IMDb > Horse Feathers (1932)
Horse Feathers
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Horse Feathers (1932) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   7,823 votes »
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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Bert Kalmar (by) &
Harry Ruby (by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Horse Feathers on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 August 1932 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The Maddest Comics of the Screen!
Plot:
Quincy Adams Wagstaff, the new president of Huxley University, hires bumblers Baravelli and Pinky to help his school win the big football game against rival Darwin University. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(54 articles)
It’s A Gift
 (From Trailers from Hell. 29 March 2014, 3:07 PM, PDT)

Film Review: ‘Ain’t Misbehavin”
 (From Variety - Film News. 17 February 2014, 11:37 AM, PST)

Movies This Week: July 5-11, 2013
 (From Slackerwood. 5 July 2013, 12:00 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Humor, Youth, and Everyone SAYING They Love You See more (84 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

The Marx Brothers (as The Four Marx Brothers)

Groucho Marx ... Professor Wagstaff

Harpo Marx ... Pinky

Chico Marx ... Baravelli
Zeppo Marx ... Frank Wagstaff
Thelma Todd ... Connie Bailey
David Landau ... Jennings
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Bobby Barber ... Speakeasy Patron (uncredited)
Reginald Barlow ... Retiring Collage President (uncredited)
Vince Barnett ... Speakeasy Patron (uncredited)
Sheila Bromley ... Wagstaff's Receptionist (uncredited)
E.H. Calvert ... Professor in Wagstaff's Study (uncredited)
Edgar Dearing ... Speakeasy Bartender (uncredited)
Robert Greig ... Biology Professor (uncredited)
Theresa Harris ... Laura - Connie's Maid (uncredited)
Edward LeSaint ... Professor in Wagstaff's Study (uncredited)
Florine McKinney ... Peggy Carrington (uncredited)
Nat Pendleton ... MacHardie - Darwin Player (uncredited)
James Pierce ... Ed Mullen - Darwin Player (uncredited)
Frank Rice ... Doorman at Speakeasy (uncredited)
Syd Saylor ... Speakeasy Patron at Slot Machine (uncredited)
Arthur Sheekman ... Typing Sportswriter (uncredited)
Ben Taggart ... Police Officer (uncredited)
Phil Tead ... Football Broadcaster (uncredited)
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Directed by
Norman Z. McLeod  (as Norman McLeod)
 
Writing credits
Bert Kalmar (by) &
Harry Ruby (by) &
S.J. Perelman (by) and
Will B. Johnstone (by)

Arthur Sheekman  uncredited

Produced by
Herman J. Mankiewicz .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
John Leipold (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Ray June (photographed by)
 
Makeup Department
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles Barton .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Harry Caplan .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Gene Merritt .... production sound mixer (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Neal Beckner .... assistant camera (uncredited)
George Bourne .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Francis Burgess .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Daniel L. Fapp .... camera operator (uncredited)
Gordon Head .... still photographer (uncredited)
James Knott .... camera operator (uncredited)
Fred Mayer .... camera operator (uncredited)
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Bert Kalmar .... music and lyrics by
Harry Ruby .... music and lyrics by
 
Other crew
Adolph Zukor .... presenter
Harold Hecht .... dance director (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
68 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Certification:
Australia:G | Finland:S | Germany:o.Al. | Portugal:M/6 | South Korea:All | Spain:T | UK:U | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA reissue certificate no. 1713-R) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Professor Wagstaff's exclamation, "Jumpin' anaconda!" is actually a reference to a company, Anaconda Copper, whom Groucho Marx had invested in heavily. When the stock market crash of 1929 occurred, Marx lost several hundred thousand dollars, hence the curse word in the movie.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: Pocahontas was born 103 years after Columbus first sailed, and thus it would have been impossible for them to have met.See more »
Quotes:
Retiring President:Eh, by the way, professor, there is no smoking.
Professor Wagstaff:That's what you say.
Retiring President:It would please the faculty if you threw your cigar away.
Professor Wagstaff:The faculty members might as well keep their seats. There'll be no diving for this cigar.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
CollegiateSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Humor, Youth, and Everyone SAYING They Love You, 12 September 2009
Author: tedg (tedg@FilmsFolded.com) from Virginia Beach

I was challenged by a reader, because I wrote that a movie was funny. His belief was that the movie wasn't funny, that it couldn't be because the comedians were too old, and I wouldn't know in any case because I was also too old. So I turned to the good old Marx Brothers.

Fortunately, some other unhappy soul had deleted my comment for this movie, so I can write a replacement.

I think this is funny. It shouldn't really matter to me whether anyone else does, except insofar as they support the market forces that guarantee I can access it. But as it happens, lots of other people also think it funny and I wonder why.

"Horse Feathers," if you do not know, was the frontier term for split boards about two feet long that were nailed on barns in an overlapping fashion like shingles. These were primitive, but had the advantage of keeping your major investment, your horse, warm. They are themselves ad hoc, somewhat random with some order, and an effective container. Such a barn was wholly man-made, but clearly the mind finds it handy to make the joke that if the barn looked like a chicken, then its name should follow.

Lexicographers know that language often naturally grows from these jokes. The older the term gets, the deeper the joke: "horsefeathers" probably originated in the 1870-80's homesteading era, and gained popularity as farm boys from those areas were mixed into the WW I army, the term used as a substitute for one whose use would have been punished for insubordination. It subsequently entered the print world when used in Wilson's second presidential campaign.

A youngster with no knowledge of its origin would simply hear "nonsense." but a wizened farmer would recall the image of a building that looks ridiculous, like a chicken. He would have recalled chuckling when thinking what part of the chicken he would enter and exit each day when doing his chores. It would contribute to giving his life enough richness to keep going.

I believe that the best humor is humor like this. It combines small twists of language with implied bigger twists of incited images. And it gets warmer and deeper (and funnier) the more you live with it.

The first (language and image), is what the Marx brothers invented in cinema. These guys had honed a stage act based on clever language — timing, twists, perspectives implied by stereotypes. Its all in the words. But they were able to bring it to us in a frantic, ad hoc visual manner, so that we could have a blizzard of images like the feathered barn, the images themselves feathered together in a sort of story.

Eye and mind played with, and played through practice. These masters were not kids. Groucho by the time this was made was 43. He got funnier every year after that in working with these sorts of ad libbed word images. His "secret word" bit in "You Bet your Life," was even a part of this.

These, I think, are basic to the both the notion of what makes cinema work (folded images and narrative) and what makes humor attractive (naming enriched by ambiguous image). If you want to know yourself, you navigate through your cupboard of these that you have collected. You go to school. You play the game. You can only do this and truly laugh if you are old enough (or young and aggressive enough in collecting) to have something to rumble around in.

Marx brothers: old school funny. At least to me.

This is one of their Paramount projects before being reinvented again by MGM. More random; more eggs.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

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