The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

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FrankFay
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by FrankFay » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:06 am

For me the best Ritz Bros. moment is in Kentucky Moonshine, when Harry comes out dressed as the queen from Disney's Snow White
Eric Stott

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westegg
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by westegg » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:30 am

Wm. Charles Morrow wrote:A while back I saw a tape of Ben Blue on a talk show in the late ‘60s. I never found him funny in the first place, but he came off so badly during that appearance I almost felt sorry for him. He seemed like a sour, unpleasant person. Comedy, by that point in his career, was reduced to a reflex action. If someone mentioned that they’d been to a restaurant, he’d automatically tell a couple of restaurant jokes. If someone mentioned hippies, he’d tell a hippy joke. But there was no joy or spontaneity in anything he did. It’s hard to be funny when you’re a bitter old man.
Bitter Ben Blue
Bitter Ben Blue
Bitter Ben Blue

say fast and repeat

:wink:

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westegg
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by westegg » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:31 am

FrankFay wrote:For me the best Ritz Bros. moment is in Kentucky Moonshine, when Harry comes out dressed as the queen from Disney's Snow White
Yeah--another choice scene. And a wild "duet" with Tony Martin as a finale. Insanity if you're in the right mood.

BeAStooge
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by BeAStooge » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:38 am

Most interesting Ritz moment... SING, BABY, SING (1936), when Ted Healy gives them the triple-slap.

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Jim Roots
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by Jim Roots » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:05 pm

BeAStooge wrote:Most interesting Ritz moment... SING, BABY, SING (1936), when Ted Healy gives them the triple-slap.
A Three Stooges specialty, of course.

Just sayin'.

Jim

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Jim Roots
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by Jim Roots » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:05 pm

entredeuxguerres wrote:
Jim Roots wrote:I agree totally with Richard Roberts on the New York idea of humour. It is perfectly exemplified today by ... no, not Saturday Night Live ... the supremely unamusing David Letterman. This guy has never once made me laugh. He made me crack a faint smile exactly once, and I don't even remember what it was he said that time.

Jim
Uh, recall how many you'd put away, Jim, the night he elicited that one "faint smile"? Believe I'd pass out cold before he prompted one from me. And how much is this wit "earning" for all his sparkle & charm?
You can bet I wasn't drinking Manhattans!

Jim

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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by ymmv » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:34 pm

When I read the title I thought "The Ritz Broterhs? I love those guys! Incredible athletic tap dancing. And those splits! I don't need a fast forward function, I need a repeat button!"

And then I realized I was actually thinking of the Nicholas Brothers ...

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entredeuxguerres
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:06 pm

ymmv wrote:When I read the title I thought "The Ritz Broterhs? I love those guys! Incredible athletic tap dancing. And those splits! I don't need a fast forward function, I need a repeat button!"

And then I realized I was actually thinking of the Nicholas Brothers ...
Or was it the Berry Bros... of which there were three.

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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by Richard P. May » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:38 pm

Back to the Ritz Bros.: Don't ignore "Serenade to a Fish" from the 1938 Technicolor GOLDWYN FOLLIES.
It only runs about 3 minutes, which helps.
Dick May

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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward"?

Unread post by CoffeeDan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:50 pm

I blow hot and cold on the Ritz Brothers. At the right time, in the right venue, they can be supremely funny. I was lucky enough to see YOU CAN'T HAVE EVERYTHING, ON THE AVENUE, ONE IN A MILLION and THE THREE MUSKETEERS for the first time at the Emery Theatre with an appreciative audience on each occasion, and a good time was had by all. (In fact, I sat through THE THREE MUSKETEERS twice -- I loved the cymbal dance!) They definitely go over less well on the small screen, but on the big screen everything makes sense.

On the whole, I think the Ritzes are at their best when they stick to the precision song-and-dance novelties that made them famous in the night clubs. Otherwise, like so many lesser comedy teams with no defined characters, they are only as good as their material. When the material is good, they're very, very good; but when it's bad, they are HORRID!

So far, the only film of theirs that I outright disliked was THE GORILLA -- but has there ever been a good film version of THE GORILLA?

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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by Wm. Charles Morrow » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:48 pm

westegg wrote:
Bitter Ben Blue
Bitter Ben Blue
Bitter Ben Blue

say fast and repeat

:wink:
I keep trying, but it comes out "Blitter ben-boo."

Can't say that I'm a huge fan of the Ritz Brothers, but their short Hotel Anchovy is kind of fun; maybe that's because we know it's a two-reeler, and won't last too long. I think the most I ever enjoyed their shtick was when Harry & Jimmy appeared on Dick Cavett's PBS talk show in the '70s -- only it turned out to be the opposite of the Ben Blue experience. They were full of good cheer, and seemed to be having the time of their lives.
-- Charlie Morrow

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westegg
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by westegg » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:33 am

I saw the two surviving Ritzes on the Dick Cavett Show too, circa 1979, and this before I had a VCR! Rrrr! Still, I hope that show resurfaces somewhere.

