A collection of four classic films from the Brother Marks. 'Animal Crackers' (1930), their second film, is an adaptation of their Broadway hit. Mrs Rittenhouse (Margaret Dumont) is throwing a high society party, at which African explorer Jeffrey T. Spaulding (Groucho) is the guest of honour. When a valuable painting is stolen from the house, Spaulding teams up with Italian musician Emanual Ravelli (Chico) and the eccentric Professor (Harpo) to track down the thieves - in between trading insults with their fellow guests and generally creating mayhem. 'Monkey Business' (1931), their third film (and their first original screenplay), features them as stowaways aboard a luxury ocean liner. While Groucho, Chico and Harpo create mayhem attempting to escape the clutches of the captain and crew, Zeppo embarks on a romance with Mary Helton - daughter of retired gangster Joe Helton. When rival gang leader Alky Briggs hatches a plot to kidnap Mary and hold her to ransom, it is up to the boys to save the day! 'Horse Feathers' (1932), their fourth film, sees them creating havoc on campus in a high school college comedy. The new president of Huxley college, Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff (Groucho) soon sets about attending to important school business; namely, winning the school their first football game since 1888. On the advice of his son (Zeppo), he enters a local speakeasy, intending to bribe a couple of professional players to make the college team. What he ends up with instead are inept dog catcher Harpo and ice delivery man Chico. However, the duo prove invaluable when Wagstaff becomes romantically involved with the scheming Connie Bailey (Thelma Todd), a college widow who is secretly in league with Huxley's chief rivals, Darwin. Finally, their fifth film, 'Duck Soup' (1933) is a zany political satire, which so offended Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini that the film was banned in Italy. Appointed president of Freedonia under the patronage of the wealthy Mrs Teasdale (Dumont), Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho) sets about starting a war with neighbouring Sylvania. To this end he trades insults with Sylvanian ambassador Trentino (Louis Calhern), unaware that Trentino's spies Chicolini (Chico) and Pinky (Harpo) are already working to bring down Freedonia from within! This was the Marxes' final one for Paramount Studios, includes the classic mirror sequence and was also the last to feature Zeppo, who - dissatisfied with his role as straight man to his three siblings - subsequently embarked on a successful career as an agent.
Release Date: 29 August 2011
Certificate: U - Universal - Suitable for all
If your a fan you'll love it.
If not, or your under forty, you may wonder why they've got legendary status. Just remember this is nearly eighty years ago and judge accordingly. Amongst the dated stuff there are some moments that are sharp and witty even now. e.g. Offended hotel manager bangs on Groucho's door and shouts " Have you got a woman in there?" Marx replies "If I haven't I've just wasted half an hour".