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sexta-feira, 16 de dezembro de 2016

O quinto irmão Marx: Margaret Dumont / The fifth Marx brother: Margaret Dumont

Equilíbrio.

Balance.

Equilíbrio é o que todos nós devemos tentar alcançar na vida, e também na arte. A vida – e a arte – sem equilíbrio é apenas exagero, e isso nunca é bom. Quem vive uma vida sem equilíbrio é, mais cedo ou mais tarde, punido pela justiça ou pelo karma. Arte sem equilíbrio não é boa de se ver,  é rejeitada pelo público, é em geral classificada como “de mau gosto”.

Balance is what we all should seek in life, and also in art. Life – and art – without balance is just exaggeration, and it's never good. Who lives live without balance is, sooner or later, punished by justice or karma. Art without balance is not nice to look at, is rejected by the public, is often labeled as “of bad taste”.
Se não há um personagem mais “normal” para criar equilíbrio em uma dupla, trio ou grupo maluco, a comédia pode perder a graça. Hardy, o Gordo, era mais esperto e mais realista que Laurel, o magro. Precisávamos de Dean Martin para neutralizar as loucuras do atrapalhado Jerry Lewis. E sempre havia alguém mais normal junto com os Três Patetas. Tudo para criar equilíbrio. Porque o público precisa se identificar com alguém no filme, e quanto mais normal, melhor.

If there is not a more “normal” character to create balance in a crazy duo, trio or group, the comedy may fall flat. Hardy was smarter, and more down-to-earth than Laurel. We needed straight man Dean Martin to go with the shenanigans of goofy Jerry Lewis. And there was always someone more normal along the Three Stooges. All to create balance. Because the public needs an identification with someone onscreen, the more normal, the better.
E que tal ser o único normal no meio de quatro malucos? Esta era a difícil tarefa de Margaret Dumont nos sete filmes que ela fez comos irmãos Marx. Porque ela não era apenas uma ilha de razão em um mar de loucura, como era Zeppo, ela era também o motivo de muitas, muitas piadas.

And what about being the only one normal in the middle of four weirdos? This was Margaret Dumont's hard task in the seven movies she did with the Marx Brothers. Because she wasn't just an island of reason in a sea of wackiness, like Zeppo was, she was also the target of many, many jokes.
O nome Daisy Juliette Baker pode não ser familiar, mas foi assim que Margaret foi batizada ao nascer, em 1882. Ele era uma soprano, e se apresentou pela primeira vez no vaudeville pouco antes de completar 20 anos. Sua beleza quando jovem era impressionante, e ela era em geral escalada para papéis de “soubrette”: moças jovens que gostavam de flertar em óperas e shows cômicos.

The name Daisy Juliette Baker may not ring a bell, but it was with this name that Margaret was christened when she was born, in 1882. She was a trained soprano, and first entered vaudeville when she was about to turn 20. Her beauty as a young woman was mesmerizing, and she was often cast in “soubrette” roles: the ones of young flirtatious girls in comic operas and shows.
Sua primeira investida como atriz durou até 1910, quando ela se casou com o rico John Moller Jr. Durante a epidemia de gripe espanhola de 1918, seu marido morreu e a viúva de 38 anos voltou aos palcos.

Her first entertainment phase lasted until 1910, when she married heir John Moller Jr. During the 1918 influenza pandemic, her husband died and the 36-year-old widow came back to the stages.
Foi nos palcos que ele encontrou pela primeira vez os quatro irmãos Marx. Em 1925, ela foi escolhida para a peça “The Cocoanuts”. Em 1928, ela foi novamente escalada para contracenar com os irmãos em “Animals Crackers”. Quando os irmãos receberam uma oferta da Paramount para transportar seus shows para o cinema – que agora era falado – Margaret os seguiu. Até então, ela havia feito apenas papéis como extra em dois filmes mudos.

