IMDb > A Day at the Races (1937)
A Day at the Races
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A Day at the Races (1937) More at IMDbPro »

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A Day at the Races -- Trailer for this comedy follow up from the Marx Brothers

Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   9,123 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Robert Pirosh (screen play) &
George Seaton (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for A Day at the Races on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
11 June 1937 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Three Great Laff Stars ! . . . more gags and gals . . . more songs and dances ! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
Once Upon a Race Horse See more (62 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

The Marx Brothers (as Marx Brothers)

Groucho Marx ... Dr. Hackenbush (as Groucho)

Chico Marx ... Tony (as Chico)

Harpo Marx ... Stuffy (as Harpo)

Allan Jones ... Gil

Maureen O'Sullivan ... Judy

Margaret Dumont ... Mrs. Upjohn
Leonard Ceeley ... Whitmore

Douglass Dumbrille ... Morgan
Esther Muir ... 'Flo'
Sig Ruman ... Dr. Steinberg (as Sig Rumann)
Robert Middlemass ... Sheriff
Vivien Fay
Ivie Anderson
The Crinoline Choir
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hooper Atchley ... Race Judge (uncredited)
King Baggot ... Race Track Official Starter (uncredited)
Kenny Baker ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Vivian Barry ... Telephone Girl (uncredited)

Barbara Bedford ... Secretary (uncredited)
Vangie Beilby ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
Edna Bennett ... Nurse (uncredited)
Edward Biby ... Racetrack Spectator with Wrong Hat (uncredited)
Lennie Bluett ... Black Singer (uncredited)
The Plantation Boys ... Performers (uncredited)
Troy Brown Sr. ... Black Singer (uncredited)
Jean Burt ... Telephone Operator (uncredited)
Ben Carter ... Black Singer (uncredited)
Ruth Cherrington ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
Jacqueline Clancy ... Child (uncredited)

Gino Corrado ... Man Boarding Bus (uncredited)
DeForest Covan ... Black Singer (uncredited)
George Cowl ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
Jack Daley ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)

Dorothy Dandridge ... Black Singer (uncredited)
Vivian Dandridge ... Black Singer (uncredited)

Frankie Darro ... Morgan's Jockey (uncredited)
Frank Dawson ... Doctor (uncredited)
Dudley Dickerson ... Wheelchair Attendant (uncredited)
Helen Dickson ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Billy Dooley ... Race Track Bugler (uncredited)
Edward Earle ... Race Judge (uncredited)
Aaron Edwards ... Plainclothesman (uncredited)

Richard Farnsworth ... Jockey (uncredited)

Pat Flaherty ... Detective with Sheriff (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
Ray Flynn ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
Byron Foulger ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
J.C. Fowler ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Jack George ... Musician (uncredited)
John Hiestand ... Radio Announcer (uncredited)
Leyland Hodgson ... Policeman at Racetrack (uncredited)
Arthur Stuart Hull ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
John Hyams ... Judge (uncredited)
William Irving ... Man for Horn Business (uncredited)
Si Jenks ... Messenger (uncredited)
Jack W. Johnston ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
Darby Jones ... Black Singer (uncredited)
Etta Jones ... Black Singer (uncredited)
Jack Kenny ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
Edith Kingdon ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)

Carole Landis ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Harry Lash ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
Alexander Leftwich ... Musician (uncredited)
Edward LeSaint ... Doctor (uncredited)
Carl M. Leviness ... Party Guest Who Calls the Sheriff (uncredited)
Max Lucke ... Doctor (uncredited)
Wilbur Mack ... Race Judge (uncredited)
Mary MacLaren ... Nurse (uncredited)
Charles McAvoy ... Policeman Pursuing Hugo (uncredited)
Alex Melesh ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
Norma Miller ... Black Singer (uncredited)
Bert Moorhouse ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
Edmund Mortimer ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Etta Moten ... Black Singer (uncredited)
Henry Mowbray ... Man for Hat Business (uncredited)
Lee Murray ... Judge (uncredited)
Field Norton ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Jack Norton ... Drunk (uncredited)
Frank O'Connor ... Racetrack Guard (uncredited)
Cullen and Pauline ... Performers (uncredited)
Victor Potel ... Horn Blower (uncredited)
Russ Powell ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
James Quinn ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
Bob Reeves ... Policeman Pursuing Hugo (uncredited)
Cyril Ring ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
Gus Robinson ... Black Singer (uncredited)
Allen D. Sewall ... Policeman Pursuing Hugo (uncredited)
Four Hot Shots ... Black Performers (uncredited)
Phillips Smalley ... Racing Spectator with Wrong Hat (uncredited)
Carolynne Snowden ... Black Singer (uncredited)
Arthur Thalasso ... Policeman Pursuing Hugo (uncredited)
The Three Chocolateers ... Black Performers (uncredited)
Charles Trowbridge ... Dr. Wilmerding (uncredited)
Elizabeth Williams ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
Harry Wilson ... Detective with Sheriff (uncredited)
Florence Wix ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Buck Woods ... Black Singer (uncredited)
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Directed by
Sam Wood 
 
