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>
Sam Wood's stuffiness made him the perfect target for The Marx Brothers. The director had an ulcer, so he started each day with a big glass of milk. The brothers began to have it delivered to him in a baby bottle - a joke Wood never got. He also imposed a fine for being late to the set, which Groucho was in favor of at first. But Chico and Harpo nailed their brother's garage door shut, making him the first to pay the $50 penalty. Then the three turned the penalty into a game, betting on who would be the next to be fined. Wood eventually abandoned the idea. See more »
When Rosa is singing to Ricardo from the rail of the ship, she puts her handbag and gloves down on the rail to her left. In the next shot of her, they are gone. See more »
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.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?