6.7/10
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46 user 24 critic

Room Service (1938)

Approved | | Comedy | 30 September 1938 (USA)
A penniless theatrical producer must outwit the hotel efficiency expert trying to evict him from his room, while securing a backer for his new play.

Director:

William A. Seiter

Writers:

Morrie Ryskind (screen play), John Murray (from the play by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Groucho Marx ... Gordon Miller (as The Marx Brothers)
Chico Marx ... Harry Binelli (as The Marx Brothers)
Harpo Marx ... Faker Englund (as The Marx Brothers)
Lucille Ball ... Christine Marlowe
Ann Miller ... Hilda Manny
Frank Albertson ... Leo Davis
Cliff Dunstan ... Joseph Gribble
Donald MacBride ... Gregory Wagner
Philip Loeb Philip Loeb ... Timothy Hogarth
Philip Wood Philip Wood ... Simon Jenkins
Alexander Asro Alexander Asro ... Sasha Smirnoff
Charles Halton ... Dr. Glass
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Storyline

The Marx Brothers try and put on a play before their landlord finds out that they have run out of money. To confuse the landlord they pretend that the play's author has contracted some terrible disease and can't be moved. Originally a stage play, the setting shows it's origins, but this is vintage Marx Brothers. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Better . . . Battier . . . Funnier Than Ever !

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

30 September 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Marx Brothers - Zimmerdienst See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The Broadway play "Room Service" opened at the Cort Theater on May 19, 1937 and ran for 500 performances (without The Marx Brothers). Cliff Dunstan, Donald MacBride, Philip Wood and Alexander Asro originated their movie roles in the play. Also in the opening night cast was Eddie Albert as Leo Davis, Betty Field as Hilda, Teddy Hart as Faker, Sam Levene as Gordon Miller and Philip Loeb (also in the movie) in a role cut from the screenplay. The play was revived in 1953 with Jack Lemmon as Leo Davis. See more »

Goofs

Wires visible on the turkey when it flies around the room. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Gordon Miller: [pulls newspaper down] Well, what do you want? Can't a man have a little privacy around here?
Sasha: The check, Mr. Miller.
Gordon Miller: Oh, the check... Is this check any good?
Sasha: Why, uh... yes, sir.
Gordon Miller: Well, we'll soon find out. There you are.
[signs the check]
Sasha: Thank you.
Gordon Miller: Don't give me any of that 'thank you' stuff.
Sasha: Mr. Miller, many times I have seen your company rehearsing on the 19th floor. Please, I would like to play the part of the Polish miner.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown on doors that flip around for each new screen of names. See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a colorized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Lucy and Desi: A Home Movie (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Merrily We Roll Along
(uncredited)
Traditional
A song loosely based on 'Good Night Ladies' (1847) by Edwin P. Christy
In the score during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Neglected Gem
15 February 2006 | by sphillips-7See all my reviews

Though not one of the Marx Brothers' better known films, "Room Service" is well worth seeing nonetheless. Originally a stage play, it has the distinction of being the only Marx Brothers' film that wasn't originally written by or for the Brothers. However, the film adaptation is seamlessly tailored for the Marxes' stock characters: Groucho, the glib con-man; Chico, the deceptively simple Italian caricature; and Harpo, their anarchic collaborator. The film is very well written, with lots of hilarious gags and pratfalls. Especially memorable is the scene in which the brothers put on multiple layers of clothes as they prepare to decamp their hotel room without paying the bill. Even funnier is the scene in which the brothers, not having eaten for days, frenetically polish off a meal they had arranged to be diverted to their room. Watch Harpo as he madly harpoons peas with his fork and devours them one by one, like a ravenous automaton! In an earlier scene, the boys chase a flying turkey around the hotel room, hoping to make a meal of it. Alas, it flies out the window, whereupon Groucho says, "Never mind, we didn't have any cranberry sauce anyway!"

Unfortunately, the film lacks the usual piano and harp numbers by Chico and Harpo. Regrettable too is the absence of Margaret Dumont, Groucho's legendary "straight woman." Even so, the film is great fun--pure escapism!


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