A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal giant gorilla who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.
The small state of Freedonia is in a financial mess, borrowing a huge sum of cash from wealthy widow Mrs. Teasdale. She insists on replacing the current president with crazy Rufus T. Firefly and mayhem erupts. To make matters worse, the neighboring state sends inept spies Chicolini and Pinky to obtain top secret information, creating even more chaos! Written by
Col Needham <email@example.com>
Final film of Zeppo Marx. After the film's premiere, he quit The Marx Brothers, citing a dissatisfaction with movie acting overall, and a weariness with being the butt of jokes regarding him as the "unfunny" Marx brother. See more »
While this may not be a "goof" but only an example of the general zaniness of the film, the scene in which Firefly is first presented as the new head of state is supposed to take place in the morning (the gag of Groucho being woken at just the right moment by his alarm clock and having to slide down a fire pole to arrive -- late -- at the reception, the call for "His Excellency's car" with Harpo driving off and leaving Groucho stranded in the sidecar, taking place in broad daylight, etc.). Yet all of the attendees at the presentation reception are clearly in formal evening dress (the women are wearing floor-length evening gowns, the non-military men, including Ambassador Trentino, are in black tie and "tails", etc.). Perhaps ironically, only Groucho himself is -- appropriately -- wearing a swallow-tailed morning coat (albeit one that looks like it hasn't seen the dry cleaner's for some time). See more »
It narrowly beats A Night at the Opera as the best all-round Marx Bros film, though I find the humour more bizarre in Monkey Business. At least the musical numbers in DS are actually worth sitting through.
The reasons it scores so highly are:
1) The mirror sequence. The finest comic sequence ever committed to film. Sure, it's old-hat vaudeville, but it's professional, beautifully timed and spirals into wonderful absurdity.
2) The one-liners, puns and other jokes. Pick of the crop are the peanut stall interchange, the telephone sequence, the riddles ('what has four pairs of pants, lives in Philadelphia, and it never rains but it pours?') and the final battle (especially the stock footage of monkeys and elephants running to save the army under siege - the kind of thing the Zucker Bros pinched for their comedies). Oh, yes, and the motorcycle routines.
3) The satire on politics and warmongering. The Brothers simply deflate the pomposity of the whole deal.
4) The fact that Zeppo is actually given something to do.
Anybody who thinks the Farrelly brothers are the last word in comedy should be strapped to a chair and shown Marx Bros films over and over again, until they concede.
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