Writing credits
Robert Pirosh (screen play) &
George Seaton (screen play) and
George Oppenheimer (screen play)

Robert Pirosh (original story) and
George Seaton (original story)

Al Boasberg  original story (uncredited)
Al Boasberg  screen play (uncredited)
Leon Gordon  original story (uncredited)
Leon Gordon  screen play (uncredited)
George S. Kaufman  screen play (uncredited)

Produced by
Max Siegel .... associate producer
Irving Thalberg .... producer (uncredited)
Lawrence Weingarten .... producer (uncredited)
Sam Wood .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Franz Waxman (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Joseph Ruttenberg (photographed by)
Leonard Smith (photographed by) (uncredited)
 
Film Editing by
Frank E. Hull (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert A. Golden .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Stan Rogers .... associate art director
Edwin B. Willis .... associate art director
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
 
Stunts
Richard Farnsworth .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Ted Wurtenberg .... gaffer (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Ben Carter .... casting: black sequence (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Dolly Tree .... wardrobe
 
Music Department
Leo Arnaud .... choral arrangements
Leo Arnaud .... orchestral arrangements
George Bassman .... orchestrator
Roger Edens .... musical arrangements
Walter Jurmann .... music by
Gus Kahn .... lyrics by
Bronislau Kaper .... music by
Paul Marquardt .... orchestrator
Merrill Pye .... musical presentation
Franz Waxman .... musical director
Wayne Allen .... orchestrator (uncredited)
George Bassman .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Roger Edens .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Dave Gould .... musical numbers staged by
Reginald Le Borg .... director: musical scenes (uncredited)
Carl 'Major' Roup .... script clerk (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
111 min | Germany:105 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Black and White | Black and White (Sepiatone) | Black and White (blue tinted)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Finland:S | Portugal:M/6 | Sweden:Btl | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #3231) | West Germany:6

Did You Know?

Trivia:
This is the only film of The Marx Brothers to receive an Oscar nomination in a competitive category, being nominated for Dave Gould's dance direction. Groucho Marx would go on to win an honorary Oscar in 1974.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
Quotes:
Tony:[disgused as an ice cream vendor] You wanna something hot?
Dr. Hackenbush:Not now, I just ate. Besides I don't like hot ice cream.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Nobody Knows the Trouble I've SeenSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
6 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Once Upon a Race Horse, 14 June 2006
Author: lugonian from Kissimmee, Florida

A DAY AT THE RACES (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1937), directed by Sam Wood, capitalizes on the current trend of horse-racing movies done by the numbers during the 1937-38 cycle, notably MGM's own 1937 releases of "Saratoga" and "Broadway Melody of 1938" as well as "Stablemates" (1938). Starring those three Marx Brothers, in their second collaboration for MGM, following the enormous success of A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (1935), this horse opera, being the longest running feature film of their screen career, stop-watched at 111 minutes, did prove quite successful then, and because of its good track record, still remains a sure bet comedy today.

