Who doesn't love a comeback story?
Whether it's a baseball team gathering runs in extra innings or a horse gaining ground down the final stretch, we can't get enough.
It's that appeal that makes the fifth installment of the Kentucky Theatre's Summer Classics Series so exciting.
This week's showing is A Night at the Opera, the film that essentially brought the acclaimed Marx Brothers back from the dead.
From 1929-1933 the Marx Brothers were hot, and they pumped out screwball comedies year after year for Paramount Pictures.
Their final film in that stretch was Duck Soup, a film about a dictator declaring war on a country in a sort of Helena of Troy-type storyline.
Despite being a one of the most critically-acclaimed films in the era's canon, it was lamented at the time.
It was bemoaned by critics and audiences alike for its ill-timed politics in a time of global upheaval and civil unrest.
As a result, the act stalled, and the brothers split.
Groucho and Chico took their talents to radio, and Harpo began performing in the Soviet Union after the revolution.
But just more than a year later, Irving Thalberg, head of production at MGM at the time, picked up the brothers' pieces and set them up fairly nicely with the company.
Their brand of against-it-all comedy that seemed to have run stale with audiences was seen as an asset to Thalberg.
He had an idea to put the brothers in supporting roles, acting as satellites around a main character.
However, he'd still pay them leading-character salaries.
A Night at the Opera was the first of the Marx Brothers' films at MGM, and it's as though they tried to squeeze every ounce of their previous comedy routine out of the roles.
That's not to say it didn't work like a charm; it makes for some of the best comedy the troupe's done.
The film takes on the haughtiest diversions in American culture: the opera.
In the opening scene Groucho berates his usual sparring partner Margaret Dumont, who plays Mrs. Claypool.
In a subsequent scene he arrives at the opera on stagecoach and asks the parking attendant if it's over yet.
When he hears there's still a few minutes left he barks at his driver, "Aye you, I told you to slow that nag down. On account of you, I nearly heard the opera!"
In the Marx Brothers' heyday, all that was required for a full-length film was a theme and a setting. They would just go.
While the comedy was the same in A Night at the Opera and after, it was different in that it had structure. And while it's not traditional Marx Brothers, A Night at the Opera represents an important part of film history.