46 user 16 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.


Charles Reisner (as Charles Riesner)


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




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


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 | Plot Synopsis


With gorgeous girls! Cute cut-ups! Lovely lasses! (Newspaper ad cut). See more »


Comedy | Musical


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Although William Tannen is credited as "Fred Sutton" in the movie's credits, he is called "Chris" by others in the movie. See more »


In Mr. Grover's office, Mr. Grover closes the account book and keeps his hands on the sides of the book, but in the next shot he has his hands crossed on the book. See more »


Martha Phelps: Tell me, Wolfie dear, will we have a beautiful home?
Wolf J. Flywheel: Of course. You're not planning on moving, are you?
Martha Phelps: No, but, uh, I'm afraid after we're married awhile, a beautiful young girl will come along, and, uh, you'll forget all about me.
Wolf J. Flywheel: Don't be silly. I'll write you twice a week.
See more »


Featured in News from Planet Mars (2016) See more »


Old Folks at Home (Swanee River)
(1851) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Foster
Sung in the "Sing While You Sell" number
See more »

User Reviews

The Big Store (1941) **
1 August 2004 | by JoeKarlosiSee all my reviews

This latter Marx Bros. comedy still contains some vintage moments between Groucho and his longtime foil Margaret Dumont, with good comic dialogue written for Groucho once again. The scene where she visits his office to hire him as a detective, as he and Harpo pull off a ruse by making it appear that Groucho's not a starving nobody but a first-class private eye, is as good as anything I've seen in their other pictures.

Things get bogged down later with musical numbers (I mean, what else is new?), but I was impressed by many of the sets in the grand department store.

Some good, some not-so-good.

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English | Italian

Release Date:

20 June 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bargain Basement See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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