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At the Circus (1939)

Passed  -  Comedy | Musical  -  20 October 1939 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 3,664 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 23 critic

The Marx Brothers try to help the owner of a circus recover some stolen funds before he finds himself out of a job.

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(screen play)
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Title: At the Circus (1939)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Kenny Baker ...
Jeff Wilson
Florence Rice ...
Julie Randall
...
Peerless Pauline
...
Mrs. Dukesbury
...
Goliath
Fritz Feld ...
Jardinet
James Burke ...
John Carter
Jerry Maren ...
Little Professor Atom (as Jerry Marenghi)
Barnett Parker ...
Whitcomb
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Storyline

Jeff Wilson, the owner of a small circus, owes his partner Carter $10000. Before Jeff can pay, Carter lets his accomplices steal the money, so he can take over the circus. Antonio Pirelli and Punchy, who work at the circus, together with lawyer Loophole try to find the thief and get the money back. Written by Michael Zolk <mzolk@ix.urz.uni-heidelberg.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

circus | money | strongman | lawyer | aunt | See more »

Taglines:

NOT SUITABLE FOR GENERAL EXHIBITION (Australian one-sheet poster) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 October 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Day at the Circus  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main reason of the movie being made was for Chico Marx, he was nearing bankruptcy. Fact was mentioned by TCM's Robert Osborne, during an introduction, just before it televised, in 2003. See more »

Goofs

When Jeff first gets on the train, his badge keeps changing position on his coat. See more »

Quotes

J. Cheever Loophole: O, Susanna, o, Susanna
[Starts singing]
J. Cheever Loophole: Oh, won't you fly with me/for I need $10,000 'cause the Sheriff's after me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The West Wing: Enemies Foreign and Domestic (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock-a-Bye Baby
(pub. 1765) (uncredited)
Traditional
Sung a bit by Chico Marx; played on harmonica and flute by Harpo Marx
See more »

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User Reviews

AT THE CIRCUS (1939) ***
10 October 2004 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This was my third time watching AT THE CIRCUS and, the characteristically anaemic leads (who somehow always seem to be able to carry a tune) notwithstanding, I've always been kind of partial to this one (even if the end result is, decidedly, a notch or two below their finest work). Plot and setting provide several opportunities for the Marxes to shine, both as a team and individually: Groucho (as always) is the film's trump card, however, especially in his rendition of 'Lydia, the Tattooed Lady' and the separate scenes he shares with befuddled aristocrat Margaret Dumont and scheming circus performer Eve Arden; other highlights include Groucho and Chico's interrogation of the suspicious-looking dwarf, Chico and Harpo's frenzied search for stolen money in the strong-man's room (while the latter is asleep!), and the typically busy climax in which Dumont receives the ultimate humiliation.

AT THE CIRCUS is the Marxes' third best MGM picture (demonstrating a steady decline for them from picture to picture) but it's still inferior to the later A NIGHT IN CASABLANCA (1946), in my opinion – or any of their early Paramount films, for that matter.


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