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>
Zeppo Marx, the youngest of the five brothers, was very skilled at impersonating his older siblings and occasionally performed in their place when one of them was ill or unavailable. The blackout that occurs when Chico and Harpo are attempting to steal the painting was contrived so that Zeppo could play Captain Spaulding on a day that Groucho was not on the set. (Zeppo played Spaulding several times during the show's live run; Groucho stated, "he was so good as Captain Spaulding that I would have let him play the part indefinitely, if they had allowed me to smoke in the audience.") See more »
When Hives tells Mrs. Rittenhouse of Captain Spaulding's arrival, he's seen leaving with her but in the next scene, he's already at the top of the stairs introducing Spaulding's secretary Jameson. See more »
[while playing the same first part over and over]
I can't think of the finish!
That's funny, I can't think of anything else.
See more »
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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