After two sailors are conned into buying a lame race-horse, they go ashore to sort out the problem, but when they realize that the horse is one of a pair of identical twins, their plan for revenge becomes more complicated.
Fields wants to sell a film story to Esoteric Studios. On the way he gets insulted by little boys, beat up for ogling a woman, and abused by a waitress. He becomes his niece's guardian when... See full summary »
Ferdie's wife is fox-trot crazy, wanting to go dancing all the time. To get out of it, Ferdie fakes an ankle injury. When his wife spies him walking without his crutch, she writes a letter ... See full summary »
Casino operator Johnny Lamb hires down-on-her-luck socialite Lucille Sutton as his casino hostess, in order to help her and to improve casino income. But Lamb's pals fear he may follow ... See full summary »
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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 <email@example.com>
Chico and Harpo are not given character names. They are listed in the credits simply as "Chico" and "Harpo". Chico's name on the Broadway program was "Willy the Wop" which was considered too insensitive even for early movie audiences. Harpo's character was called "Silent Sam" See more »
Believe me, you gotta get up early if you want to get out of bed.
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A mixed bag at best, but Harpo is at his most aggressive.
The first Marx Brothers film is not one of the best. Comic material of about 30 minutes' worth is padded by gratuitous musical numbers until it fits into a prolonged 90-minute format. And the two romantic leads, Mary Eaton (whose incomprehensible "Monkey Doodle-Doo" piece should've been cut out altogether) and especially Oscar Shaw, are AWFUL! Even Margaret Dumont is worse than usual. However, the reports on the film's staginess are rather exaggerated; I've seen 50's and 60's comedies that were just as stagy ("The Seven Year Itch" is one that comes to mind). Groucho does have a few funny one-liners ("Sorry gentlemen but we seem to have no vacancies. We have plenty of rooms though!"). And Harpo really does make a very strong impression; far from being the good-natured, buffoonish clown that he became in some of the team's later films, here he's wily, amoral, and even a little mean-spirited (though with one tender moment), always coming out on top in every situation, always too fast for the others (including his brothers!) to follow. He's an extraordinary creation, making the picture worthy of a second viewing just to see him again. (**1/2)
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