It was on the stage that she first met the four Marx brothers. In 1925 she was cast in their play The Cocoanuts. In 1928, she was again cast along them in Animal Crackers. When the brothers received an offer from Paramount to transport their plays to the – now talking – movies, Margaret followed them. Until then she had only appeared as an uncredited extra in two silent films.
Hoje, muitas das piadas dos irmãos seriam consideradas grosseiras ou politicamente incorretas. Margaret estreou no cinema com os Marx quando tinha 47 anos, ou seja, não era uma jovenzinha, e sabemos como o trabalho de atriz pode ser duro para mulheres mais velhas. Frequentemente ela era insultada, chamada – indiretamente – de feia, gorda ou velha por Groucho Marx, que era apenas oito anos mais novo que ela. Pode ser dito que estes insultos faziam parte da graça de Groucho, ou que não tinha importância porque Margaret não entendia as piadas (o que não é verdade, pois ela era uma atriz experiente e inteligente).

Today, many of the brothers' antics would be considered unpolite or politically incorrect. Margaret entered the movies business with the brothers when she was 47, so she was no youngster, and we know how hard work is for older actresses. Too often she was insulted, called – indirectly – ugly or fat or ancient by a Groucho Marx who was only eight years her junior. It can be said the insults are part of Groucho's fun, or that Margaret didn’t understand the jokes (which is not true, since she was an experienced and intelligent performer herself).
É interessante notar quão forte era a relação de Margaret e Groucho. Ela o chamava carinhosamente de “Julie” na vida real – o nome de batismo de Groucho é Julius – e Groucho disse que muitas vezes o público pensava que ele e Margaret eram de fato casados. Quando ele recebeu um Oscar Honorário em 1974, Margaret foi uma das poucas pessoas a quem ele agradeceu – os irmãos Gummo e Zeppo, que ainda estavam vivos, ficaram fora do discurso de agradecimento. E a última aparição de Margaret na TV aconteceu ao lado de Groucho no programa “The Hollywood Palace”, oito dias antes de ela morrer.

It's interesting to notice how strong Margaret's relationship with Groucho was. She fondly called him “Julie” in real life – Groucho’s real name is Julius – and Groucho said that the public often thought he and Margaret were, indeed, a couple off-screen. When he received an Honorary Oscar in 1974, Margaret was one of the few people he thanked – brothers Gummo and Zeppo, who were still alive, were left out of the acceptance speech. And Margaret's last appearance on camera happened alongside Groucho in the TV show The Hollywood Palace, eight days before her death.
This is my contribution to the 5th Annual What a Character Blogathon, hosted by mighty trio Aurora, Kellee and Paula at Citizen Screen, Outspoken & Freckled and Paula’s Cinema Club.

5 comentários:

Rich disse...

I had read somewhere she never got the jokes, which was why she was such a great straight "man" for them. Guess she did get them, huh?

Nice find of that younger photo of her.

Caftan Woman disse...

Margaret had to be one of the best comic actresses to maintain her character's integrity in the face of all that lunacy. I can't watch a Marx Brothers picture without appreciating her role in making the movies classics.

Virginie Pronovost disse...

I have admit I'm not very familiar with this actress, but nevertheless I really enjoyed your post! From what I read, I believe it was a most interesting choice for the blogathon. And as you said, YES, we need more normal characters among the crazy ones to create a balance! That's what makes me think of what I was saying about Arthur Kennedy in Elmer Gantry.

Citizen Screen disse...

Wow, she really was a beauty. It's thanks to her extraordinary comedic talent that most of us (I think) wouldn't see it. I often think Margaret should receive sainthood for what she put up with. Most of it is inappropriate, as you mention, but we really can't do without it.

I really enjoyed your tribute and commentary on what this great actress brought to the table. Without her so much of the Marx Bros. fare would be too much to take at times. Terrific read, Le and thank you for submission to the What a Character!

Aurora

Quiggy disse...

Those Marx Brothers movies would not have been the same if they had cast someone else in her roles.

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