6.6/10
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41 user 8 critic

The Big Store (1941)

Not Rated | | Comedy , Musical | 20 June 1941 (USA)
A detective is hired to protect the life of a singer, who has recently inherited a department store, from the store's crooked manager.

Director:

Charles Reisner (as Charles Riesner)

Writers:

Sid Kuller (screen play), Hal Fimberg (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Groucho Marx ... Wolf J. Flywheel
Chico Marx ... Ravelli
Harpo Marx ... Wacky
Tony Martin ... Tommy Rogers
Virginia Grey ... Joan Sutton
Margaret Dumont ... Martha Phelps
Douglass Dumbrille ... Mr. Grover
William Tannen ... Fred Sutton
Marion Martin ... Peggy Arden
Virginia O'Brien ... Kitty
Henry Armetta ... Guiseppi
Anna Demetrio ... Maria
Paul Stanton ... George Hastings
Russell Hicks ... Arthur Hastings
Bradley Page ... Duke
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Storyline

The Phelps Department Store is about to be sold by its new part owner, Tommy Rogers with the permission of Martha Phelps, the dowager co-owner. The current manager doesn't want this as the irregularities in the books will show up. When an attempt is made on Tommy's life, Martha enlists the worst private eye in the world to protect him, Wolf J. Flywheel. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Song hits galore! 1000 laughs to a customer. Sale on howls! Sensational close-out on roars! Special fun and music bargains. Hurry hurry every laugh must go! No mail or phone orders please! Beauties and cuties! (newspaper ad cut). See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bargain Basement See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
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

The final teaming of The Marx Brothers with Margaret Dumont. See more »

Goofs

At Flywheel's detective agency, a wall calendar can be seen displaying a large "8". In subsequent shots the calendar reads "11". See more »

Quotes

Ravelli: You kids, you practice until I come back. But-a remember! No woogie-boogie.
See more »

Connections

References Babes on Broadway (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Daisy Bell
(1892) (uncredited)
aka "A Bicycle Built for Two"
Music by Harry Dacre
Played when Groucho is riding the bicycle
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mixed bag
28 November 2009 | by gridoon2018See all my reviews

When people are asked which is their least favorite Marx Brothers movie, "The Big Store" is one of the most frequent choices. And it's not hard to understand why: this must be the Marx movie with the least comedy content in it - if not in quality, then certainly in quantity. Apart from the hilarious scene near the start where Margaret Dumont tries to explain the case "in detail" to supposedly busy detective Groucho while Harpo is typing loudly and a toaster goes out of control (a sequence that can make you laugh no matter how many times you see it), it's hard to name another classic piece of comedy here. The scene with the 14-member Italian family and the climactic chase inside the store are more chaotic and frenetic than funny (and there's also way too much fast motion used). On the bright side, this film has a better supporting cast than "Go West", "Sing While You Sell" is a grand and catchy number, Harpo and Chico have a delightful piano duet and Harpo's harp-playing scene is pure magic. While in many Marx Brothers movies I find the piano and harp numbers a dull interruption of the comedy, in "The Big Store" they are a welcome relief from the absence of comedy! **1/2 out of 4.


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