August 26, 2006 at 3:02 pm #111134carl-swansonParticipant
The scene in ‘The Bishop’s Wife’ which shows Cary Grant ‘playing’ the harp is a matt shot, and the hands that you see(really playing) are those of Gail Laughton(a man) who was a terrific pop and jazz harpist of the 30’s and 40’s. It is Gail Laughton’s playing that you hear on all of the Marx Brothers movies when Harpo plays the harp.August 31, 2006 at 9:13 pm #111135
Excuse me, but I am certain that it is Gail Laughton’s hands you see in the movie “The Big Store”, where the edit from Harpo beginning and ending the lengthy sequence to another pair of hands is quite obvious, and the playing is sufficiently different to show that Harpo is indeed playing in the other movies. My favorite has always been “A Night in Casablanca.” There is a movie, the title of which I have forgotten, in which the characters go to a nightclub, and sit at a table and actually listen to a harpist play a lengthy solo, but I can’t remember the movie. It was a leading man like Cary Grant or Gary Cooper, it was from the 1940s.
On television, “Golden Girls” and “Frasier” featured excellent harp guest spots, as did “Cheers.”September 1, 2006 at 3:52 pm #111136
+++I am certain that it is Gail Laughton’s hands you see in the movie “The Big Store”, where the edit from Harpo beginning and ending the lengthy sequence to another pair of hands is quite obvious, and the playing is sufficiently different to show that Harpo is indeed playing in the other movies.+++September 1, 2006 at 8:13 pm #111137
There is also an excellent book by Simon Louvish called Monkey Business on the brothers. I think Harpo dubbed many of his solos, because you can see that the strings seem too loose to be tuned, or because he is obviously playing a loom or piano harp.September 2, 2006 at 5:29 am #111138
True.September 2, 2006 at 1:25 pm #111139catherine-rogersParticipant
Nope, he smashes the piano in “A Day at the Races.” He plays an Indian loom in “Go West.” (That’s a neat jazzy piece for harp and flute.) Some people say “Duck Soup” wasn’t a big hit when first released because there were no solos by Harpo or Chico, which audiences had come to expect.September 2, 2006 at 4:34 pm #111140
I need to re-watch them I think. It’s been a while. I have most on VHS, but now I think most have been released on DVD so it’s time to update the collection and give them another watch.September 2, 2006 at 4:47 pm #111141catherine-rogersParticipant
Yes, I have almost all their movies on DVD. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to find a three-CD set of all the music from their movies, including title music and songs, not just the instrumental solos. That makes it easier to find the piece I want to hear than searching a videotape or DVD. Great fun!May 1, 2007 at 1:54 pm #111142
Home Alone 2 (Lost in New York) there is this scean where Mcaluey Caukin and the Pigeon lady are up in the roof of a concert hall and Mcauley runs his fingers across the strings of a pedle harp tha tis stored up there as he is leaving the room… kind of cool to see a harp in a modern movie like that……May 1, 2007 at 3:54 pm #111143
The scene in the Matrix, in the resteraunt, where one of the characters is about to go over to the “dark side”, there is a harpist playing in the background. You just just get to see her hands and harp, but hear her in the background throughout. The movie was filmed in Sydney, the harpist is Verna Lee (a Sydney gal), and the resteraunt is the revolving (not revolting) resteraunt at the top of the Sydney tower.
There is also a harpist in a resteraunt scene in the 80’s Tony Danza movie, “She’s Out of Control” (which is dreadful) . The harpist though is quite good and very funny. Tony Danza wants an excuse to leave the room, so complains that the music (a harpist) is too loud and that he just has to leave. The harpist plays enthusiastically some bach like piece, as loudly as she can….I think her name was Jan Bina or something similar. Anyone know her?May 1, 2007 at 4:01 pm #111144
My favourite Marx brothers harp clip would be in (I think)May 1, 2007 at 4:25 pm #111145austin-harpistParticipant
In “Rent” there is a harpist playing at the engagement party.May 2, 2007 at 10:29 pm #111146Cheryl Z.Participant
A few years ago I attended aMay 2, 2007 at 10:32 pm #111147Cheryl Z.Participant
One correction – I gave the wrong name for the seminar.May 2, 2007 at 10:39 pm #111148barbara-brundageParticipant
The work of our own David Ice, Cheryl.
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