Animal Crackers

Animal Crackers

Director: Victor Heerman

Cast: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx

     
 

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Animal Crackers, like The Cocoanuts before is an all-but-literal translation to film of a smash-hit Marx Brothers Broadway musical. The aristocratic Mrs. Rittenhouse (Margaret Dumont) holds a weekend party at her Long Island Estate. Her guest of honor is famed (but likely fraudulent) African explorer Geoffrey T. Spaulding (Groucho Marx). Also showing up

Overview

Animal Crackers, like The Cocoanuts before is an all-but-literal translation to film of a smash-hit Marx Brothers Broadway musical. The aristocratic Mrs. Rittenhouse (Margaret Dumont) holds a weekend party at her Long Island Estate. Her guest of honor is famed (but likely fraudulent) African explorer Geoffrey T. Spaulding (Groucho Marx). Also showing up are renegade musician Signor Emmanuel Ravelli (Chico Marx), the mute, girl-chasing "Professor" (Harpo Marx) and Spaulding's faithful secretary Horatio Jamison (Zeppo Marx). The film, revolving around a stolen painting, finds Groucho lecturing on his most recent safari ("One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know"), Harpo and Chico unabashedly cheating at bridge, Groucho dictating a wildly nonsequitur letter to the firm of Hungerdunger, Hungerdunger, Hungerdunger and McCormick, and Groucho and Chico drawing up plans to build a house.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Anarchy has rarely been so enjoyable. Though many critics rank 1933's Duck Soup as the funniest Marx Brothers movie, others may prefer Animal Crackers, released in 1930. Based on the hit Broadway play by George S. Kaufman and Morris Ryskind, Animal Crackers features Groucho Marx as explorer Captain Spaulding, who is the guest of honor at a party hosted by wealthy matron Mrs. Rittenhouse (Groucho's favorite foil Margaret Dumont). The plot is a flimsy excuse for Groucho, Chico, and Harpo to run amok, with Zeppo playing his customary straight-man role. Director Victor Heerman is basically a bystander as the brothers take over, treating film as an extension of vaudeville. Animal Crackers was funnier and a bigger success than its predecessor, The Cocoanuts, and it marked the true beginning of the Marx Brothers' long and successful film careers, establishing their unique blend of physical and verbal mayhem. It has probably more memorable lines than any other Marx Brothers film. The most famous is Groucho's: "One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know." There are also the customary zingers that Groucho directs at Dumont, such as: "You're the most beautiful woman I've ever seen, which doesn't say much for you."

Product Details

Release Date:
03/01/1992
UPC:
0096895500039
Original Release:
1930
Rating:
G
Source:
Universal Studios

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Groucho Marx Capt. Jeffrey T. Spaulding
Harpo Marx The Professor
Chico Marx Signor Emmanuel Ravelli
Zeppo Marx Horatio Jamison
Lillian Roth Arabella Rittenhouse
Robert Greig Horace Hives
Margaret Dumont Mrs. Rittenhouse
Louis Sorin Roscoe W. Chandler
Hal Thompson John Parker
Margaret Irving Mrs. Whitehead
Kathryn Reece Grace Carpenter
Edward Metcalf Insp. Hennessey
Music Masters Six Footmen
Donald MacBride Bit Part
Marx Brothers Actor

Technical Credits
Victor Heerman Director
George Folsey Cinematographer
Bert Kalmar Score Composer
Harry Ruby Score Composer,Songwriter
Morris Ryskind Screenwriter

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