8.1/10
25,690
145 user 61 critic

A Night at the Opera (1935)

Passed | | Comedy, Music, Musical | 15 November 1935 (USA)
A sly business manager and two wacky friends of two opera singers help them achieve success while humiliating their stuffy and snobbish enemies.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A veterinarian posing as a doctor, a race-horse owner and his friends struggle to help keep a sanitarium open with the help of a misfit race-horse.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx
Duck Soup (1933)
Comedy | Musical | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Mayhem and zaniness ensue when a valuable painting goes missing during a party in honor of famed African explorer Captain Spaulding.

Director: Victor Heerman
Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Quincy Adams Wagstaff, the new president of Huxley University, hires bumblers Baravelli and Pinky to help his school win the big football game against rival Darwin University.

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx
At the Circus (1939)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The Marx Brothers try to help the owner of a circus recover some stolen funds before he finds himself out of a job.

Director: Edward Buzzell
Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

On a transatlantic crossing, the Marx brothers get up to their usual antics and manage to annoy just about everyone on board the ship.

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, The Marx Brothers
Go West (1940)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The Marx Brothers come to the rescue in the Wild West when a young man, trying to settle an old family feud so he can marry the girl he loves, runs afoul of crooks.

Director: Edward Buzzell
Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The Marx Brothers are employed at a hotel in postwar Casablanca, where a ring of Nazis is trying to recover a cache of stolen treasure.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
The Big Store (1941)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A detective is hired to protect the life of a singer, who has recently inherited a department store, from the store's crooked manager.

Director: Charles Reisner
Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx
Room Service (1938)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A penniless theatrical producer must outwit the hotel efficiency expert trying to evict him from his room, while securing a backer for his new play.

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
The Cocoanuts (1929)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

During the Florida land boom, the Marx brothers run a hotel, auction off some land, thwart a jewel robbery, and generally act like themselves.

Directors: Robert Florey, Joseph Santley
Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
Love Happy (1949)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The Marx Brothers help young Broadway hopefuls while thwarting diamond thieves.

Director: David Miller
Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Lassparri (as Walter King)
...
Gottlieb (as Siegfried Rumann)
...
Edward Keane ...
Captain
Robert Emmett O'Connor ...
Henderson (as Robert Emmet O'Connor)
Edit

Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Don't miss it! The funniest picture ever made!

Genres:

Comedy | Music | Musical

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

15 November 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Skandal in der Oper  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1948 re-release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam Wood was by most accounts a very serious, conservative man who had little or no sense of humour. Allan Jones remembered him as "a disagreeable guy, very insecure." Jones also said Wood responded to actors' questions by saying, "I don't know, I don't know. Just do it again." Wood, who was against improvisation and ad-libbing, would shoot as many as 20 takes of each scene, a method the Marx Brothers found irritating and inhibiting. Jones believed he shot so many takes because he wasn't really sure which was the best until he looked at the day's work. See more »

Goofs

Fiorello plays a turn at the piano surrounded by boys and girls. When he gets up, there is a boy there dressed in a light shirt with nothing around his neck. Tomasso comes to sit down, and the same boy now has a darker shirt with a neckerchief. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Waiter: The gentleman has not arrived yet?
Mrs. Claypool: No, he has not.
Waiter: I'm afraid the dinner will be spoiled.
Otis B. Driftwood: What difference does it make? It's too late to dine now.
Otis B. Driftwood: Oh, boy?
Bellboy: Yes, ma'am?
Otis B. Driftwood: Will you page Mr. Otis B. Driftwood, please? Mister Otis B. Driftwood.
Bellboy: Paging Mr. Driftwood! Mr. Driftwood!
Bellboy: [Driftwood's dinner companion giggles out loud] Mr. Driftwood! Mr. Driftwood!
[...]
See more »

Connections

Remade as Brain Donors (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain
(1931) (uncredited)
Written by Kate Smith, Howard Johnson and Harry M. Woods
Sung a cappella by Groucho Marx
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Marx Bros. Masterpiece
6 April 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Though some claim that either HORSE FEATHERS OR DUCK SOUP was the greatest Marx Brothers opus, A NIGHT AT THE OPERA has to be Marxdom's signature film. The witticisms and riotous madcap from playwright George Kaufman (THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER; YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU) is evident everywhere in the some of the team's finest composition of wit and physical comedy.

After taking over MGM studios in the 1930's, big-wig Irving Thallberg pulled the Marx Bros. aside and told them, "You know, you guys are missing only one thing in your pictures: you never help anybody." After OPERA, the Marx Brothers' scripts always revolved around either an attempt to get a romantic couple together or became an effort to save an institution from going under, i.e., THE BIG STORE; A DAY AT THE RACES; HORSE FEATHERS; THE BIG CIRCUS.

