6.9/10
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At the Circus (1939)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical | 20 October 1939 (USA)
The Marx Brothers try to help the owner of a circus recover some stolen funds before he finds himself out of a job.

Director:

Edward Buzzell

Writer:

Irving Brecher (screen play)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Groucho Marx ... Attorney Loophole
Chico Marx ... Antonio
Harpo Marx ... 'Punchy'
Kenny Baker ... Jeff Wilson
Florence Rice ... Julie Randall
Eve Arden ... Peerless Pauline
Margaret Dumont ... Mrs. Dukesbury
Nat Pendleton ... Goliath
Fritz Feld ... Jardinet
James Burke ... John Carter
Jerry Maren ... Little Professor Atom (as Jerry Marenghi)
Barnett Parker ... Whitcomb
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Storyline

Jeff Wilson, the owner of a small circus, owes his partner Carter $10000. Before Jeff can pay, Carter lets his accomplices steal the money, so he can take over the circus. Antonio Pirelli and Punchy, who work at the circus, together with lawyer Loophole try to find the thief and get the money back. Written by Michael Zolk <mzolk@ix.urz.uni-heidelberg.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Keep the world laughing! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 October 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Day at the Circus See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

For Groucho Marx' performance of "'Lydia, the Tattooed Lady", additional lyrics were written by lyricist E.Y. Harburg exclusively for screenings of the film for Allied servicemen in European war zones. The special lyrics included the line "When she stands the world grows littler; When she sits, she sits on Hitler.' The version of the song featuring the special lyrics was filmed, and included in prints of the film distributed in Great Britain and France. The version of the song containing the special lyrics was greeted with marked enthusiasm during screenings in those countries. See more »

Goofs

When the little boy is "playing" his trumpet solo (and Punchy is using the bulb of his bicycle horn as a wah-wah mute), not only are the boy's fingerings incorrect, they are out of synch with the sequence of notes. Punchy's use of the "mute" is likewise out of synch. See more »

Quotes

[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Muppet Show: Connie Stevens (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Lydia, the Tattooed Lady
(1939) (uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Sung by Groucho Marx and chorus, with Chico Marx at piano
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Boys Go To the Big Top
30 December 2002 | by telegonusSee all my reviews

No, this isn't the Cecil B. De Mille big top opus, it's the Marx Brothers one. The boys were slowing down a bit when they made it, and as it came out in 1939, it kind of got buried under all the other movies of that remarkable film year, and is now somewhat neglected. This is a pity, for while it isn't their best movie, it's far from their worst. The plot isn't worth going into,--does anyone really want a synopsis of a Marx Brothers film?--and grande dame Margaret Dumont is on hand as the woman of Groucho's nightmares come to life. Kenny Baker and Florence Rice are the leads, and I've seen far worse. This isn't a belly laugh movie but it's very amusing. The production values are excellent, and the circus itself is fun, and so is the gorilla. Every comedian should encounter a gorilla at least once in his career. At the Circus is Groucho's chance, and it provides the movie with its funniest moment. This isn't a great comedy, but it's a very good movie.


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