Mr. Hammer runs a bankrupt Florida hotel. He'll try anything to make money, even make love to rich Mrs. Potter. But his main scheme, selling real estate, is in danger of sabotage from zanies Chico and Harpo, who also reduce the schemes of a pair of jewel thieves to chaos. A subplot involves the star-crossed love of Polly Potter and architect Bob Adams.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The existing cut was assembled from three separate, incomplete versions. An estimated seven minutes is missing, most of which center around Zeppo's character Jamison -- including a song and dance number with the hotel staff that he leads. Stills exist from this scene, but it has never been recovered. Another still from a missing scene reveals Groucho's Mr. Hammer and Zeppo's Jamison standing back-to-back, answering two different phones at the same time. These stills indicate a more prominent role for the Marx Brothers' straight man; in the current version, Zeppo's role has been reduced to just a few lines and mostly standing in the background. See more »
When Harpo and Chico break Bob out of jail it is obvious the cell door is unlocked to the point more than one character holds it shut as Harpo tries to unlock the door. See more »
Now, what's the use of worrying? It's silly to worry, now, isn't it. You're gone today and here tomorrow.
See more »
Instead of a conventional cast list, the actors are presented as they might be in a stage program: a single visual showing cameo portraits of the leading players identified by both their character names and their own. See more »
Preview version reputedly ran 140 minutes; extensively cut to 96 minutes for the final release version. The cut material allegedly consisted mostly of additional musical numbers. See more »
The Marx Brothers first motion picture and Paramount's first "all talking, all singing, all dancing" musical will delight fans of the Marx Brothers, musicals and early cinema alike. While dated and somewhat stagey, after all it *was* basically a filmed version of their hit Broadway show, it holds up better than many films of its day. Kaufman and Ryskind, who also wrote the stage show, wrote the screenplay with an eye to making the Marx Brothers wit appear spontaneous and natural. I remember how shocked I was when I first realized the boys were using a script!
The movie is laced with classics of Marxian comedy. The famous "Why a duck?" scene with Groucho and Chico (remember - it's pronounced Chick-o, not Cheek-o, because he was such a womanizer), Groucho answering the telephone at the hotel's front desk (Ice water? Ice water? Peel some onions. That'll make your eyes water.) and Harpo shaking hands with the house detective while all of the hotel silverware falls out of his coat pockets.
Margaret Dumont is priceless as the clueless matron. She claimed in later years it wasn't an act; she really had no idea what the brothers were doing. Regardless, she is the ideal foil for the boys as they tear into "polite" society.
Take a look at The Cocoanuts. You'll see the wellspring from which all that Marx madness flows.
Jon Brian Waugh
26 of 27 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this