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A Night at the Opera (1935)

Passed | | Comedy, Music, Musical | 15 November 1935 (USA)
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 (uncredited)

Writers:

George S. Kaufman (screen play), Morrie Ryskind (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Groucho Marx ... Otis B. Driftwood
Chico Marx ... Fiorello
Harpo Marx ... Tomasso
Kitty Carlisle ... Rosa Castaldi
Allan Jones ... Riccardo Barone
Walter Woolf King ... Rudolfo Lassparri (as Walter King)
Sig Ruman ... Herman Gottlieb (as Siegfried Rumann)
Margaret Dumont ... Mrs. Claypool
Edward Keane ... Ship's Captain
Robert Emmett O'Connor ... Police Sergeant Henderson (as Robert Emmet O'Connor)
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Storyline

The Marx Brothers take on high society. Two lovers who are both in opera are prevented from being together by the man's lack of acceptance as an operatic tenor. Pulling several typical Marx Brothers' stunts, they arrange for the normal tenor to be absent so that the young lover can get his chance. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Don't miss it! The funniest picture ever made!

Genres:

Comedy | Music | Musical

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

15 November 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Night at the Opera See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1948 re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The famous "stateroom scene" was originally conceived as a way of getting a cheap laugh by having Groucho Marx, crowded out of his room, changing his pants in the corridor. After this was not liked by test audiences, the scene was improvised on the spot. A total of 15 people were in the scene: Driftwood (1); the stowaways Fiorello, Tomasso and Riccardo [who were in the trunk] (2-4); two chambermaids (5-6); an engineer who comes to turn off the heat (7); a manicurist (8); the engineer's burly assistant (9); a young woman looking for her Aunt Minnie and asking to use the phone (10); a cleaning woman (11); and four staff stewards bearing trays of food (12-15). They all tumble out when Mrs. Claypool (Margaret Dumont) opens the door. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the opera, Gottlieb (having just called Driftwood a "Schweinehund") is in the balcony with Mrs. Claypool. The next shot shows the conductor calling the orchestra to attention, and in the background Mrs. Claypool is now alone in the balcony. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Waiter: The gentleman has not arrived yet?
Mrs. Claypool: No, he has not.
Waiter: I'm afraid the dinner will be spoiled.
Otis B. Driftwood: What difference does it make? It's too late to dine now.
Otis B. Driftwood: Oh, boy?
Bellboy: Yes, ma'am?
Otis B. Driftwood: Will you page Mr. Otis B. Driftwood, please? Mister Otis B. Driftwood.
Bellboy: Paging Mr. Driftwood! Mr. Driftwood!
Bellboy: [Driftwood's dinner companion giggles out loud] Mr. Driftwood! Mr. Driftwood!
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

A colorized version exists See more »

Connections

Referenced in At the Movies: Stinkers of 1982 (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

The Prisoner's Song (If I Had the Wings of an Angel)
(1924) (uncredited)
Music by Guy Massey
Partially in the score when the boys are placed in detention
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Great Marx Brothers Entertainment
18 June 2001 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

"A Night at the Opera" is great Marx Brothers entertainment. It has comedy, music, and a good cast - everything except Zeppo, who by this time had left the act. It fully deserves its reputation as one of the two best Marx Brothers films, along with "Duck Soup".

"A Night at the Opera" is probably slightly less funny than "Duck Soup" (it is no criticism to say that of any film), but it has more of a story to connect the great comic bits. There is a good supporting cast in both films - here Sig Ruman is especially funny, in addition to the perennial Margaret Dumont. It also has several fairly long musical interludes - some are operatic, but the most entertaining is Chico and Harpo's impromptu shipboard entertainment.

Of course, the real attraction in any of these films is the comedy, and there are some memorable bits in this one. The contract negotiations between Chico and Groucho, and the scene in Groucho's stateroom, are especially hilarious, and you have to see the stateroom scene more than once to catch everything. And for sustained zany humor, the climactic sequence at the opera might be the funniest part of all.

This is certainly a must for Marx Brothers fans.


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