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Ten Valuable Marx Brothers Movie Collectibles

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Valuable Marx Brothers movie collectibles include posters, lobby cards, window cards, pressbooks, signed movie contracts and autographed photos from such classic films as A Day at the Races, Monkey Business, Horse Feathers and A Night at the Opera.

The famous Marx Brothers – Groucho (1890-1977), Harpo (1888-1964), Chico (1887-1961), Zeppo (1901-1979) and Gummo (1892-1977) – worked in vaudeville, Broadway, radio and motion pictures during the first half of the twentieth century. One of the great American family comedy acts, the Marx Brothers really hit their stride in the Depression-era 1930s, appearing in such classic films as Animal Crackers (1930), Horse Feathers (1932), Duck Soup (1933) and A Night at the Opera (1935).

Here are ten valuable Marx Brothers movie collectibles that are sure to delight movie memorabilia buffs. "I sent the club a wire stating, 'Please accept my resignation. I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.'" - Groucho Marx

Marx Brothers 1935 Personality Poster

MGM produced a handsome Marx Brothers personality poster in 1935 featuring Groucho, Harpo and Chico for display in movie theaters. One example (22x28-inches) in restored very fine- condition sold at auction for $2,629.

Marx Brothers Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer personality poster $2,629

Marx Brothers Horse Feathers Window Card

In 1932 the Marx Brothers – Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo – took to the college football gridiron in the hilarious Horse Feathers. One window card (14x22-inches), displayed in local business windows in order to promote the movie, in fine- condition brought $4,182.50 at auction.

Marx Brothers Room Service Insert Movie Poster

The Marx Brothers appear as Broadway producers in this 1938 RKO film which also features Lucille Ball and Ann Miller. An insert poster (14x36-inches) in restored very fine condition was no laughing matter at auction, bringing a top bid of $6,572.50.

Marx Brothers 1938 Room Service insert poster $6,572.50

Marx Brothers A Day at the Races Movie Stills

The Marx Brothers – Groucho, Harpo, Chico – perform a series of comedy skits in the 1937 MGM hit A Day at the Races. A collection of 20 8x10 publicity stills from that classic film in fine+ condition sold at auction for $1,075.50.

Marx Brothers The Big Store Lobby Card Set

The Marx Brothers ham it up in The Big Store (1941), their final film for MGM, with Groucho playing private eye/bodyguard Wolf J. Flywheel. A complete set of eight lobby cards – so named because they were prominently displayed in theater lobbies – in fine- condition fetched $1,135.25 at auction.

The Big Store 1941 lobby card set $1,135.25

Marx Brothers At the Circus Swedish One Sheet Movie Poster

Groucho, Chico and Harpo try to save a circus from bankruptcy in At the Circus, released by MGM on October 29, 1939. A Swedish one sheet poster (27x39-inches) in rolled very fine condition sold at auction for $717.

Marx Brothers A Night at the Opera Belgian Movie Poster

The Marx Brothers invade the staid world of opera in MGM's 1935 comedy classic A Night at the Opera. The Belgian movie poster (24x33-inches) for this picture features artwork by noted illustrator Al Hirschfeld. One outstanding example in rolled very fine condition brought down the opera house, selling for $5,377.50 at auction.

A Night at the Opera Belgian movie poster $5,377.50

Marx Brothers At the Circus British Pressbook

Pressbooks were given to movie theater owners for promotional purposes. They contain a film's entire publicity campaign in the form of sample movie posters, stills, lobby cards and articles. All the theater owner had to do was simply order these items and pay a minimal cost. One 1939 British pressbook for At the Circus in fine condition sold at auction for $172.50.

Groucho Marx Autographed Photo

Marx Brothers autographs are always in demand. An 8x10 black-and-white movie still featuring Groucho, Harpo and Chico – but signed by Groucho only – in excellent condition brought $227.05 at auction.

Marx Brothers Duck Soup Movie Contract

On May 16, 1933, the four Marx Brothers – Julius (Groucho), Leo (Chico), Arthur (Harpo) and Herbert (Zeppo) – inked a movie contract with Paramount Pictures to make Duck Soup (1933). As stipulated in the agreement, the Marx Brothers would receive $200,000 and 20% of the film's gross. Not bad money at all in the depths of the Great Depression! That contract, signed by all four Marx Brothers, sold at auction for $13,145.

Marx Brothers 1933 Duck Soup contract $13,145

Credits

  • All auction results and images courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries, Dallas, Texas
  • Top image: Monkey Business 1931 lobby card featuring the Marx Brothers $4,025

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William J. Felchner

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