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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This was The Marx Brothers' first film with MGM. In preparation MGM sent them on a nationwide tour, performing potential bits live before current MGM films were shown. This opportunity for advance audience feedback is one reason this film became known as one of their best. See more »
When Tomasso, Ricardo, and Fiorello are about to give their speech, the mayor's tie is crooked. After Chico's speech, his tie is straight. 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.
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