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 »
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 <email@example.com>
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. See more »
In the opening scenes Hives turns to speak to Mrs. Rittenhouse after his opening song, and his waistcoat is different. It continues to swap from one style to another throughout the movie. See more »
One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know. Then we tried to remove the tusks. The tusks. That's not so easy to say. Tusks. You try it some time.
Oh, simple: "tusks."
[shakes Chandler's hand]
My name is Spaulding. I've always wanted to meet you, Mr. Chandler. As I say, we tried to remove the tusks. But they were embedded so firmly we couldn't budge them. Of course, in Alabama the Tuscaloosa, but that is entirely ir-elephant to what I was talking about.
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One of the Marx Brothers' earliest films, "Animal Crackers" is not nearly as refined as some of their later comic masterpieces, but it is a lot of fun. Some of the sequences are just as good as anything in their greatest films.
As in most of their movies, the actual plot is amusing but simple, and serves mostly as an excuse to tie together the various comic bits and songs. Compared with their later movies, this one seems much more stage-bound, and there is more screen time given to the other actors, slowing things down somewhat. But when Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo get their chance, they usually deliver.
Particularly funny in this one is a hilarious bridge game that matches Harpo and Chico against two society women. Zeppo gets a few good moments, too, as the secretary to "Captain Spaulding" (Groucho). And of course Captain Spaulding's theme song is always a favorite.
Though the Marx Brothers would later make even better movies, "Animal Crackers" is great entertainment in its own right, and well worth watching.
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