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Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Day At The Races (1937)

With her sanitarium in deep financial trouble, the young owner (Maureen O'Sullivan) hires a medical quack (Groucho Marx) in the hopes that her richest patient (Margaret Dumont) will help her out. The Marx Brothers follow up to their A NIGHT AT THE OPERA, also directed by Sam Wood, is more amusing than not. Still, like OPERA, we have to put up with Allan Jones's bellowing as well as ballet production numbers and Chico Marx's piano concertos which serves to pad out the film to an almost two hour running time. Some of the comedy routines are milked till there isn't a drop left. An elongated routine at the race track with Chico tricking Groucho into buying race track tips is funny the first two times but by the fifth time, it's worn out it's welcome. There is an amusing medical examination of Margaret Dumont though. As always, thank heaven for Groucho whose comic timing is impeccable and compensates for the often annoying "cuteness" of Chico and Harpo. With Douglass Dumbrille, Sig Ruman and Esther Muir.

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