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Animal Crackers (1930)

Mayhem and zaniness ensue when a valuable painting goes missing during a party in honor of famed African explorer Captain Spaulding.

Director:

Victor Heerman

Writers:

George S. Kaufman (based on the musical play by), Morrie Ryskind (based on the musical play by) | 4 more credits »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
The Marx Brothers
Groucho Marx ... Captain Jeffrey Spaulding
Harpo Marx ... The Professor
Chico Marx ... Signor Emanuel Ravelli
Zeppo Marx ... Horatio Jamison
Lillian Roth ... Arabella Rittenhouse
Margaret Dumont ... Mrs. Rittenhouse
Louis Sorin ... Roscoe Chandler
Hal Thompson Hal Thompson ... John Parker
Margaret Irving ... Mrs. Whitehead
Kathryn Reece Kathryn Reece ... Grace Carpenter
Robert Greig ... Hives
Edward Metcalfe ... Hennessey
The Music Masters The Music Masters ... Six Footmen
Edit

Storyline

Captain Spaulding, the noted explorer, returns from Africa and attends a gala party held by Mrs. Rittenhouse. A painting displayed at that party is stolen, and the Marxes help recover it. Well, maybe 'help' isn't quite the word I was looking for--this is the Marx Brothers, after all... Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

10 times funnier than "The Cocoanuts." (Print Ad- Sarasota Herald, ((Sarasota, Fla.)) 5 October 1930) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 September 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Os Galhofeiros See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

"Animal Crackers" was the fourth most popular movie at the U.S. box office for 1930. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scenes Hives turns to speak to Mrs. Rittenhouse after his opening song, and his waistcoat is different. It continues to swap from one style to another throughout the movie. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Spaulding: Mrs. Rittenhouse, ever since I met you, I've swept you off my feet.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Censored for a 1936 reissue to meet Production Code requirements; this censored version was the only one available for television showings and subsequent VHS/DVD releases. A surviving complete and uncensored print was found in England, and is the source being used for the 2016 blu-ray release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Hello, I Must Be Going
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Ruby
Lyrics by Bert Kalmar
Sung by Groucho Marx, Margaret Dumont and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hello, I Must Be Going
3 December 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Animal Crackers was the second of two Broadway shows that starred the Marx Brothers and was done at the Paramount Astoria Studios. After they went to Hollywood, with the exception of Room Service, all their material was original for the screen.

The Brothers were doing Animal Crackers on Broadway in 1928-1929 and it had a respectable run of 191 performances. In fact while they were doing Animal Crackers on stage, for a part of 1929 they were shooting The Cocoanuts at the Astoria Studios. Unlike The Cocoanuts, nearly the entire Broadway cast was used in the film, with the exception of the juveniles, Lillian Roth and Hal Thompson. Also unlike The Cocoanuts nearly the entire Bert Kalmar-Harry Ruby score was discarded with the notable exception of Groucho's immortal theme Hooray for Captain Spalding. Kalmar and Ruby did write the ballad that Roth and Thompson sing, Why Am I So Romantic for the screen version.

Margaret Dumont as Mrs. Rittenhouse of the Long Island horsey set is throwing a party and the guest of honor is Groucho with his secretary Zeppo as Captain Spalding. Crashing the party is Chico and Harpo.

But not only is Captain Spalding on display, Dumont is giving an unveiling of a famous painting for which two people have brought copies for different purposes. Of course the original does get stolen and there's no use me going on any further because the plot just dissolves with the various monkeyshines engaged in by the Marx Brothers.

My favorite bits are Groucho when he does a devastating lampoon on Eugene O'Neill's Strange Interlude. It turned out to be too good a satire because when the play made it to the screen two years later, no one took it seriously.

Secondly is Chico and Harpo, mercilessly threatening to expose hoity toity art critic Louis Sorin who they knew back in the day as Abie the Fishman. Actually that's kind of sad in a way because Sorin may be a snob now, but he did in fact educate himself out of peddling fish and rose in an honorable to a legitimate living. But you don't think about that while Chico and Harpo are doing their thing.

Although like The Cocoanuts it's a photographed stage play, Animal Crackers works a whole lot better. The play itself was primarily on one set on the stage and it transitions better to the screen than The Cocoanuts did.

The brothers are at their most anarchistic and zany here, try not to miss it.


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