46 user 15 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


The big new musical comedy! (Newspaper ad cut). See more »


Comedy | Musical


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The Marx Brothers announced that this would be their last of five films made under contract with MGM, but they actually went on to make two more - A Night in Casablanca (1946) and Love Happy (1949), both from United Artists. Groucho would later say these last two films were made because Chico needed the money. See more »


When the clerk (Enid Bennett) calls to check on fabric, she is standing about a foot away from the counter. When the camera angle changes, her arm is resting on the counter. See more »


Wolf J. Flywheel: This man's a cad! A yellow cad!
See more »


Featured in Inside the Marx Brothers (2003) See more »


Minuet in G major, WoO 10, No. 2
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Played on the harp by Harpo Marx
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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