The first Marx Brother to be introduced in the story is Chico. He plays Tony, a chauffeur for Judy Standish (Maureen O'Sullivan), whose sanitarium is in financial trouble. Morgan (Douglass Dumbrille), the owner of a nearby racetrack and hotel, along with his associate, Whitmore (Leonard Ceeley) want to take over the sanitarium so to convert it into a gambling casino. He offers Judy the option of accepting $5,000 from them or face a mortgage foreclosure, but she prefers to wait the 30 days. Gil Stewart (Allan Jones) her fiancé, has purchased Hi-Hat, Morgan's race horse, for $1,500, gambling her life savings hoping to win enough money to get Judy out of debt. However, Mrs. Emily Upjohn (Margaret Dumont), an exclusive patient of the sanitarium, expresses her need for a doctor, even though there is really nothing physically wrong with her. Realizing that Mrs. Upjohn's financial support could save the hospital from ruin, Tony notifies Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush (Groucho Marx) of Palmville, Florida, who is well acquainted with Mrs. Upjohn, unaware he is a horse doctor, and making him chief of staff. Then there's Stuffy (Harpo), Morgan's jockey, with a natural flair for horses, who gets to ride Hi-Hat, who turns out to be a jumper, as well as quite fearful to the sight and sound of Morgan himself.

The Music and Lyrics by Bronislau Kaper, Gus Kahn and Walter Jurmann: "On the Blue Venetian Waters" (Sung by Allan Jones/ danced by Vivian Fay,recently restored to its original sepia tone); "Tomorrow is Another Day" (sung by Jones); "Blow That Horn, Gabriel," "All God's Chillin' Got Rhythm," "All God's Chillin' Got Rhythm" (reprise/finale), along with "A Message From the Man in the Moon" (sung briefly by Groucho Marx/ otherwise cut from final print, and heard instrumentally during opening credits). "Tomorrow is Another Day" is quite a good tune with Jones in fine voice singing to charming heroine O'Sullivan that shifts into a parade from the black community singing and dancing to "All God's Chuillin Got Rhythm" with the Marxes, headed by Harpo playing a flute like the Pied Piper, with one of the vocalists being future star Dorothy Dandridge.

As already mentioned, A DAY AT THE RACES is quite long, in fact, everything about the movie is long: the song numbers, the comedy routines, the narrative, and the horse racing finale (so clever that it's been reused several times since then in other hydrazine), resulting to perfectly timed structures, although the water carnival ballet number performed by Vivian Fay near the beginning could have been shortened, in fact substituted into another movie categorized as a musical. One of MGM's debits is having this look more like a lavish scale musical than a Marx Brothers comedy, with the trio off screen for long intervals, with occasional cutaways during the ballet as a reminder that this is a Marx Brothers comedy and not a ballet musical choreographed by George Ballachine. After it is all over, Chico and Harpo get to do their traditional musical bits with piano and harp at length. Groucho doesn't do a song solo, which is unfortunate, because his style of singing and dancing always brings pleasure during these musical interludes.

With this being the seventh Marx comedy, it's evident that some of their routines are rehashes yet improvements from their earlier outings. At this point, could anything new be added to their comedy material? In fact, something has: Harpo's mimed message through constant whistling, facial and hand gestures, telling Chico about Groucho falling victim to Flo Marlowe (Esther Muir), as schemed by Morgan. The Groucho and Chico exchanges are highlights, the best being their seven minute Tootsie Fruitsie ice cream bit where Chico posing an ice cream vendor actually a race tract tout making a sucker out of Groucho by selling him racing tips that ends up being a stack of hardbound books taken from his pushcart. The madcap examination room sequence involving Harpo and Dumont are notable attention grabbers as well. In true Marx tradition, Margaret Dumont falls victim to their shenanigans, usually being the prime insult by Groucho through one of his classic re-marx: "Emily, I have a little confession to make. I really am a horse doctor, but marry me and I'll never look at any other horse." Sig Rumann should not go unnoticed as Doctor Steinburg, a pointed beard Viennese specialist who arrives to examine Mrs. Upjohn, thus preventing Hackbush from performing his own examination on Emily.

In spite of long stretches, A DAY AT THE RACES does have its doses of winning streaks thanks to the staff and performers combined, several recalls from A NIGHT AT THE OPERA. The film in general is not perfect, but worthwhile comedy thanks to the Marx Brothers expert horsemanship. Recommended viewing during the late evening hours before "hitting the hay." Formerly available on video cassette, a format that had been in circulation since the 1980s, which has since been discontinued in favor of the much improved DVD format, A DAY AT THE RACES can be seen intact whenever shown on Turner Classic Movies. (***)

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