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
Al Shean (true name: Schoenberg), listed above as "contributing writer (uncredited)," was The Marx Brothers' maternal uncle. He was also a star in his own right, having participated in vaudeville and on Broadway as half of the comedy team Gallagher and Shean. See more »
During the Passport scene, when the brothers try to get off the boat by impersonating Maurice Chevalier, neither Zeppo Marx (the first brother to try) nor Groucho Marx (the third to try), get Chevalier's passport back from the officer in charge, yet Chico Marx and Harpo Marx each have it as they approach the front of the line. 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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