While stowing away on a ship to America, the boys get involuntarily pressed into service as toughs for a pair of feuding gangsters while trying desparately to evade the ship's crew. After arriving stateside, one of the gangsters kidnaps the other's daughter - and it's up to our unlikely heroes to save the day. Written by
Early in the movie, the Marx Brothers - playing stowaways concealed in barrels - harmonize unseen while performing the popular song 'Sweet Adeline.' It is debated whether Harpo was actually singing or not. See more »
During the Passport scene, when the brothers try to get off the boat by impersonating Maurice Chevalier, neither Zeppo (the first brother to try) nor Groucho (the third to try), get Chevaliers passport back from the officer in charge, yet Chico and Harpo each have it as they approach the front of the line. See more »
But from the time he got the marriage license, I've led a dog's life.
Are you sure he didn't get a dog's license?
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The opening credits are painted on the sides of barrels (In the film's opening, the Marx Brothers' characters are stow-aways on a cruise ship, hiding in barrels marked "Kippered Herring"). See more »
How does one review a plotless movie? In "Monkey Business," the Marx Brothers spend the first hour running around on a ship, then they crash a fancy party, then they fist-fight gangsters in a barn. Is there connecting material? Well, yeah - of the thinnest sort imaginable. Does the lack of a coherent plot hurt the film? Not really. Bottom line: it's hilarious. Groucho in particular steals the show with his weird combination flirting/insulting routines.
It's worth noting that, while I laughed a lot at "A Night at the Opera," I laughed even more at this movie. In fact, I was in exquisite pain by the end. Of course, "Opera" actually makes some sense, so it might still be the better movie.
Definitely the best Marx Brothers film that doesn't feature Margaret Dumont, and the strongest showcase for the brothers' talents as physical comedians.
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