Night at the Opera

A Night at the Opera

5.0 5
Director: Sam Wood

Cast: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx

     
 

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One of the Marx Brothers' most successful films, A Night at the Opera gets a fitting DVD release from Warner Bros. with this fine disc. The film itself is presented in a standard full-frame transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio. The Dolby Digital English soundtrack is rendered in the original Mono. English, French, and Spanish subtitles

Overview

One of the Marx Brothers' most successful films, A Night at the Opera gets a fitting DVD release from Warner Bros. with this fine disc. The film itself is presented in a standard full-frame transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio. The Dolby Digital English soundtrack is rendered in the original Mono. English, French, and Spanish subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include a commentary track recorded by film historian Leonard Maltin that covers not only the film's production but discusses the history and working habits of the brothers. Robert Benchley's short How to Sleep, a television appearance by Groucho Marx, and the film's theatrical trailer all help make this disc highly recommended.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
A Night at the Opera was the first Marx Brothers movie without Zeppo Marx (though his replacement here, Allan Jones, is not a notable improvement) and also the first under the supervision of MGM's legendary producer Irving Thalberg. A relatively sane plot line and conventional romantic subplot place this film in the more conventional camp of Marx Brothers movies. Due to the critical and commercial failure of Duck Soup (1933), the brothers' previous movie, the studio decided to pre-test many of the skits on live audiences; while Duck Soup's anarchic revelry left many in the audience less amused than baffled, A Night at the Opera's script by George S. Kaufman and Morris Ryskind and direction by Sam Wood were more controlled and focused than in previous Marx efforts. But as was often the case in their movies, the brothers' comedy takes aim at the pompous and pious hypocrisy of the upper crust, and this movie features many of their most famous routines, including the stateroom scene, the contract scene, the bed-switching sequence, and the operatic finale. The film's openly subversive and derisive tone was a perfect match for a Depression-era crowd looking for some wealthy authority figures to laugh at.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/04/2004
UPC:
0012569596924
Original Release:
1935
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono]
Time:
1:31:00
Sales rank:
7,482

Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by Leonard Maltin; All-new documentary "Remarks on Marx"; Groucho Marx on the Hy Gardner Show (1961 broadcast); Two vintage shorts: "Sunday Night at the Trocadero" and Robert Benchley's Academy Award-winning "How to Sleep"; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Groucho Marx Otis B. Driftwood
Harpo Marx Tomasso
Chico Marx Fiorello
Kitty Carlisle Rosa Castaldi
Walter Woolf King Rodolpho Lassparri
Edward Keane The Captain
Sig Rumann Herman Gottlieb
Allan Jones Ricardo Baroni
Margaret Dumont Mrs. Claypool
Robert E. O'Connor Detective Henderson
Harry Allen Doorman
Lorraine Badges Actor
Al Bridge Immigration Inspector
Gino Corrado Steward
Jay Eaton Actor
Otto H. Fries Elevator Man
Billy Gilbert Engineer's Assistant
William Gould Captain of Police
George Guhl Policeman
Jonathan Hale Stage Manager
Rodolfo Hoyos Count di Luna
George S. Irving Committee
Selmar Jackson Committee
Jack Lipson Engineer's Assistant
Wilbur Mack Actor
Marx Brothers Actor
Samuel Marx Extra on Ship and at Dock
Inez Palange Maid
Claude Payton Police Captain
Purnell Pratt Mayor
Rolfe Sedan Aviator
Phillips Smalley Actor
Harry Tyler Sign Painter
Leo White Actor
Frank Yaconelli Engineer

Technical Credits
Sam Wood Director
Al Boasberg Screenwriter
Ben Carre Art Director
George S. Kaufman Screenwriter
Merritt B. Gerstad Cinematographer
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Chester Hale Choreography
Bert Kalmar Screenwriter
James K. McGuinness Original Story
Harry Ruby Screenwriter
Morris Ryskind Screenwriter
Herbert Stothart Score Composer
Irving G. Thalberg Producer
Dolly Tree Costumes/Costume Designer
William Le Vanway Editor
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Credits [1:26]
2. Romancing Mrs. Claypool [4:35]
3. Backstage Hates and Dates [2:46]
4. Managing Salami and Singers [2:07]
5. Pieces of Lassparri [5:22]
6. Party of the First Part [5:30]
7. Alone [6:06]
8. Dallier Driftwood [3:08]
9. Trunk Contents [3:22]
10. And Hard-Boiled Eggs [1:30]
11. A Roomful [2:41]
12. Fortune and Food Hunting [3:47]
13. Cosi-Cosa [3:29]
14. Piano Playfulness [3:12]
15. Harp Specially [3:27]
16. Hanging Himself [3:03]
17. Three Aviators [4:52]
18. Bedlam and Breakfast [5:40]
19. Three's a Crowd [2:17]
20. Kicked Out [4:13]
21. On With the Opera [3:34]
22. Pit Pandemonium [2:24]
23. Trampling Trovatore [3:40]
24. Scenery Stealing [3:08]
25. Triumphant Duet [3:08]
26. Party of the 10th Part [2:27]

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A Night at the Opera 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Inspired lunacy! Although I consider Duck Soup to be the pen ultimate Marx Brothers movie, I have a very strong affection for this laff riot comedy. The boys are in top form, Sam Wood's direction gives it pacing and build up, the songs aren't insufferable, and when that opera tries to get off the ground, the Marxes fire with both barrels -- and you can't help but howl! The deft touch of George S. Kaufman is all over this script to Groucho's great advantage. His one-liners have never been sharper or funnier than here. Chico's illogical logic just shines, and you don't write for Harpo Marx, you just let him stroll onto the set and keep the cameras running! Plus, it's always a highlight when Chico plays piano and Harpo the harp -- and they don't disappoint here. Harpo's redition of ''Alone'' will bring tears to your eyes, it's that beautiful. Whether its ''The party of the first part...'', ''...and two hard boiled eggs,'' ''...and that's how we fly to Amerca,'' or ''Boogie! Boogie! Boogie!'', the laughs will come back to you long after this film finishes ''just as Mrs. Claypool's checks will come back in the morning.'' Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!
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