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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According to The Marx Brothers biographer Joe Adamson, Harpo Marx was offered $50,000 to utter the single word "Murder!" in this film, presumably to add publicity value to the film by having him speak for the only time on-screen. Harpo declined the offer and never spoke publicly until a concert one year before his death. See more »
When the building that Harpo is leaning against collapses, several of the black guide wires are visible. See more »
In their first post World War II film, the Marx Brothers take aim at those films of adventure and intrigue set in far away places and filmed at studio back lots. Such a film was the classic Casablanca and so was A Night In Casablanca.
Personally I can't believe Jack Warner wanted to sue the brothers and United Artists over this film. He certainly had deeper pockets than they did, why make such a fuss?
In any event the film is about looted Nazi treasure from the late war and it being hidden in a Casablanca hotel. Two of the hotel managers have met violent and sudden death and the third one is already earmarked by Nazi bigwig Sig Ruman on the run from the Nuremberg court. He's stopping in Casablanca to get the treasure on the way to South America. But when his valet Harpo accidentally vacuums his toupee off his head, his plans halt. Ruman can't go out or he'll be instantly recognized without the rug.
That hotel manager whom they want to get is none other than Groucho and he gets his usual assistance from self appointed bodyguard Chico. Of course that sets up a lot of typical Marx situations.
A Night In Casablanca is not as good as most of their films from the Thirties, still it has its moments. Harpo literally 'holding' up a building is one of them. And the brothers gas lighting Sig Ruman as he's trying to pack is another.
Fans of the brothers will enjoy this one. As for those who don't know them, I'd look first at their early films from Paramount to get a true gauge of their surrealistic comedy.
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