The Marx Brothers take on high society. Two lovers who are both in opera are prevented from being together by the man's lack of acceptance as an operatic tenor. Pulling several typical Marx Brothers' stunts, they arrange for the normal tenor to be absent so that the young lover can get his chance. Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
The famous "stateroom scene" was originally conceived as a way of getting a cheap laugh by having Groucho Marx, crowded out of his room, changing his pants in the corridor. After this was not liked by test audiences, the scene was improvised on the spot. A total of 15 people were in the scene: Driftwood (1); the stowaways Fiorello, Tomasso and Riccardo [who were in the trunk] (2-4); two chambermaids (5-6); an engineer who comes to turn off the heat (7); a manicurist (8); the engineer's burly assistant (9); a young woman looking for her Aunt Minnie and asking to use the phone (10); a cleaning woman (11); and four staff stewards bearing trays of food (12-15). They all tumble out when Mrs. Claypool (Margaret Dumont) opens the door. See more »
When Otis B. Driftwood is dining in the hotel room, he wears a napkin tucked into his shirt collar. The scene briefly changes and the napkin's position in his collar also changes. See more »
What's a hermit doing with four beds?
Otis B. Driftwood:
Well, you see those first three beds?
Otis B. Driftwood:
Last night, I counted five thousand sheep in those three beds, so I had to have another bed to sleep in. You wouldn't want me to sleep with the sheep, would you?
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Along with "Duck Soup" this is the Marx Brothers best movie
Classic comedy involving Otis P. Driftwood (Groucho Marx) trying to get Mrs. Claypool (Margaret Dumont) into high society--and romancing her to get her money. He figures opera is the best way and gets involved with Chico, Harpo and rising opera singers Rosa Castaldi (Kitty Carlisle) and Ricardo Baroni (Allan Jones).
The plot doesn't really matter too much--it's just a jumping off point for the Marx Brothers to stage one hysterical scene after another. The jokes fly fast and furious and there are quite a few standout scenes: Chico and Groucho negotiating a contract; the infamous stateroom scene; Harpo, Chico and Jones impersonating three airmen; the brothers fooling a policeman by switching furniture from room to room and the total destruction of the opera "Il Travatore" at the end.
This is also one of the few Marx Brothers movies that's not destroyed by an unnecessary romance or lousy sings. Carlisle and Jones make an engaging couple and the two big songs--"Cosi Cosa" and "Alone"--are actually pretty good. "Alone" actually became a big hit back when this movie was released. The only bad points here are Chico and Harpos obligatory piano and harp solos--but those are small points in the whole movie.
I'm really surprised this isn't in IMDb's top 100 movies--this is a true comedy classic. A 10 all the way.
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