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>
When The Marx Brothers were shown the final cut of the film, they were so horrified they tried to buy the negative back and prevent its release. Paramount wisely resisted - the movie turned out to be a big box office hit, with a $1,800,000 gross making it one of the most successful early talking films. 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 »
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 »
I've been told it's the first musical comedy to have been made. God only knows what that makes The Jazz Singer then - heavyweight drama, I suppose.
The first problem you're going to have if you want to see it is actually seeing it. The film has been very hard to find on DVD. A copy is now available on the recently released version of the UK box set of their early films but as yet has not been released on it's own. I believe this situation varies elsewhere in the world.
The second problem you'll have if you want to see it is actually seeing it. Beware cheap copies from distant lands. The film has fallen into disrepair due to neglect. This has meant that some copies of the film are almost totally unwatchable. I remember being given a copy of the film that was released in Australia where parts of the picture had been almost completely washed away while the soundtrack could barely be heard of the crackles of the tape.
Still, if you do find a good copy it is well worth watching. The filming is very static and the acting wooden in comparison to their later movies. However, given that this was their first release and based upon their second successful Broadway run, I think that can be forgiven.
The characters are already clearly drawn out and some of the sketches are as funny as anything they did later on in their career. The 'Why a Duck' sketch can rate along side the 'tootsie-frootsie' sketch as one of the best sketches between Groucho and Chico.
The music is forgettable, the plot wafer thin, but you'll laugh out loud more than the majority of the films you'll ever see.
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