6.9/10
5,229
56 user 25 critic

At the Circus (1939)

Passed | | 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:

NOT SUITABLE FOR GENERAL EXHIBITION (Australian one-sheet poster) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Passed | 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

This film has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 9 critic reviews. See more »

Goofs

Multiple different-sized actors, in noticeably different gorilla costumes, were used to play Gibraltar the gorilla. See more »

Quotes

Antonio Pirelli: [Talking to 'Punchy' in the train's sleeper car] How can you fall asleep? Oh, you count-a sheep, heh? How many sheep you have to count before you fall asleep? One! Eh, you're an insta-maniac.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth 2 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(1792) (uncredited)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Briefly played in the score when Jardinet enters
See more »

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User Reviews

AT THE CIRCUS (1939) ***
10 October 2004 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

This was my third time watching AT THE CIRCUS and, the characteristically anaemic leads (who somehow always seem to be able to carry a tune) notwithstanding, I've always been kind of partial to this one (even if the end result is, decidedly, a notch or two below their finest work). Plot and setting provide several opportunities for the Marxes to shine, both as a team and individually: Groucho (as always) is the film's trump card, however, especially in his rendition of 'Lydia, the Tattooed Lady' and the separate scenes he shares with befuddled aristocrat Margaret Dumont and scheming circus performer Eve Arden; other highlights include Groucho and Chico's interrogation of the suspicious-looking dwarf, Chico and Harpo's frenzied search for stolen money in the strong-man's room (while the latter is asleep!), and the typically busy climax in which Dumont receives the ultimate humiliation.

AT THE CIRCUS is the Marxes' third best MGM picture (demonstrating a steady decline for them from picture to picture) but it's still inferior to the later A NIGHT IN CASABLANCA (1946), in my opinion – or any of their early Paramount films, for that matter.


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