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Horse Feathers (1932)

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 (as Norman McLeod)

Writers:

Bert Kalmar (by), Harry Ruby (by) | 2 more credits »
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
The Marx Brothers ... (as The Four Marx Brothers)
Groucho Marx ... Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff
Harpo Marx ... Pinky
Chico Marx ... Baravelli
Zeppo Marx ... Frank Wagstaff
Thelma Todd ... Connie Bailey
David Landau ... Jennings
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Storyline

Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff has just been installed as the new president of Huxley College. His cavalier attitude toward education is not reserved for his son Frank, who is seeing the college widow, Connie Bailey. Frank influences Wagstaff to recruit two football players who hang out in a speakeasy, in order to beat rival school Darwin. Unfortunately, Wagstaff mistakenly hires the misfits Baravelli and Pinky. Finding out that Darwin has beaten him to the "real" players, Wagstaff enlists Baravelli and Pinky to kidnap them, which leads to an anarchic football finale. Written by Rick Gregory <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They go collegiate-and change "rah-rah" into "ha-ha-ha!" (Print Ad-Greenfield Recorder, ((Greenfield, Mass.)) 6 September 1932) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The school room scene preserves a version the Marx Brothers' long running vaudeville act. See more »

Goofs

The audio commentary over the first quarter of the football game refers to Darwin's fourth touchdown, but the score at the end of the first quarter is 12-0. The score for a touchdown is 6 points, as seen when Huxley scores their first. The commentator doesn't say four touchdowns, he says "Darwin just completed a forward pass for a top-down". See more »

Quotes

Connie: [Talking on the phone to Professor Wagstaff] But Professor, I don't understand.
Professor Wagstaff: You don't, eh. Well, I want to see you. Come right over to my office. You can't? You're in bed? Well, in that case, I'll come over to your office.
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Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Brute Man (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Whatever It Is, I'm Against It
(1932) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Ruby
Lyrics by Bert Kalmar
Sung by Groucho Marx and Chorus
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User Reviews

 
Whatever it is, he's against it!
19 March 2006 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

HORSE FEATHERS, the fourth of the five Paramount Marx Brother Movies, is one of their best - tackling the world of higher education in America. Groucho is the latest of the Presidents of Huxley College, which is doing very badly (apparently) not because of poor scholastic standards but due to not having a successful football team. His son (Zeppo!) steers him toward solving this issue, but with typical Groucho ineptness he thinks the two semi-professional football players he is looking for are Harpo and Chico. He proceeds to regret his own mistake, until the climactic football game.

The music numbers of this film are well remembered, particularly Groucho's introduction ("I'M AGAINST IT!") and "Everyone Says I love you". The latter was sung to the anti-heroine of the story, Thelma Todd in her second and last film with the brothers. Thelma plays the "college widow", a popular fictional figure in early 20th Century American humor - a euphemism for an ever-ready widow of a college professor who was there to have sex with students or the staff. George Ade, the humorist who wrote FABLES IN SLANG, wrote a play called "THE COLLEGE WIDOW" in the teens of the 20th Century. Thelma is certainly effective as the vamp trying to help David Landau (President of Darwin College) get the football signals of Huxley College. Her scenes with Groucho and Chico are quite funny. Chico is playing the piano and she sings. She says she has a falsetto voice. Chico says that's all right, his aunt has a false set of teeth. And Groucho, when taking Thelma for a boat trip throws her a lifesaver (literally), while returning with a duck who interrupted his singing.

The final football game is the second best spoof of college football on film (the one in Harold Lloyd's THE FRESHMAN is a better one). In the end we see the boys demolish football huddles, football signals, even hot dogs (poor Nat Pendleton).

A delightful antique, it is well worth watching. This is one film I'm not against.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 August 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Horse Feathers See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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