm trying to think if I've ever seen a pic of them together before, but I'm drawing a blank...

Vanwall said...

My exact thought! This actually one of the best pics of either one, in itself.

SomeNYGuy said...

My childhood idols! Odd that there aren't more pictures of them together, as their tenures at Paramount overlapped. Perhaps they didn't really like each other?

swac said...

They seem quite convivial in this shot...I'm guessing they probably knew each other from the theatrical days as well.

Tom Sutpen said...

Somenyguy:

The Marx Brothers didn't appear in any Paramount pictures other than their own starring vehicles; which can't be said of Fields or most of their other contract players (Charlie Ruggles, Bing Crosby, etc.). Perhaps it was a matter of their deal with Paramount, but they seemed to exist apart from the rest of the studio in a sense. You didn't expect to see the Marxes turn up in a bit in, say, The Big Broadcast or International House or any of their other Musical-Comedy revues. It just didn't happen.

Now that I think of it, Mae West didn't appear in any of those pictures either.

That said, I'm pretty sure Stephen's correct and that the two ran into one another before they got to Hollywood. It's almost impossible that they didn't.

swac said...

Also keep in mind that nearly half of the Marx Brothers time at Paramount was spent at the New York studio, in Astoria, and they were only in Hollywood for a couple of years of their Paramount contract, which also diminishes the opportunities for these two to appear onscreen together.