A Message From Woody Allen

Woody Allen



May 28, 2008


From Japan to Russia, from Argentina to Alaska and all over Europe the Marx Brothers are revered as the greatest cinema clowns in talking pictures.  They are universally adored by the most unsophisticated audiences to the highest intellectuals.  There’s never been anything like them, their films are not only an enduring part of movie history but of American culture and now well after their deaths the Brothers continue to exert their impact as strongly as ever.



Woody Allen






A Letter To 93rd Street Beautification Association


Dear Ms. Hefti,

As a filmmaker who is particularly interested in preserving the enormous charm and appeal of Manhattan I have found myself supporting any number of preservation causes. The move to destroy the house the Marx Brothers grew up in on East 93rd street is of course particularly repugnant to me not just because the look of older New York is what makes it so appealing in movies all over the world (and draws many tourists) but because the Marx Brothers are among the great comic artists in history, their accomplishments are revered internationally and in countries that place a high value on cultural contributions as opposed to simply bulldozing things in the name of progress, the Marx Brothers home would remain standing and affixed with a plaque. This would be a nice touch for the city and evidence that we have deeper priorities than just profits. Therefore, I urge the Marx Brothers house to be allowed to remain as a proud landmark.


Woody Allen


Published on May 30, 2008 at 6:45 pm  Comments (11)  

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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] on American culture and comic artistry throughout the world ! Read his statement of support here! With such an important New York voice demanding the preservation of this block in […]

  2. […] to my article, and that’s how I found out about the story). Woody Allen’s written a letter about the issue, calling for the preservation of the building because the Marx Brothers are among […]

  3. I have probably been looking around online for like the last 20 minutes for a site like yours. So i just want to give you a big thank you and tell you too keep up the hard work. Have a great weeken! =) Thank you!

  4. My friend (not in the personal sense…as I have only met him in person once, back in 1987…for less than fifteen minutes) Woody Allen has done far more than almost anyone else to show the world what made New York City one of the most important cultural capitals of the World in History! And no one should doubt that Minni Schonberg Marx gifted New York City five brilliantly creative and talented boys! Vaudeville has long since gone, but the spirit of Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo and Gummo live in on for eternity! To think that the city of New York might fail to preserve their historic house on 93rd Street is very disturbing. The essential message of The Marx Brothers was one of non-violent Unity-in-Diversity…the most American of messages…which includes the rights of individuals, such as Freedom of Expression, Thought and Conscience. They may have portrayed a bit of sexist insolence at times, and no one can doubt that they mocked vanity to hell, but their overall values were towards progressive humanism and challenging dictatorship and plutocracy! Thank you Woody for bringing this to my attention (as I will pass it to others). And thank you Ms. Hefti for your valiant efforts. If only I could complement my words with my pocketbook… Best, The Original New York City Free Advice Man (see The New Yorker, August 17, 1987).

  5. […] las personas que han firmado la petición destacan Woody Allen y el hijo de Harpo, Bill […]

  6. PLEASE let me know the status of your efforts to save the Marx Brothers home. Is anyone attempting to turn that home into a museum?

    Deborah Burke

  7. God Work !

  8. So, is the battle over?

  9. I must confess that I had heard of the Marx Brothers all my life, but it I never really known them. Last year I was given a dvd “A Night at the Opera” as a gift, and truly my world changed that day. The Marx Brothers illuminated my life and Harpo became one of my favorite persons in the world. Their contribution is not merely a comic work, but it brings back the spirit of true, honest and sincere fun! Preserving their history is preserving this spirit!

  10. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs
    really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back in the future. Cheers

  11. Hope the building gets the plaque and is preserved for the future.

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