7.6/10
12,831
79 user 27 critic

A Day at the Races (1937)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical, Sport | 11 June 1937 (USA)
Trailer
2:59 | Trailer
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

Writers:

Robert Pirosh (screen play), George Seaton (screen play) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Groucho Marx ... Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush (as The Marx Brothers)
Chico Marx ... Tony (as The Marx Brothers)
Harpo Marx ... Stuffy (as The Marx Brothers)
Allan Jones ... Gil Stewart
Maureen O'Sullivan ... Judy Standish
Margaret Dumont ... Mrs. Emily Upjohn
Leonard Ceeley Leonard Ceeley ... Whitmore
Douglass Dumbrille ... Morgan
Esther Muir ... Cokey 'Flo'
Sig Ruman ... Dr. Steinberg (as Sig Rumann)
Robert Middlemass ... Sheriff
Vivien Fay ... Dancer
Ivie Anderson Ivie Anderson ... Vocalist
The Crinoline Choir The Crinoline Choir ... Vocal Ensemble
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Storyline

Doctor Hugo Hackenbush, Tony, and Stuffy try and save Judy's sanitarium by winning a big race with her boyfriend's horse. There are a few problems. Hackenbush runs a high-priced clinic for the wealthy who don't know he has his degree in veterinary medicine. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

X MARXs THE BELLY LAUGHS! (print ad -Lubbock Morning Avalanche - Tech Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - March 11, 1938 - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical | Sport

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first film that Roger Ebert ever saw in the cinema. See more »

Goofs

Grand piano strings do not sound like harp strings when plucked. Additionally, the strings that Harpo plucks are not piano strings - they are loose and singular. You wouldn't be able to pluck piano strings with a noticeable vibration afterwards (at least, not at the octave Harpo is playing), and only the lowest notes (again, below what Harpo is playing) are played with singular strings. See more »

Quotes

Flo: Oh doctor. Thank you.
Dr. Hackenbush: Thank "yu". Do you like gardenias?
Flo: I adore them. How did you know?
Dr. Hackenbush: I didn't, so I got you forget-me-nots. One whiff of this and you'll forget everything.
[Hackenbush hands her a wilted sunflower. He seats her and pushes in her chair at the table]
Flo: Thank you.
Dr. Hackenbush: Thank "yu".
Flo: [handing him her wrap] Do you mind?
Dr. Hackenbush: Not at all. I always take the wrap.
See more »

Alternate Versions

After the film's opening two musical numbers featuring the songs "I'm Dr. Hackenbush" and "I've got a message from the man in the moon" were removed. This footage is now believed to have been destroyed. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Haz la loca... no la guerra (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Tomorrow Is Another Day
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Bronislau Kaper & Walter Jurmann
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
Sung by Allan Jones
See more »

User Reviews

 
hilarious; 9/10
25 June 2001 | by zetesSee all my reviews

I haven't seen enough of the Marx Brothers' films to say which is their best and which is their worst. I have seen Duck Soup, which I would say has to be at least one of their best, seeing that I believe it to be one of the funniest comedies ever. I have also seen A Night at the Opera, which is also often considered one of their best, often the best. I myself found it much less funny than Duck Soup. I wanted to kill myself during the musical numbers of that film.

Now I've seen A Day at the Races, the Brothers' follow up to A Night at the Opera, a smash hit in theaters. Generally, Races is considered a weak follow-up to a great film. I disagree. I liked A Day at the Races much more than A Night at the Opera (but a bit less than Duck Soup). All three Brothers are firing bullseye after bullseye. Harpo could stand to do a little bit more. He may have had the funniest role in Duck Soup. He was an utter maniac with total disregard for human life. When the Marx Brothers left Paramount for MGM, their edge was dulled down a bit. Oh well, Races still succeeds.

Also, except for the boring opera voice, even the musical numbers work here. I love to watch Chico play the piano. That's hilarious. Harpo's harp number is less good, but still not bad. The ballet sequence is also quite good. There's one more musical number that's just fantastic: the poor black folk singing "Who's that man?" as Harpo runs around playing the flute. It's somewhat shocking to see a scene like this. It does not exploit them (it may seem to now, but it was probably quite inclusive and progressive in its day), and it's a smash.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

11 June 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Day at the Races See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White | Black and White (Sepiatone)| Black and White (blue tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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