Margaret Dumont is established once and for all as Groucho's perfect romantic staple and a Marx Bros. movie just doesn't seem right without her. Sig Rumond appears to have been created in a Marx Brothers comedy factory and serves sensationally as the urbane Marx antagonist vying for Dumont's favors, though upended time and time again by Groucho. A young Kitty Carlisle and Allen Jones provide the romance and music--though many audiences never realize how fine an operatic voice Carlisle had in those days.

So many hilarious and classic routines fill A NIGHT AT THE OPERA that the movie offers itself as a study in Komedy 101: the unforgettable "contract" bit between Chico and Groucho (Chico can't read). As they try to sign an agreement about the rights to manage singer Allen Jones, they tear clause after clause off the paper until Chico finally asks: "What's this?" "Oh," replies Groucho, "that's just a sanity clause." Chico bursts out laughing. "Oh, you canna' fool me; there ain't' no sanity Klaus!..." The crowded state room scene where Groucho, Chico, and Hapro stow-away in a tiny cubicle and the shoebox crams with more and more people until Mrs. Claypool (Dumont) opens the door and everyone spills out...The hotel scene where Detective Henderson tries to nail the brothers for stowing-away and everyone races back and forth between suites, furniture is switched, and Henderson is left wondering if he's nuts...

But it is the film's finale during a live performance at the New York opera house that is perhaps the comedy team's grandest movie climax. The police, still after Harpo for stowing away, try to arrest him during a live performance. He breaks through the theater's backstage, swings over the proscenium like a trapeze artist, and, at one point, tears off the dress of one of the singers. "Well, now we're finally getting somewhere!" Groucho opines from the audience.

What a shame A NIGHT AT THE OPERA is not on television more often. Young people should be treated to comedy as it once was when laughter depended upon uproarious wit and a brand of physical comedy perfected by comedians through years of refining their craft in vaudeville.

A NIGHT AT THE OPERA is nothing less than an American comedy classic.

Trivia: Maragaret Dumont appeared with Groucho on THE Hollywood PALACE television show in 1965 and the couple did a brief repartee from GROUCHO's famous Captain Spaulding routine. The next day Dumont passed away...Her last film was in 1964 in the star-studded WHAT A WAY TO GO...Always playing a haughty spinstress with money, Dumont was, in fact, a millionairess in real life and commuted between Hollywood and London....Few realize what a fine operatic singer Kitty Carlisle was in the 1930's. In the 1950's and '60's she was a regular panelist on television quiz shows such as I'VE GOT A SECRET...She was also married to playwright Moss Hart who collaborated with George Kaufman on YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER, and many other plays. YOU CAN'T won the Pulitzer Prize...Allen Jones was the father of popular singer Jack Jones...Groucho said that it was while hanging out of an airplane in A NIGHT IN CASABLANCA (1946) that he finally realized the brothers had pretty much reached the end of the line in movies...The last picture in which all three brothers appeared was THE STORY OF MANKIND in 1957. Groucho played the part of Sir Isaac Newton...Groucho wrote many books: MEMOIRS OF A MANGY LOVER and LETTERS FROM GROUCHO...Harpo Marx also wrote his own autobiography: HARPO SPEAKS--a fine expose of the brothers' early years and the many stage shows they did perfecting their mayhem...When the stock market crashed in 1929, Groucho lost every dime he had: about $250,000...In the 1950's Groucho hosted his own television quiz show,YOU BET YOUR LIFE and both Harpo and Chico made surprise appearances...Chico was a lifetime gambler and would bet on anything...MINNIE'S BOYS, a stage play about the influence of Marx mother Minnie, was pretty much a flop in the 1970's...One of the all-time great quotations about the Marx Brothers came from playwright George Kaufman who, after watching the comedy team tear apart his script on stage in the early years, observed: "I could have sworn I just heard one of the original lines from the play."...Groucho was self-conscious about his lack of formal education and once had the chance to meet poet T.S. Eliot. He read many of Eliot's works and boned up on literature. When the two men did finally meet, all Eliot wanted to talk about was A NIGHT AT THE OPERA...One of Groucho's final performances just before he died was at Carnegie Hall in New York and it was a smashing success. He was accompanied by pianist Marvin Hamlisch...Film critic James Agee once said that the worst thing the Marx Brothers ever did was still better than everybody else...

Dennis Caracciolo


42 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?