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The Cocoanuts (1929)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical | 3 August 1929 (USA)
During the Florida land boom, the Marx brothers run a hotel, auction off some land, thwart a jewel robbery, and generally act like themselves.

Writers:

(book), (adapted by)
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In 1 theater near Ashburn VA US [change]

ON DISC
2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Zeppo Marx ...
...
...
...
...
Bob
...
Polly
...
Yates
...
Penelope
...
Mrs. Potter
...
Hennessy
Gamby-Hale Ballet Girls ...
Dancers (as Gamby-Hale Girls)
Allan K. Foster Girls ...
Dancers
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Storyline

Mr. Hammer runs a bankrupt Florida hotel. He'll try anything to make money, even make love to rich Mrs. Potter. But his main scheme, selling real estate, is in danger of sabotage from zanies Chico and Harpo, who also reduce the schemes of a pair of jewel thieves to chaos. A subplot involves the star-crossed love of Polly Potter and architect Bob Adams. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

See it three times and even then you won't get them all. (Print Ad, Black River Democrat, Lowville, NY 2 January 1930) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 August 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los cuatro cocos  »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (preview) | (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Cocoanuts opened at the Lyric Theater in New York City on December 8, 1925 and ran for 276 performances starring The Marx Brothers, Margaret Dumont, and Billy De Wolfe, with songs by Irving Berlin. See more »

Goofs

When Harpo and Chico break Bob out of jail it is obvious the cell door is unlocked to the point more than one character holds it shut as Harpo tries to unlock the door. See more »

Quotes

Hammer: Now, we take lot #25. Right where you're standing. Will you please keep your feet off this lot. You're getting it all dirty. Now, here's a lot, folks, it doesn't look very big on top, but it's all yours for as far down as you want to go. And it's dirt cheap! Now, what am I offered for lot #25? Anything at all? Who will start it off? Anyone at all? Anyone?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are run against a background of negative film of the "Monkey-Doodle-Doo" number. See more »


Soundtracks

WHEN MY DREAMS COME TRUE
(1929) (uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
Sung by Oscar Shaw and Mary Eaton
See more »

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User Reviews

 
On Your Marx
28 November 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The creative talents of George S. Kaufman, Irving Berlin, and the Brothers Marx went into the production of the Broadway musical The Cocoanuts which ran for 216 shows in the 1925-1926 season. Of the talent involved it was the Marx Brothers who came out the winners.

George S. Kaufman was one of the great wits of the last century, but so were the Marx Brothers. They ad-libbed and eliminated much of Kaufman's well turned prose and things were pretty tense between him and the brothers on Broadway. He also did not like a certain song that Berlin wanted to use in The Cocoanuts and Berlin took it from the show after Kaufman ragged on him. The song was Always. The Cocoanuts was the first book musical that Irving Berlin ever wrote, he did mostly reviews before The Cocoanuts. It also is the only one without a single hit song from it.

But as a Marx Brothers comedy it made the Brothers reputations. The plot such as it is concerns the boom in Florida real estate in which a lot of people got wealthy and a lot lost their shirts, though not quite in the way Basil Ruysdael does when Harpo and Chico take it off his back while he's trying to frisk them in his duties as the house detective.

The Cocoanuts was shot at the Paramount Astoria studio in Queens and used a lot of Broadway performers in the roles. Besides the Brothers, only Margaret Dumont and Basil Ruysdael came over from the Broadway cast. But Oscar Shaw and Mary Eaton had well established reputations on Broadway. Kay Francis is in the cast as the bad girl and she certainly went on to a substantial Hollywood career.

The main thing The Cocoanuts has going for it besides the Marx Brothers is the fact it is a filmed record of a Twenties era Broadway musical. Paramount made very few concessions in adapting The Cocoanuts to the screen. What we see is filmed play. Historic, but I fear not as entertaining as the later work of the Marx Brothers.


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