Friday, 22 September 2017

Organ and Harp(o)

A monkey examines a second-hand store mannequin in Harman-Ising’s The Organ Grinder, a 1933 cartoon.

Something is familiar here.

Look! It’s Harpo Marx!

Naturally, a harp happens to be conveniently nearby. Frank Marsales cheaps out and uses a piano on the soundtrack.

I always thought Groucho was the centre of the early-‘30s Marx Brothers movies, but Harpo seemed to get caricatured in cartoons more often back then.

Ham Hamilton and Tom McKimson are the credited animators.


  1. Feeling the Harpo vibe lately, huh? XD

  2. With cartoons of the period largely driven by action rather than dialogue, a celebrity with interesting actions came in handier than one known for witty dialogue. Groucho had the cigar and the walk, but most of the visual humor came from Harpo and, to a lesser extent, Chico.

    Also, caricaturing Harpo saves money because you don't have to hire a voice actor.