A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.
The country of Freedonia is in the middle of a financial crisis and on the brink of revolution. In order to gain a bail-out from the wealthy Mrs Teasdale, the government appoints Rufus T Firefly as its president. However, Mr Firefly shuns the pomp and pretentiousness of government; along with the prudence and rationality of it too. Meanwhile, the neighbouring country of Sylvania is plotting to overthrow Freedonia and sends Pinky and Chicolini to spy on Firefly. War seems inevitable.Written by
Leo McCarey reportedly came up with the title for the film, having previously used it for an earlier directorial effort with Laurel & Hardy. The title was used again in 1942 for a Daffy Duck cartoon. See more »
When Firefly offers Chicolini a job, Chicolini's dog goes from biting its lower half, to laying down, and finally, sitting next to him in three consecutive shots. See more »
Rufus T. Firefly:
I danced before Napoleon. No, Napoleon danced before me. As a matter of fact, he danced 200 years before me.
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It narrowly beats A Night at the Opera as the best all-round Marx Bros film, though I find the humour more bizarre in Monkey Business. At least the musical numbers in DS are actually worth sitting through.
The reasons it scores so highly are:
1) The mirror sequence. The finest comic sequence ever committed to film. Sure, it's old-hat vaudeville, but it's professional, beautifully timed and spirals into wonderful absurdity.
2) The one-liners, puns and other jokes. Pick of the crop are the peanut stall interchange, the telephone sequence, the riddles ('what has four pairs of pants, lives in Philadelphia, and it never rains but it pours?') and the final battle (especially the stock footage of monkeys and elephants running to save the army under siege - the kind of thing the Zucker Bros pinched for their comedies). Oh, yes, and the motorcycle routines.
3) The satire on politics and warmongering. The Brothers simply deflate the pomposity of the whole deal.
4) The fact that Zeppo is actually given something to do.
Anybody who thinks the Farrelly brothers are the last word in comedy should be strapped to a chair and shown Marx Bros films over and over again, until they concede.
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