The Groucho Marx FBI Files

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Paul E. Gierucki
Godfather
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Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 4:23 pm

The Groucho Marx FBI Files

Postby Paul E. Gierucki » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:53 pm

Following are the official FBI files regarding one Julius Henry Marx.
I would love to know what is being redacted here!

Of particular interest is their misspelling of Groucho. Yep, everyone
knows that crazy communist comedian Graucho Marx...

Enjoy!

-- Paul E. Gierucki


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Brent Walker
Capo
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Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:06 am

Re: The Groucho Marx FBI Files

Postby Brent Walker » Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:19 pm

I believe the trouble started when Billy Engle was being considered for a bit part in a Marx Brothers movie. J. Edgar Hoover got a second hand tip that "Marx and Engle are collaborating again" and went right into action.

Chris Snowden
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Re: The Groucho Marx FBI Files

Postby Chris Snowden » Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:29 pm

What strikes me about the FBI files I've seen is that everything is just jumbled together: factual material, third-hand gossip and everything in between, prompting me to wonder about the reliability of the tipsters who provided much of this information to the agents who filed these various reports. There's often a tremendous amount of material that's pointless and meaningless, too, as if the agents were expected to report anything and everything on people under investigation, whether it was of any possible use or not.

And then there's the government censorship: how much of the significant information has been redacted? And how much of the redacted information is significant? If one person's file has fifty pages of blacked-out material, and another person's has only half of one paragraph that's redacted, does that necessarily mean anything? Who knows?

Back in the old days, I was impressed when I'd hear that a biographer had access to his subject's FBI file. Now, it's a negative, because it turns out that the files are mostly useless. A hack writer could seize upon any number of things to "support" whatever angle he's trying to sell: that the celebrity was a subversive, a homosexual, a psychotic, a Nazi sympathizer... you name it.

Richard M Roberts
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Re: The Groucho Marx FBI Files

Postby Richard M Roberts » Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:40 pm

The irony here is one of the things not listed, unless it has been blacked out for some reason or another, is one of "Graucho's" activities for a genuine communist front. In the late 40's (1947 I think), Groucho made a childrens record titled "The Funniest Song in the World " for a company called Young Peoples Records. The song is, in typical ironic fashion, one of the un-funniest songs in the World, in which a monkey tries to make up the funniest song in the World by making up insulting lyrics about all the other animals in the jungle, and the animals mentioned taking offense to it. So the monkey makes up gibberish lyrics that are meaningless, and everyone's happy. Groucho singing a song about politcal correctness, go figure. In any event, Young Peoples Records indeed turned out to be a genuine communist front, and was closed down a year or two later.

Thinking about the "Graucho" misspelling, I was actually listening to a Rudy Vallee Radio show featuring Groucho and John Barrymore yesterday, and Vallee mispronounces Groucho's name as "Graucho" or "Gaucho" during the show, causing Groucho to ad-lib "I like it better that way". Maybe the FBI heard that show and decided he had changed it.

RICHARD M ROBERTS

David B Pearson
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Re: The Groucho Marx FBI Files

Postby David B Pearson » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:51 pm

Wow.

So, according to the FBI, the real names of the Four Marx Brothers were Julius, Leonard, Arthur and Zeppo.

DBP

Richard M Roberts
Godfather
Posts: 2382
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 6:30 pm

Re: The Groucho Marx FBI Files

Postby Richard M Roberts » Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:34 pm

David B Pearson wrote:Wow.

So, according to the FBI, the real names of the Four Marx Brothers were Julius, Leonard, Arthur and Zeppo.

DBP


Gummo was a fifth columnist.

RICHARD M ROBERTS


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