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A Day at the Races (1937)

Passed  -  Comedy | Sport  -  11 June 1937 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 9,410 users  
Reviews: 61 user | 34 critic

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.

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(screen play), (screen play), 8 more credits »
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Title: A Day at the Races (1937)

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Stars: George Raft, Dolores Costello, Ida Lupino
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Dr. Hackenbush (as The Marx Brothers)
...
Tony (as The Marx Brothers)
...
Stuffy (as The Marx Brothers)
...
Gil
...
Judy
...
Mrs. Upjohn
Leonard Ceeley ...
Whitmore
...
Morgan
Esther Muir ...
'Flo'
Sig Ruman ...
Dr. Steinberg (as Sig Rumann)
Robert Middlemass ...
Sheriff
Vivien Fay ...
Dancer
Ivie Anderson ...
Vocalist
The Crinoline Choir ...
Vocal Ensemble
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Storyline

Doctor Hugo Hackenbush, Tony, and Stuffy try and save Judy's farm by winning a big race with her horse. There are a few problems. Hackenbush runs a high priced clinic for the wealthy who don't know he has his degree in Veterinary Medicine. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Year's BIG Laugh, Music and Girl Show! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Sport

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

11 June 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En dag på kapplöpningarna  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

| (Sepiatone)| (blue tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "Grand Steeplechase" sequence at the end had to be shot twice. Both times a crew member persuaded Chico Marx to gamble on it and not only to bet on the outcome of a rigged non-race, but to bet on a horse other than the one scripted to win. Chico, all his life an avid gambler, could offer as excuse only, "The odds were 20 to one." See more »

Goofs

During the water festival, in one close-up Gil's boat rotates but comes to a very sudden stop, instead of slowing in its turn first, showing it wasn't actually on the water at the time. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Hackenbush: Emily, I have a confession to make. I really am a horse doctor. But marry me, and I'll never look at another horse.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Marx Brothers (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Cosi-Cosa
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Bronislau Kaper & Walter Jurmann
Played in the score during the racetrack scene
See more »

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User Reviews

 
hilarious; 9/10
25 June 2001 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

I haven't seen enough of the Marx Brothers' films to say which is their best and which is their worst. I have seen Duck Soup, which I would say has to be at least one of their best, seeing that I believe it to be one of the funniest comedies ever. I have also seen A Night at the Opera, which is also often considered one of their best, often the best. I myself found it much less funny than Duck Soup. I wanted to kill myself during the musical numbers of that film.

Now I've seen A Day at the Races, the Brothers' follow up to A Night at the Opera, a smash hit in theaters. Generally, Races is considered a weak follow-up to a great film. I disagree. I liked A Day at the Races much more than A Night at the Opera (but a bit less than Duck Soup). All three Brothers are firing bullseye after bullseye. Harpo could stand to do a little bit more. He may have had the funniest role in Duck Soup. He was an utter maniac with total disregard for human life. When the Marx Brothers left Paramount for MGM, their edge was dulled down a bit. Oh well, Races still succeeds.

Also, except for the boring opera voice, even the musical numbers work here. I love to watch Chico play the piano. That's hilarious. Harpo's harp number is less good, but still not bad. The ballet sequence is also quite good. There's one more musical number that's just fantastic: the poor black folk singing "Who's that man?" as Harpo runs around playing the flute. It's somewhat shocking to see a scene like this. It does not exploit them (it may seem to now, but it was probably quite inclusive and progressive in its day), and it's a smash.


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