7.6/10
9,976
73 user 35 critic

Monkey Business (1931)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical | 19 September 1931 (USA)
On a transatlantic crossing, The Marx Brothers get up to their usual antics and manage to annoy just about everyone on board the ship.

Director:

(as Norman McLeod)

Writers:

(by), (by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Quincy Adams Wagstaff, the new president of Huxley University, accidentally hires bumblers Baravelli and Pinky to help his school win the big football game against the rival Darwin University.

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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

Director: Victor Heerman
Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
The Cocoanuts (1929)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

During the Florida land boom, The Marx Brothers run a hotel, auction off some land, thwart a jewel robbery, and generally act like themselves.

Directors: Robert Florey, Joseph Santley
Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
Comedy | Musical | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A veterinarian posing as a doctor and a race-horse owner and his friends struggle to help keep a sanitarium open with the help of a misfit race-horse.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx
Go West (1940)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The Marx Brothers come to the rescue in the Wild West when a young man, trying to settle an old family feud so he can marry the girl he loves, runs afoul of crooks.

Director: Edward Buzzell
Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The Marx Brothers are employed at a hotel in postwar Casablanca, where a ring of Nazis is trying to recover a cache of stolen treasure.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
The Big Store (1941)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A detective is hired to protect the life of a singer, who has recently inherited a department store, from the store's crooked manager.

Director: Charles Reisner
Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx
Duck Soup (1933)
Comedy | Musical | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
At the Circus (1939)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The Marx Brothers try to help the owner of a circus recover some stolen funds before he finds himself out of a job.

Director: Edward Buzzell
Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx
Room Service (1938)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A penniless theatrical producer must outwit the hotel efficiency expert trying to evict him from his room, while securing a backer for his new play.

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
Comedy | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A sly business manager and two wacky friends of two opera singers help them achieve success while humiliating their stuffy and snobbish enemies.

Directors: Sam Wood, Edmund Goulding
Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx
Love Happy (1949)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The Marx Brothers help young Broadway hopefuls while thwarting diamond thieves.

Director: David Miller
Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
... (as The Four Marx Brothers)
... Groucho
... Harpo
... Chico
... Zeppo
... Joe Helton (as Rockcliffe Fellowes)
... Briggs
... Lucille
... Mary Helton
... Gibson
Edit

Storyline

While stowing away on a ship to America, the boys get involuntarily pressed into service as toughs for a pair of feuding gangsters while trying desparately to evade the ship's crew. After arriving stateside, one of the gangsters kidnaps the other's daughter - and it's up to our unlikely heroes to save the day. Written by scgary66

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You roared at them in "The Cocoanuts". You laughed your heard off at "Animal Crackers". Now see the famous frenzied foursome in their merriest, maddest farce "Monkey Business". The whole family will enjoy it. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 September 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Monnaie de singe  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is listed as not having a Production Code certificate because when it was originally released, during the so-called "pre-Code" era, it didn't need one. But the DVD in the Universal Home Video "The Marx Brothers' Silver Screen Collection" contains a Code certificate number 2720 R, indicating that their source for the film was a "post-Code" reissue. See more »

Goofs

Groucho Marx position on the bed changes, when he 'shysters' a shyster layer. See more »

Quotes

Alky Briggs: Oh, I see, the stowaways. Say, I can help you bozos.
Groucho: Mr. Bozo, to you.
Alky Briggs: Alright, Mr. Bozo.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are painted on the sides of barrels (In the film's opening, the Marx Brothers' characters are stow-aways on a cruise ship, hiding in barrels marked "Kippered Herring"). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Mitchell (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me
(1930) (uncredited)
Written by Sammy Fain, Irving Kahal and Pierre Norman
Sung by Zeppo Marx, Groucho Marx and Chico Marx
Heard when Harpo tries to convince the passport officials that he is Chevalier
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Zeppo's best Marx Brother Film
21 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

Zeppo Marx is frequently considered with a trace of a sneer: the fourth brother who was not worthy of membership in one of filmdom's two best comedy teams. He was the fourth brother of Groucho, Chico, & Harpo Marx (and is only slightly better remembered than fifth brother Gummo, who never appeared in any of their films). He looked the best of the brothers (he was the youngest) so he could play the romantic lead if nobody else had the role (like Oscar Shaw did in COCONUTS). However although his appearance was better than the other three brothers, he was not a really handsome man like Robert Taylor or Tyrone Power. Also he had a serious problem with his sense of humor - he had one but it was remarkably similar to Groucho's. In fact, during the Broadway run of COCONUTS, Groucho was ordered by a doctor to take a long, overdue rest. He took off for two weeks, and was replaced by understudy Zeppo. At the end of two weeks he talked to the producers, and they willingly allowed him to take an additional week off. In fact, when that was finished they said he could take more time off if needed. They were not in a rush to get him back. Suspicious, Groucho went unannounced to the theater one night, and watched Zeppo being so good the audience was laughing hysterically at his delivery and acting. In a single day Groucho returned to the show. Groucho never made that mistake again.

It would have been impossible for Zeppo to have played a smaller version of Groucho on screen. There would have been an imbalance with two Grouchos in the films. So Zeppo was usually put into the films as Groucho's assistant, or secretary, or even his son (in HORSE FEATHERS). His part in COCONUTS, as the film exists today, is not very impressive (there is one scene where he and Groucho try to greet Chico and Harpo as new customers at the hotel, and keep missing their hands). In ANIMAL CRACKERS he is Jamison, the secretary to "Captain Spaulding", and has an amusing sequence regarding the immortal firm of "Hungerdunger, Hungerdunger, Hungerdunger, Hungerdunger, & McCormick". In HORSE FEATHERS he did take part in the mad football game at the end of the film. In DUCK SOUP, as assistant to Rufus T. Firefly, he had more sequences that were funny, such as when he gets slapped for telling a story to Groucho that Groucho had previously told to him. He also takes part in the "Fredonia's Going to War" number, and in the battle section at the end. But only the Hungerdunger scene in ANIMAL CRACKERS (shared by Groucho), and this film, MONKEY BUSINESS, gives one an idea of Zeppo as an effective comic.

Here, unlike the other four appearances, he is not connected in the past with Groucho. He is paired with him, when he and Groucho are hired by Alky Briggs to be his torpedoes. However, he is frequently chased on the boat, and finds time to romance the film's heroine, in one particularly good moment telling her of his eternal devotion to her just before fleeing from her side to avoid being captured by members of the ship's crew. He also is able to romance her at her coming out society party, and rescues her from Briggs' gang. Here he finally does something normal to assist the film. He is a passably pleasant leading man, but nothing spectacular.

MONKEY BUSINESS was also surreal in it's humor, best in the puppet show sequence and also the attempt of the four brothers to get off the boat pretending to be Chevalier. It is a very funny movie - maybe not the best of all their films (DUCK SOUP or A NIGHT AT THE OPERA are that), but close to the best.

As for Zeppo, he remained part of the act and the films for two more years, and then quit both to become a successful film agent. He would always be in Groucho's shadow as a comic, and even in death (soon after Groucho's death in 1977) passed on with hardly any impact on the public. Had he branched out on his own (if anyone had shown interest in such a move) he might have had a chance to show his talents, but it is problematical.


35 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 73 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Sci-Fi Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular sci-fi movies and TV shows available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial