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Animal Crackers (1930)

Passed  -  Comedy | Musical  -  28 August 1930 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 9,697 users  
Reviews: 78 user | 40 critic

Mayhem and zaniness ensue when a valuable painting goes missing during a party in honor of famed African explorer Captain Spaulding.

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(based on the musical play by), (based on the musical play by), 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Zeppo Marx ...
...
...
Louis Sorin ...
Hal Thompson ...
Margaret Irving ...
Kathryn Reece ...
Robert Greig ...
Edward Metcalf ...
The Music Masters ...
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Storyline

Captain Spaulding, the noted explorer, returns from Africa and attends a gala party held by Mrs. Rittenhouse. A painting displayed at that party is stolen, and the Marxes help recover it. Well, maybe 'help' isn't quite the word I was looking for--this is the Marx Brothers, after all... Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The maddest comics of them all!

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 August 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Os Galhofeiros  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the interchange between Capt. Spaulding and Ravelli near the end of the film, Groucho refers to "Chic Sale". Chic Sale was a vaudeville performer well-known to audiences in the Thirties. His name, however, had a parallel meaning. It had become a euphemism for an outhouse. Groucho may have thought the reference as a way around the Hays Office code. The comedian Soupy Hines changed his name to Soupy Sales in honor of the original Sales. His birth name was Milton Supman. See more »

Goofs

In the final scene of the movie, just as Harpo is about to drop all the cutlery from his sleeve, the camera cuts to a close up of Chico. For an instant his hat is pulled down very low, covering his eyes. However, in the scenes before and immediately after, his hat rests normally on his head. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Spaulding: Play that song about the Irish chiropodist.
Ravelli: Irish chiropodist?
Capt. Spaulding: "My Fate Is In Your Hands".
See more »


Soundtracks

I Represent
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Ruby
Lyrics by Bert Kalmar
Sung by Zeppo Marx and Chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
strangely modern and modernly strange
22 June 2004 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

Judging by the script, you'd never believe that "Animal Crackers" is over seventy years old. Think of all the "postmodern" things that happen in this movie: Groucho directly addresses the audience to apologize for a bad joke; Harpo shoots a gun at a statue, only to see the statue come to life and return fire; and Margaret Dumont freezes in time while Groucho has a "strange interlude" and rambles to the audience about the perils of marriage and living with your folks! Of course, the absolutely ancient and decaying print will remind you that "Animal Crackers" is older than the hills, but otherwise, it's much fresher and weirder than the stuff that passes for comedy today.

Like "The Cocoanuts," this movie is based on a play, and as such it is considerably longer and stagier than most of the later Marx movies. The pace does drag a bit towards the end, especially since the plot disappears (along with Zeppo) for long segments at a time. But many of the individual segments are classic, including the often (and rightly) praised bridge game and Harpo's gag with the cutlery-filled sleeves. Even the music segments hold up well, particularly Chico's piano routine that gets savaged by Groucho.

Interestingly, there is a prominent romantic subplot to this film, which puts paid to the fallacy that Marx Brothers movies didn't have romances until MGM got its hands on them. However, the romance isn't nearly as intrusive or annoying here as in their later vehicles, so there's still plenty of reason to be annoyed with good old MGM...


25 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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