Groucho, Chico, Harpo…Dali? Marx/Dali Collaboration gets Reimagined!
By Paul Chimera
Salvador Dali Historian/Writer
There’s just no way Salvador Dali’s star is ever going to fade. In fact, his popularity and people’s fascination with everything about the man continue to rise — sometimes out of activities long-since forgotten.
Two very different and surprising Dali-related revivals are making news today, proving that everything old is new again, and that includes when it’s connected to the kingpin of Surrealism.
One revival reportedly in-production is a remake of Dune (director Denis Villeneuve) – a film adaptation, tried several times in the past, of the classic Frank Herbert novel. David Lynch’s attempt to bring his interpretation to movie theaters in 1984 tanked, and the reviews weren’t pretty.
Originally, Alejandro Jodorowsky tried to bring Dune to the big screen in the ‘70s. And that’s where our boy, Salvador, comes in. Jodorowsky wanted Dali to star in the movie as the emperor of a galaxy. Other luminaries in the cast were, to my knowledge, David Carradine, Orson Welles, and Mick Jagger.
Dali said to Jodorowsky, let’s do this – but with just one teeny-tiny string of a mustache hair attached: he insisted on being paid $100,000 per minute of screen time. (For an hour and a half movie, that would have meant a $9 million bonanza for Dali!)
Yikes! Didn’t happen. It was goodbye, not hello, Dali.
Meanwhile, there’s been another and, in my view, really unexpected revival involving Salvador Dali. Who the heck saw THIS coming! Most Dali aficionados probably know that he loved the Marx Brothers – Harpo most especially – and had written a screenplay for a movie that, as it turned out, was rejected by MGM.
The proposed film had the curious and perplexing title, “Giraffes on Horseback Salad” – a title, of course, perfectly sensible in the surreal world of Salvador Dali. And billed as “the strangest movie never made.”
Now author John Frank, who found what was long thought to be the lost script penned by the artist, has joined with comedian Tim Heidecker and Spanish comics creator Manuela Pertega in the production of a graphic novel of the same title.
At Amazon, where the unusual new book is available, they said this about the zany new publication: “Surrealism meets Hollywood meets film history in the graphic novel, which turns an unproduced script by Salvador Dali into a fantastic comedy starring Groucho, Chico, and Harpo Marx.” As Dali delighted in saying, “Never a dully moment with Dali!”
[Images used under Fair Use provisions for journalistic purposes]