The Marx Brothers try and put on a play before their landlord finds out that they have run out of money. To confuse the landlord they pretend that the play's author has contracted some terrible disease and can't be moved. Originally a stage play, the setting shows it's origins, but this is vintage Marx Brothers. Written by
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The only film The Marx Brothers made at RKO. During salary negotiations with the studio, erstwhile member Zeppo Marx represented The Marx Brothers, threatening to rejoin the group if their demands weren't met. See more »
When Gordon Miller calls to reception pretending to be Dr. Glass, he is holding the phone receiver with his right hand. Seconds later, when he is about to hang up, he is holding it with his left hand. See more »
The movie manages a few chuckles, but is not prime material for Marx Bros. fans. One reason is that there's too much conventional logic in what the boys do, unlike their usual wacky comedic logic. Thus, there's little of the usual anarchic assault on well-ordered society that provides larger point to their madcap style.
Here the boys are trying to beat the hotel out of a big bill in order to get their stage play produced, and what they do makes perfectly good sense, though done in zany style. I get the feeling that, unlike other Marx movies, any number of good comedic actors could have replaced them to decent effect. Also, journeyman director Seiter fails to bring the zaniness to the kind of madcap boil that marks their best features. For example, the comedy mix tends to keep the boys apart instead of effectively combining them.
Nonetheless, the movie has its moments and some good gag lines, along with lively humorous support MacBride as the dyspeptic hotel manager, Wood as the string bean agent, and Albertson as the boyish playwrite. Unfortunately, Lucille Ball's expert comedic talent goes untapped, but thankfully not her good looks.
Looks like the boys miss their home at MGM where their best movies were made. But even second-rate Marx Bros. at RKO still manages some good laughs.
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