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Free Screening of Cocoanuts
(originally released on 9/19/2006)


The Miami Design Preservation League will present a free screening of The Cocoanuts on Tuesday, September 26 at 7:00 p.m. Directed by Robert Florey and Joseph Santley, this the first film for the famous Marx Brothers and one of the first musical "talkies." The movie is the Marx Brothers' adaptation of George S. Kaufman-penned stage hit.

The free film screening is open to the public and takes place at the Art Deco Welcome Center Auditorium—1001 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. RSVP's are not required.

The Cocoanuts takes place at a resort hotel run by Groucho with his assistant, "straight man" Zeppo. Chico and Harpo arrive with empty luggage, which they plan to fill by robbing the guests. Margaret Dumont, in the first of her many appearances as a stuffy dowager wooed and tormented by Groucho, is a guest. Her daughter is in love with a young architect, but Dumont wants her to marry a man she believes to be of higher social standing. He's actually a con man out to steal the dowager's diamond necklace with the help of his conniving partner, played by Kay Francis.

The musical features of the film include performances by Mrs. Potter's sweet young daughter (Mary Eaton) who sings some songs by Irving Berlin including "When My Dreams Come True" with the dull romantic lead (Oscar Shaw). Harpo plays his harp, Chico plays the piano, and Groucho plays with Margaret Dumont. There are plenty of flapper-filled musical dance numbers.

The story and setting are little more than an excuse for the brothers to run rampant in their trademark style. Though sometimes raw as a film, it's both a valuable example of the early days of sound as well as a record of the legendary show that launched the Marx Brothers to stardom back in the golden days of Broadway.

The Cocoanuts is part of a series of free lectures, films and exhibits presented by the Miami Design Preservation League throughout the year.

For a complete calendar of events, visit the Miami Design Preservation League at http://www.mdpl.org, or call 305-672-2014 for more information.



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