The Marx Brothers: Tootsie-Frootsie Ice Cream

The scene above is from the Marx Brothers classic ‘A Day At The Races‘. I get the impression that most people have an awareness of them (often due to Groucho’s distinctive appearance) but that few people have recently, if ever (!), seen a Marx Brothers’ movie. This is a crime.

A few things I love about this scene:

  • The overall pacing: this scene takes its time, allowing you to see the resignation from Groucho as he realizes time after time that he’s been conned again. Sometimes he sees it immediately; other times you can see him calculating whether or not he should just accept that he’s been conned and take the loss. Meanwhile, Chico strings him along, providing just enough information to keep Groucho going.
  • That pause at 4:06!
  • Chico’s physical approach in the initial pitch is brilliant. The coat pulling, the way he makes Groucho want to feel like a real gambler: “Come on, come on, you look like a sport. Come on, boss…”

Further Reading: