EastSide boxing champion (Leo Gorcey) has been challenged to fight the West Side champ but is kidnapped before the match. Leo's friend (Bobby Jordan) takes his place and wins the fight only... See full summary »
Casino operator Johnny Lamb hires down-on-her-luck socialite Lucille Sutton as his casino hostess, in order to help her and to improve casino income. But Lamb's pals fear he may follow ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
In the closing seconds of the film, Hackenbush takes off his hat and puts it up on the tip of his umbrella. When the camera angle changes to a wide shot, he does it again. See more »
[Tony offers Dr. Hackenbush a hint book]
One dollar and you'll remember me all your life.
That's the most nauseating proposition I ever had.
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I love movies from the 1930s and 1940s and TCM is my favorite channel, so I've seen most of the Marx Brothers movies over the years. My comments here about A Day at the Races could apply equally to any of the movies they made at MGM.
Something I was struck by is the stark differences between their early features - Animal Crackers and Duck Soup to name two - and later releases like A Day at the Races. The difference, I realized several years is in early releases done at Paramount the Marx Brothers are "best actors" - the focal point of the story. Once they moved to MGM the brothers became "supporting actors" and their gags were subordinated to romantic subplots and over-earnest sentimentality.
This change also affected my perception of the song and dance numbers. When the brothers were the leads the predictable formula - Chico comes across a piano and Harpo finds a harp - feels more integrated into the "plot". Whether in A Night at the Opera, The Big Store, or A Day at the Races the musical interludes feel self-consciously cute - an interlude that stops the storyline (opera singers or horse owners) while the music plays.
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