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The Cocoanuts (1929)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical | 3 August 1929 (USA)
During the Florida land boom, The Marx Brothers run a hotel, auction off some land, thwart a jewel robbery, and generally act like themselves.

Writers:

George S. Kaufman (book), Morrie Ryskind (adapted by)
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
The Marx Brothers
Zeppo Marx ... Jamison
Groucho Marx ... Hammer
Harpo Marx ... Harpo
Chico Marx ... Chico
Oscar Shaw ... Bob
Mary Eaton ... Polly
Cyril Ring ... Yates
Kay Francis ... Penelope
Margaret Dumont ... Mrs. Potter
Basil Ruysdael ... Hennessy
Gamby-Hale Ballet Girls Gamby-Hale Ballet Girls ... Dancers (as Gamby-Hale Girls)
Allan K. Foster Girls Allan K. Foster Girls ... Dancers
Edit

Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Paramount's All Talking-Singing Musical Comedy Hit! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 August 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los cuatro cocos See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (preview) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chico Marx and Harpo Marx are not given character names. They are listed in the credits simply as "Chico" and "Harpo". Chico's name on the Broadway program was "Willy the Wop" which was considered too insensitive even for early movie audiences. Harpo's character was called "Silent Sam" See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, Hammer sends Jamison to meet a 4:15 train. When Jamison gets back, he refers to it as a 4:30 train. See more »

Quotes

Hammer: There it is. There it is, over there, right where that cocoanut tree is. Now what am I offered for lot #21?
Chico: Two hundred dollars
Hammer: Why, my friend, there's more than two hundred dollars worth of milk in those cocoanuts - and *what* milk, milk from contented cow-co-nuts. Who will say 300?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are run against a background of negative film of the "Monkey-Doodle-Doo" number. See more »

Alternate Versions

Deleted Scenes:
  • When the bellboys are protesting against being unpaid, Zeppo tells them that Groucho has yet to arise at four in the afternoon. His comforting postscript, that Groucho always gets up on Wednesday, precedes his arrival. This scene was shot, but later cut after the preview, leaving Groucho descending down the stairs, still putting on his coat, allowing time to ward off his staff to catch a 4:15 train.
  • Another item that was cut from the preview version of the film was a love ballad sung by Groucho to Margaret Dumont entitled "A Little Bungalow". Originally sung in the play by the romantic leads Polly Potter and Robert Adams, the song slowed up the picture.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Brazil (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

GYPSY LOVE SONG
(1898) (uncredited)
Written by Victor Herbert
Performed by Chico Marx on piano
See more »

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User Reviews

 
On Your Marx
28 November 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The creative talents of George S. Kaufman, Irving Berlin, and the Brothers Marx went into the production of the Broadway musical The Cocoanuts which ran for 216 shows in the 1925-1926 season. Of the talent involved it was the Marx Brothers who came out the winners.

George S. Kaufman was one of the great wits of the last century, but so were the Marx Brothers. They ad-libbed and eliminated much of Kaufman's well turned prose and things were pretty tense between him and the brothers on Broadway. He also did not like a certain song that Berlin wanted to use in The Cocoanuts and Berlin took it from the show after Kaufman ragged on him. The song was Always. The Cocoanuts was the first book musical that Irving Berlin ever wrote, he did mostly reviews before The Cocoanuts. It also is the only one without a single hit song from it.

But as a Marx Brothers comedy it made the Brothers reputations. The plot such as it is concerns the boom in Florida real estate in which a lot of people got wealthy and a lot lost their shirts, though not quite in the way Basil Ruysdael does when Harpo and Chico take it off his back while he's trying to frisk them in his duties as the house detective.

The Cocoanuts was shot at the Paramount Astoria studio in Queens and used a lot of Broadway performers in the roles. Besides the Brothers, only Margaret Dumont and Basil Ruysdael came over from the Broadway cast. But Oscar Shaw and Mary Eaton had well established reputations on Broadway. Kay Francis is in the cast as the bad girl and she certainly went on to a substantial Hollywood career.

The main thing The Cocoanuts has going for it besides the Marx Brothers is the fact it is a filmed record of a Twenties era Broadway musical. Paramount made very few concessions in adapting The Cocoanuts to the screen. What we see is filmed play. Historic, but I fear not as entertaining as the later work of the Marx Brothers.


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