Lieutenant Niki of the Austrian royal guard has a new girlfriend, Franzi. He's crazy about her and is smiling at her while on duty in the street. King Adolf and his daughter Princess Anna ... See full summary »
The assistant stage manager of a small-time theatrical company (Polly Browne) is forced to understudy for the leading lady (Rita) at a matinée performance at which an illustrious Hollywood ... See full summary »
Betty thinks she loves Stacey, but when their elopement is foiled by her father she realizes that is was Terry she was really meant for. This is bad news for her sister Mary Jane, who also ... See full summary »
John Francis Dillon
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 current scene was improvised on the spot. A total of 15 people were in the scene:
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).
The elevator operator uses the old movie trick of rising from a squatting position to make it appear that the car is rising from the ground floor. Unfortunately, the white elevator certificate over his left shoulder remains motionless the entire time. See more »
Otis B. Driftwood:
[attempting to sell insurance to a ship porter]
I have here an accident policy that will absolutely protect you no matter what happens. If you lose a leg, we'll help you look for it.
See more »
No doubt that "A Night at the Opera" is right up there with "Duck Soup" as the best Marx Brothers movie. Some Marx-purists complain "ANatO" is when the brothers started to grow soft and their quality started to decline. For one thing, instead of ridiculing romantic couples (the love story subplot plays a big part), they support them. Also, it's not as surreal or satirical as their past films. To those purists, I say: Lighten up! "ANatO" is just as funny as anything the Marx Bros did in the past (heck, I think it's funnier than "Monkey Business"), and it's withstood the test of time perfectly. In fact, "ANatO" is said to be Groucho's favorite; he even called his previous films "duds"! The film is filled with jabs at the upper class and double entendres courtesy of Groucho. Sample:
Mrs. Claypool: Do you have everything, Otis?
Otis: I haven't had any complaints yet!
The love story subplot isn't as nauseating as 1937's "A Day at the Races". Allan Jones may be a bit too mushy, but Kitty Carlisle, the love interest, is cool and calm enough to help it go down easily (that's really her singing, by the way). Chico and Harpo have some inspired moments, such as their gleeful butchering of "Il Travotore" (sp?). The hapless villains are the funniest Marx foils ever, and the finale is just uproarious. "ANatO" is a wonderfully silly romp, and it's rather harmless, so kids can probably watch and enjoy it. The famous stateroom scene is nothing short of brilliant, and you'll find yourself humming along to "Cosi Cosa" (I just wish the ballad "Alone" had been left, well, alone). Don't miss this hilarious masterpiece. And now, on with the opera!!
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