6.7/10
4,392
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
Chico Marx ... Harry Binelli
Harpo Marx ... Faker
Lucille Ball ... Christine
Ann Miller ... Hilda
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
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

Referenced in Take the Money and Run (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

The Last Round-Up (Git Along, Little Dogie, Git Along)
(1933) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Billy Hill
Sung offscreen by a Marx brother
See more »

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User Reviews

A Lesser Marx
18 April 2011 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

The movie manages a few chuckles, but is not prime material for Marx Bros. fans. One reason is that there's too much conventional logic in what the boys do, unlike their usual wacky comedic logic. Thus, there's little of the usual anarchic assault on well-ordered society that provides larger point to their madcap style.

Here the boys are trying to beat the hotel out of a big bill in order to get their stage play produced, and what they do makes perfectly good sense, though done in zany style. I get the feeling that, unlike other Marx movies, any number of good comedic actors could have replaced them to decent effect. Also, journeyman director Seiter fails to bring the zaniness to the kind of madcap boil that marks their best features. For example, the comedy mix tends to keep the boys apart instead of effectively combining them.

Nonetheless, the movie has its moments and some good gag lines, along with lively humorous support— MacBride as the dyspeptic hotel manager, Wood as the string bean agent, and Albertson as the boyish playwrite. Unfortunately, Lucille Ball's expert comedic talent goes untapped, but thankfully not her good looks.

Looks like the boys miss their home at MGM where their best movies were made. But even second-rate Marx Bros. at RKO still manages some good laughs.


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