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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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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

A persistent rumor involves the presence of The Marx Brothers' father, Sam Marx (aka "Frenchie"), in the film as the ship leaves dock. He is not in this film - he died in 1933. The rumor came about because he had a cameo in a similar scene in Monkey Business (1931). See more »

Goofs

When Otis Driftwood is sitting on top of the steamer trunk being pushed by the porter and has the porter stop in front of Rosa's cabin so he can go inside, he's wearing a hat. In the next shot, from inside Rosa's room as he enters it, he's not wearing a hat. When he leaves Rosa's room and goes to Mrs. Claypool's room he's still not wearing a hat, but after he leaves Mrs. Claypool's room and we cut to the next scene which is Driftwood entering his stateroom, he's wearing a hat again. 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

All references to the first portion of the film taking place in Italy were edited from the original negative sometime after the original release. There is speculation that this was done during WWII when Italy was as Axis power, but it also may have been done in the late 1930's to appease Mussolini, who didn't like the way Italians were being portrayed. Either way, the film's first scene begins rather abruptly and is missing a musical number and references to Milan, Italy. See more »

Connections

Referenced in You Bet Your Life: Episode #6.12 (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Il Trovatore: Di quella pira
(1853) (uncredited)
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Leone Emanuele Bardare and Salvatore Cammarano
Sung by Walter Woolf King
with The MGM Symphony Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

A classic all the way!
23 April 2002 | by gapeach17See all my reviews

No doubt that "A Night at the Opera" is right up there with "Duck Soup" as the best Marx Brothers movie. Some Marx-purists complain "ANatO" is when the brothers started to grow soft and their quality started to decline. For one thing, instead of ridiculing romantic couples (the love story subplot plays a big part), they support them. Also, it's not as surreal or satirical as their past films. To those purists, I say: Lighten up! "ANatO" is just as funny as anything the Marx Bros did in the past (heck, I think it's funnier than "Monkey Business"), and it's withstood the test of time perfectly. In fact, "ANatO" is said to be Groucho's favorite; he even called his previous films "duds"! The film is filled with jabs at the upper class and double entendres courtesy of Groucho. Sample:

Mrs. Claypool: Do you have everything, Otis?

Otis: I haven't had any complaints yet!

The love story subplot isn't as nauseating as 1937's "A Day at the Races". Allan Jones may be a bit too mushy, but Kitty Carlisle, the love interest, is cool and calm enough to help it go down easily (that's really her singing, by the way). Chico and Harpo have some inspired moments, such as their gleeful butchering of "Il Travotore" (sp?). The hapless villains are the funniest Marx foils ever, and the finale is just uproarious. "ANatO" is a wonderfully silly romp, and it's rather harmless, so kids can probably watch and enjoy it. The famous stateroom scene is nothing short of brilliant, and you'll find yourself humming along to "Cosi Cosa" (I just wish the ballad "Alone" had been left, well, alone). Don't miss this hilarious masterpiece. And now, on with the opera!!


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