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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Night At The Opera (1935)

A shyster (Groucho Marx) talks a wealthy social climber (Margaret Dumont) into investing in an opera company and thus paving her way into society. Directed by Sam Wood (GOODBYE MR. CHIPS), this is my favorite Marx Brothers comedy. I love Groucho and he's pure gold here. I'm less enthusiastic about the antics of his brothers, Chico and Harpo. Harpo's mime act has always seemed too precious to me and Chico overworks the Italian accent. But they're less offensive here than usual. The big flies in the ointment are the two juvenile romantic leads, Allan Jones and Kitty Carlisle who also sing and their musical interludes drag the movie down. But in the end, it's a small price to pay for Groucho's zingers and such classic scenes as the jammed stateroom aboard ship (which has been borrowed endlessly) and the hilarious hotel room sequences. You may never view grand opera the same way again! The film is a significant change from their Paramount period which many fans prefer. With Sig Ruman and Robert Emmett O'Connor.  

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