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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by Jim Roots » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:21 pm

What's the name of the third Ritz brother? Shemp?

Jim

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westegg
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by westegg » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:43 pm

They were Al, Jimmy & Harry.

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Jim Roots
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by Jim Roots » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:59 pm

westegg wrote:They were Al, Jimmy & Harry.
Al's the one I can never remember. Maybe if he had called himself Ally, the alliteration would be mnemonic.

I found it telling that the credits for Three Musketeers listed them as simply "The Ritz Brothers" -- no first names. Every Marx Brothers film credited them as "The Marx Brothers -- Groucho, Chico, Harpo" (and sometimes Zeppo, of course) and every Three Stooges film listed their first names, too. But the Ritz Brothers were a homogenous smear of brothers without distinction.

Jim
(who is very distinct from his brother, Whatshisname Roots)

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westegg
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by westegg » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:10 pm

Harry was the "star" of the trio, the one in the middle, and he received many offers to go solo, but he never wanted to break up the team out of loyalty.

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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by Brian Paige » Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:47 pm

I've always thought the Ritz Bros. were like if you took the Marx Bros. out of their gimmicks and had them play an entire movie as themselves. They would just look generic, wouldn't they? I can semi enjoy the Ritzes as 2nd rate comics in their own features, but I agree with the original poster when it comes to them being supporting players in big budget musicals. What purpose do they serve in an excellent musical like On the Avenue?

I've heard some praise for Harry Ritz over the years and have always been baffled....in fact I'm not sure I could tell him from his brothers!

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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by boblipton » Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:02 pm

Perhaps, Brian, the issue is not that you can't tell Harry from his brothers; it may be that you can't tell his brothers from him.

Bob
Life's too short to sit on our rears watching other people's work.
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westegg
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by westegg » Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:04 pm

Harry stands out simply because the other brothers were virtual lookalikes. Plus he would jitter his eyes.

:roll: :D

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Re: The Ritz Brothers

Unread post by Richard Finegan » Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:18 am

Ray Faiola wrote: The Ritzes...

Another great film number they did was "The Horror Boys of Hollywood" in ONE IN A MILLION. On roller skates yet.
And here they are:
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by Ray Faiola » Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:13 am

Classic Film Scores on CD
http://www.chelsearialtostudios.com

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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by FrankFay » Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:50 am

That has what I love AND hate about the Ritz Bros films. Loads of talent, excellent timing, and while the impressions aren't great they're certainly good enough- BUT - it's such a goddam high concept number. I laugh at some of the individual gags but as a whole I don't find it funny.
Eric Stott

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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by Ray Faiola » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:06 am

I just picked up a kinescope of a 1952 NBC ALL STAR REVUE starring the Ritz Bros. They work VERY hard during that hour and pull out every step and schtick from their bag of musical tricks. Quite enjoyable.
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by Daveismyhero » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:57 am

Thanks for resurrecting this discussion. I knew I had a film to put in my Top 10 Worst Films of all time, and seeing the Ritz Brothers jump-started my memory. Down goes The Gorilla (1939)!

Dave
I am not a purist, I am a funist!

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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by westegg » Thu May 01, 2014 6:46 am

The Ritz Bros. didn't much like that movie either.

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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by Dave Pitts » Sat May 03, 2014 10:59 am

The Ritz Brothers would have reached iconic status if they'd only added El Brendel as a fourth brother. He could have yipped "By Yimminee!" as the nailer to every punchline.

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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by aldiboronti » Sun May 04, 2014 10:06 am

I can't let this thread on "how the hell could anybody think they were so funny?' 30s comedians go by without mentioning Clark and McCullough. I love a lot of early 30s comics and even the ones I don't like I can usually see why other people might find them amusing. With this pair though I'm baffled. They are dreadful, about as funny as a bad case of migraine.

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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by westegg » Sun May 04, 2014 4:51 pm

aldiboronti wrote:I can't let this thread on "how the hell could anybody think they were so funny?' 30s comedians go by without mentioning Clark and McCullough. I love a lot of early 30s comics and even the ones I don't like I can usually see why other people might find them amusing. With this pair though I'm baffled. They are dreadful, about as funny as a bad case of migraine.

What little I've seen of C& M I tend to agree.

Not sure if this was mentioned on this board but I believe a Ritz Bros. bio is finally being written. I'll be the first to read it!

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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Sun May 04, 2014 5:04 pm



Here's their best short. If there are no chuckles here, it ain't happenin' anywhere else, either.

I kind of enjoy their vulgar enthusiasm (by which I mean Bobby Clark's, not that unfortunate nonentity with him). Key words: "kind of."
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Re: The Ritz Brothers- Thank God for "fast forward?"

Unread post by FrankFay » Sun May 04, 2014 7:08 pm

I've wanted to see the one where a practical joker named Allen Fun keeps pulling gags on them, exclaiming after each "It's All In Fun!" They finally toss him out of a window.
Eric Stott

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