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A Day at the Races (1937) Poster

Trivia

In 2000, this was ranked as the 59th funniest film of all time by the American Film Institute.
With a running time of about an hour and forty-one minutes, this is the longest of The Marx Brothers' theatrical films.
Glenn Mitchell's commentary on the Warner Home Video DVD states that the band backing Ivie Anderson's rendition of "All God's Chillun Got Rhythm" was drawn from the Duke Ellington Orchestra, for whom Anderson was a vocalist at the time.
Groucho Marx's character was initially to have been named Dr. Quackenbush, which he and everyone else thought was too silly a name to offend anyone. However, MGM's legal department discovered at least a dozen legitimate U.S. doctors named Quackenbush, so for legal reasons the name was changed to Hackenbush. Although initially dismayed by the name change, Groucho later came to like it. He cited "Dr. Hackenbush" as his favorite character from his films, and even occasionally signed letters to friends using that name.
MGM executive Irving Thalberg died within two weeks of the start of filming. He was instrumental in bringing The Marx Brothers back to greatness with A Night at the Opera (1935) and was the brothers' main supporter at MGM. Groucho Marx claimed that he lost interest in films after Thalberg's death.
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.
It is the 'other' film that ends with the line, 'Tomorrow is another day.'
Richard Farnsworth's first film.
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."
Irving Thalberg protested the scene in which Harpo Marx frantically mimes to Chico Marx that Hackenbush (Groucho Marx) is in danger. It changed Harpo, said Thalberg, from a character who DIDN'T talk into a character who COULDN'T talk. Thalberg, who didn't live to see the completed film, was overruled, and similar gags were used in the later The Marx Brothers pictures A Night in Casablanca (1946) and Love Happy (1949).
Al Boasberg, the man most responsible for shaping the early comic persona of Jack Benny, was initially given top billing among the film's writers. In what was to become one of the first major disputes over film writing credit, Boasberg (primarily a gag man) sought sole credit for the comedic scenes, leaving credit for the screenplay itself to Robert Pirosh and George Seaton. MGM bitterly fought this and punished Boasberg by listing him under the others. A furious Boasberg had his name removed from the film completely.
There was originally a song that echoed "Hurray for Captain Spaulding" entitled "Dr. Hackenbush" (written by "Spaulding" songwriters Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby). However, it was decided that something needed to be cut and Groucho Marx volunteered this song. He came to regret this this decision and in later years often sang the song at gatherings.
In the finale, Groucho Marx sings one line of a song called "I've Got a Message from the Man in the Moon." The entire song was filmed but not used in the final cut.
The then unknown British actress Greer Garson was offered the female role, but she declined, explaining she didn't settle for less than a leading role.

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