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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
In the scene where Harpo replaces the handgun for a rifle after he shoots himself in the foot, Hives can be seen in the background walking behind the column, clearly waiting to enter later in the scene. 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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Is it a surprise that "Animal Crackers" takes a simple plot and turns it on its ear in a matter of minutes as a launching pad for the insanity of the Marx Brothers?
No, but it makes sense.
The characters in "Animal Crackers" celebrate the return of world traveler Captain Spaulding (Groucho) while also dealing with the theft of a rare work of art at the home of the wealthy Mrs. Rittenhouse (Dumont), where the soiree takes place. But once the good captain arrives, along with Spaulding's stenographer Jamison (Zeppo), Signore Ravelli (Chico) and the Professor (Harpo), nothing sane or expected takes place afterwards. But really, what did you expect?
Perfect foils are the likes of Dumont and art patron Mr. Chandler (Sorin), the latter of which is revealed to be Abie the Fish Peddler from Czechoslovakia by fellow Czech Chico. in fact, here's a FAVORITE LINE: Chandler - (to Chico) "Hey! How did you get to be Italian?" Chico - "Never you a-mind; who's-a confession is-a this?". What's not to love?
Anyway, there's loads of quotable dialogue, sight gags galore, a great running gag with a picture of a horse and a finale that must be seen to be believed. Of course, this whole MOVIE must be seen to be believed!
Ten stars and a pair of elephant pajamas for "Animal Crackers" - the perfect side dish for four hams.
TIDBIT - The song "Hooray for Captain Spaulding" was later re-used by Groucho for his game show "You Bet Your Life". Can't say that I blame him.
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