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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 3,576 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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Title: At the Circus (1939)

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Cast

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

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 | gorilla | shyster | lawyer | 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

Buster Keaton worked on the film as a gag man. His career was on the downside and he was forced to work for scale. His complex and sometimes belabored gags (recalled in the book 'Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Sometimes Zeppo') did not work well with the Marx Brothers' brand of humor, and was a source of friction between the comedian and the group. When Groucho called Keaton on the inappropriateness of his gags for the Marx Brothers, Keaton responded, "I'm only doing what Mr. Mayer asked me to do. You guys don't need help." See more »

Goofs

When the little boy is "playing" his trumpet solo (and Harpo is using the bulb of his bicycle horn as a wah-wah mute), not only are the boy's fingerings incorrect, they are out of synch with the sequence of notes. Harpo's use of the "mute" is likewise out of synch. See more »

Quotes

Antonio Pirelli: Folks, I wanna you should meet someone! He's-a my best friend. What's your name again?
J. Cheever Loophole: [annoyed] Loophole.
Antonio Pirelli: [shaking his hand] Glad to know ya!
J. Cheever Loophole: It's your pleasure.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in M*A*S*H: Images (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Sobre las Olas (Over the Waves)
(1887) (uncredited)
Written by Juventino Rosas
Background music when Loophole and Pauline are walking on the ceiling
See more »

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User Reviews

 
At the Circus (1939) **
24 November 2005 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Middle-of-the-road Marxes, with some good scenes and laughs unevenly weighted down by those ever-intrusive and out-of-place musical numbers that so often plagued these movies. No, I'm not referring to Groucho's spirited rendition of 'Lydia the Tattooed Lady'; I'm talking about hearing those two useless lead lovers crooning their sappy romantic tunes to each other ('Two Blind Loves', which is sung over and over at intervals throughout the picture, is especially grating on the nerves). There is also a song and dance sequence that comes out of left field later in the film that really feels out of place and gets in the way of things.

There are certainly some witty Groucho zingers, as well as vintage Harpo madness, to be found here. It's just that there's not enough consistency and too much of the fluff. It's a pity the filmmakers just didn't realize that it's the Marx Brothers we're here to see; not Kenny Baker and Florence Rice.


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