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>
By 1946 the Marx Brothers considered themselves retired as a screen team--but brother Chico's on-going financial difficulties coaxed them back into the studio for a final film. The result is a film that will never compete with their sharp-edged comedies of the 1930s but which possesses considerable charm nonetheless.
Although the film began as a parody of the classic CASABLANCA, the plot changed quite a bit by the time it reached the screen. Groucho has been employed as the manager of the Hotel Casablanca--where three previous managers have met sudden death. Attempts on his life soon follow, and before too long the brothers stumble upon the tale of former Nazis in search of treasure hidden somewhere inside the resort.
Time, it seems, mellowed the brothers, and although they retain their sparkle they perform without the manic edge that characterized their earlier films; the result is a much friendlier, cozier style of comedy that feels as comfortable your bedroom slippers. All three have at least one opportunity to shine, with perhaps the most memorable moments being the ever-shrinking dancefloor and the hilarious packing scene, and it has tremendous charm--and is all the more welcome for following the several uninspired films the brothers made during the early 1940s.
Although the Marx Brothers would appear in one more film, LOVE HAPPY, it is uninspired--and rather curiously the three never appear together in the same scene! So it is perhaps best to regard A NIGHT IN CASABLANCA as their final appearance as a screen team. And while it isn't among their great films, it is indeed lots of fun.
Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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