6.9/10
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At the Circus (1939)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical | 20 October 1939 (USA)
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:
...
...
...
...
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:

Not Rated | 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For Groucho Marx's performance of "'Lydia, the Tattooed Lady", additional lyrics were written by lyricist E.Y. Harburg exclusively for screenings of the film for Allied servicemen in European war zones. The special lyrics included the line "When she stands the world grows littler; When she sits, she sits on Hitler.' The version of the song featuring the special lyrics was filmed, and included in prints of the film distributed in Great Britain and France. The version of the song containing the special lyrics was greeted with marked enthusiasm during screenings in those countries. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Mrs. Suzanna Dukesbury: We must have regard for certain conventions.
J. Cheever Loophole: One guy isn't enough. She's gotta have a convention.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Philadelphia Story (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Lydia, the Tattooed Lady
(1939) (uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Sung by Groucho Marx and chorus, with Chico Marx at piano
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.


11 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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