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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 4,008 users  
Reviews: 44 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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Kenny Baker ...
Florence Rice ...
...
...
Mrs. Suzanna Dukesbury
...
Goliath
Fritz Feld ...
Jardinet
James Burke ...
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 | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

circus | money | strongman | lawyer | aunt | See All (71) »

Taglines:

Keep the world laughing! 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

Groucho Marx was fond of recounting how the original owner of the "gorilla skin" used in the film was so incensed when the stunt man wearing it poked ventilation holes in it with an ice pick that he took his suit and walked off the picture, forcing the producers to hastily rent an orangutan skin as a replacement. For this reason, Groucho claimed, the gorilla gets bigger and smaller from shot to shot. The man in the gorilla suit is in fact Charles Gemora, well-known movie sculptor and gorilla artist, wearing his own custom-made suit. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

J. Cheever Loophole: You're like a beautiful chandelier. I'd like to be around when you get lit up.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Totò d'Arabia (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz #15 in A flat major: 'Lullaby', Op.39
(1865) (uncredited)
Music by Johannes Brahms
Played on a trumpet 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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