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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
According to TCM's Robert Osborne, a sequel was planned for this film that would continue the mafia theme. During the development of that film, aviator Charles Lindbergh's son was kidnapped and killed by what was believed to be gang members. The writers quickly shifted gears and based the Brothers' next film very loosely on The Marx Brothers' earlier stage show Fun in Hi Skule, which would evolve into Horse Feathers (1932). See more »
(at around 20 minutes) Groucho Marx is running down a corridor toward camera; he skids to a stop leaving skid marks in the floor from his heels. There are already two skid marks visible in the floor apparently from a previous take. 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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