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Groucho: A Life in Revue (2001) Online

Groucho: A Life in Revue (2001) Online
Original Title :
Groucho: A Life in Revue
Genre :
Movie / Biography / Comedy
Year :
Directror :
Steven Moskovic
Cast :
Frank Ferrante,Roy Abramsohn,Marguerite Lowell
Writer :
Bob Fisher,Arthur Marx
Type :
Rating :
Groucho: A Life in Revue (2001) Online

This performance should be required viewing for anyone with aspirations of being a well-informed Marx Brothers fan. If you have always enjoyed reading about and watching the Marx boys, this retrospective will help you put things it all together. You will probably come away with a better understanding of Groucho and his family than you have ever had before. If you are new to the brothers, this will put heart and soul into what they did and make you want to know more about them. Watching Mr. Ferrante and his castmates bring these characters to life is truly a remarkable experience.
Cast overview:
Frank Ferrante Frank Ferrante - Groucho Marx
Roy Abramsohn Roy Abramsohn - Harpo Marx / Chico Marx
Marguerite Lowell Marguerite Lowell

User reviews



Watching Frank Ferrante become Groucho Marx was an amazing experience, especially for old and crotchety Marx Bros. fans like I am. I was worried that he was going to come across with a stereotyped Groucho impression, the kind you might see Bugs Bunny do, or even Alan Alda's (or, rather, Hawkeye Pierce's) impersonation on M*A*S*H*. You know who they're parodying, but it's not really Groucho. Ferrante, however, captures so many of Groucho's mannerisms and speech habits, from subtle eye rolls to sly grins at the audience, that you soon forget you're watching an impersonation. It's a masterful performance. Here's hoping it comes out on video or DVD.


"Groucho: A Life in Review" is the sort of DVD that clearly is self- selecting. After all, folks who don't care about the Marx Brothers clearly won't bother seeing the film in the first place. Still, my score of 7 is based on the average person watching the film. Fans might easily score this 8 or 9. If you are dying to see a guy look and act like Groucho, Frank Ferrante does about as good a job as anyone can today!

"Groucho" is a filmed stage performance of this play. Although is stars Ferrante, on hand are Roy Abramsohn and Marguerite Lowell to play a few other characters. Abramsohn deserves special mention because in addition to playing both Chico and Harpo, he also performs on the piano and harp just like these guys used to perform! As for Ferrante, he was exceptional and captivating. Early and mid-way through the film, he was very funny and I found myself laughing out loud many times. Later, however, as Groucho aged, the character became a bit more maudlin--sad that although he could make folks laugh, he had great difficulty relating to those around him in any other way. This was true of Groucho in real life and the performance captured this quite well. Overall, very well done and even non-Marx Brothers fans will no doubt have a few laughs...just not as many as the more devoted fans of the comedy legends.


Gabe Kaplan was great at stand-up and a heck of a nice guy, but an actor he wasn't. Frank Ferrante nailed it with his interpretation of Groucho even doing perfect work in the physical aspects of the role so I don't know what is wrong with the reviewer.who said otherwise. While Kaplan knew Groycho in his later years, he wasn't able to pull off the younger or middle aged Groucho as Ferrannte did splendidly. Added.to this were the make-up changes on stage making the stage presentation all the more exciting.

Abrahmson.didn't look like Chico or Harpo, but he more than made up for it with his comic timing. I just wish he worked more on his Italian dialect. He.even played piano like Chico. It was also better to see both characters on stage unlike the Kaplan version.

I loved the work of the actress Marguerite Lowell who played several roles even doing a magnificent job on Margaret Dumont as well as Thelma Todd.

The set design was letter perfect and as much a star of the show as we're.the actors. Much more realistic than the sparse set on the : NO special.

I would recommend this highly... THEN watch the Gabe Kaplan version.


I have seen this play live a number of times (as well as the film version) and despite another reviewer's opinion that Gabe Kaplan does it better in "Groucho", Frank Ferrante's portrayal of Groucho Marx is so true to life that Groucho Marx's son Arthur (also the playwright) was quoted as saying that it was like seeing his father come back to life. (Also, contrary to the other poster's comments, Ferrante had met Groucho in person while the great Julian Marx was still alive.)

Ferrante originated the role on Broadway and in my opinion as a Groucho fan, I've never seen a more accurate portrayal. The other performances are excellent as well, and the story is a beautiful tribute to one of the world's greatest comedians. If you have any sense of humour at all, you'll be laughing throughout, and unless you're a total stoic you'll be crying at some of the moving scenes where the love between the often bickering brothers is so profoundly presented.

Don't miss it!


This play was previously filmed and released with Gabe Kaplan in the title role. Having seen both versions I can state unequivocally that I prefer the earlier version. Gabe Kaplan (of TVs "Welcome Back, Kotter" fame), was someone who actually knew Groucho during his life and it showed in his comic timing, mannerisms, and facial expressions. Ferrante's voice was unappealing, his characterization came off at times as being smug, and he simply did not have the physical agility that Groucho himself had even into his 50's (see the Marx's "the Big Store" for proof). Sadly, the original version (which was entitled simply "Groucho") is no longer in print, but if you can track down a copy on ebay I would suggest that as a better purchase.