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In post-war Casablanca, Ronald Kornblow is hired to run a hotel whose previous managers have all wound up being murdered. French soldier Pierre suspects the involvement of ex-Nazis, specifically Count Pfefferman, in reality the notorious Heinrich Stubel. But Pierre himself is accused of collaborating with the enemy, and attempts to clear his name with the help of his girlfriend Annette and cagey buddy Corbaccio. They enlist the aid of Pfefferman's beleaguered mute valet, Rusty, and discover a hoard of war booty the Nazis have cached in the hotel. Written by
Paul Penna <email@example.com>
Hoping to take charge of their film careers, The Marx Brothers financed this movie themselves, under the heading of Loma Vista Films. They even did a brief pre-filming tour of scenes from the movie, as they had done with A Night at the Opera (1935) and A Day at the Races (1937), hoping to sharpen the script's comedy. See more »
When the building that Rusty is leaning against collapses, several of the black guide wires are visible. See more »
That the Marxes could make this as their final film together (Groucho was tacked onto "Love Happy" as an afterthought and had no scenes with Chico and Harpo) means they could go out with a flourish. Groucho's jokes were back in form, not-so-sly innuendo and all, and the dross of the MGM years was cut away: the romantic leads had minimal screen time and did NOT sing, and the special effects laden last reel chase scene was cut mercifully short. Although it's unfortunate that the script had the quick-witted Marxes resort to poor stage fighting to overcome the Nazis. I believe it was while hanging from the ladder in that chase scene (in what's too clearly the California desert) that Groucho decided there must be a better way to make a living, and went to what became "You Bet Your Life."
PS: It suddenly struck me that Sig Ruman's voice, without the accent, could have been a perfect double for Marvin the Martian. Anyone know if he could have inspired Mel Blanc?
I got some hearty laughs out of it, so that's what counts in the end.
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