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  • The Marx Brothers: A Night At The Opera [VHS]
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The Marx Brothers: A Night At The Opera [VHS]


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Product details

  • Actors: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Kitty Carlisle, Allan Jones
  • Directors: Edmund Goulding, Sam Wood
  • Writers: Al Boasberg, Bert Kalmar, Buster Keaton, Carey Wilson, George Oppenheimer
  • Format: VHS
  • Language: English, Italian
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Warner
  • VHS Release Date: 5 Jun. 2000
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CJMS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,954 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Classic comedy from the Marx Brothers. Otis B. Driftwood (Groucho Marx) is an irreverent shyster attempting to persuade the wealthy Mrs Claypool (Margaret Dumont) to invest in an opera company who are putting on a production of 'La Traviata'. His dealings are thwarted by the attempts of stagehands Fiorelli (Chico Marx) and Tomasso (Harpo Marx) to advance the careers of two young singers in the company (Allan Jones and Kitty Carlisle). This was the Brothers' MGM debut, their first film without Zeppo and their biggest ever hit.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Mar. 2002
Format: VHS Tape
I never tire of watching this film. With Groucho's ceaseless one liners so beautifully timed and delivered with Chico, Harpo and Margaret Dumont, Chico's piano playing, Harpo's exquisite playing of the harp, Alan Jones and Kitty Carlisle singing Verdi's Il Trovatore, the Marx Brothers were years ahead of their time. They were the forerunners of the Goons, Python, Blackadder, Derek and Clive and every other alternative comedy team and duo since. The jokes come as fast as an avalance running down a mountain. Anyone who has ever seen this film must marvel at the Stateroom Scene with all those people (and hard boiled eggs!!) in that tiny room or as Groucho said 'there was more room in his trunk than in the room', then the fabulous ending when all those people were in there and Margaret Dumont opens the door and they all fall out. I first saw this as a child and laughed myself silly, I still feel the same 40 years later, the jokes may be a little dated now but they still work. For me the Marx Brothers were total comic geniuses and in today's world would be revered and greatly loved as Monty Python and the Goons are. The humour might not be to everyones taste but it certainly is to mine. If you like "screwball" comedy then you will love this. I have seen all their other films but A Night At The Opera is my favourite one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Jan. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I think this probably my favourite Marx Brothers film with its cross-Atlantic cruise and the affectionate send-up of opera. It is a very useful film to have available if you badly need to laugh.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Mar. 2000
Format: VHS Tape
'A Night at the Opera' is my favourite Marx Brothers film - though I've only seen four so far, so I haven't come to a final decision! Chico, Harpo and Groucho star as Fiorello, Tomasso and Otis P. Driftwood respectively - three dodgy characters who team up with a failing young opera singer in order to help him win both fame on the stage and the hand of his sweetheart. The plot, as ever, is a mere excuse for the brothers to spend an hour or so just messing around. Groucho is Driftwood, nominally an aspiring social climber with the rich Mrs. Claypool (Margaret Dumont) in his sights (he quips "I saw Mrs Claypool first. Of course, her mother really saw her first but there's no point in bringing the Civil War into this..."), while Chico and Harpo play two Italian stowaways with nothing better to do than 'assist' Groucho's character. This film is really funny and contains far too many jokes to digest in one viewing. Also, it's worth noting that there's currently a two-film video available on Amazon, containing both this film and 'A Day at the Races' for roughly the same price - check it out.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Dec. 2000
Format: VHS Tape
As a new comer to the Marx brothers I can safely say that this is one of the funniest things I've seen in years. Myself and my friends never tire of quoting from this piece of silver screen, I severly recommend this to anyone who wants to laugh and not be dragged down by some of todays morally loaded films and get back to the root of cinema...to entertain!!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Nov. 2000
Format: VHS Tape
If you have never seen a Marx brothers film before, this is the perfect place to start. It has all the characteristics of any of their movies. Groucho's witty one-liners, Harpo's energetic miming and Chico's.... well he's just funny. The rewind button on my remote control had been worn out by the time the film had finished. The opening night at the opera slayed me, with Harpo swinging on the ropes backstage. The plot is that Groucho persuades Mrs Claypoole ( a rich widow, played by Margerate Dumont - as usual ) to donate money to the opera house. He and his bros, after being smuggled into the country, set about sabotaging the opera in order to give an aspiring singer his big break. Alright, it's not that complex, but you don't have to be a genius to understand any Marx Brothers plot. That is the beauty of it. The musical numbers do drag on a bit, but this IS an opera! This film is the Marx Brothers at their best. Do you follow me? Yes? Well stop following me or i'll have you arrested! ( Groucho at his most romantic. ) A MUST FOR ANY MARX BROTHERS FAN - AND EVERYONE ELSE BESIDES.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Mar. 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I have been watching this film on a regular basis since I was 3 years old. Now in my twenties I still jump at the chance to see it. Every time I watch it I pick up on a new joke, an extra subtlety, another twitch of Groucho's great eyebrows. I will never stop laughing as long as this film exists. If there were more than five stars, I wouldn't hesitate to award them. JUST WATCH IT! PLEASE!
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Format: DVD
A Night at the Opera is terribly weak compared to either the brilliant Duck Soup or Animal Crackers.

Duck Soup was all Marx Brothers and Animal Crackers only had a little of the pointless and lame other actors / "characters". A Night at the Opera is the Marx Brothers emasculated. Even when Groucho is spouting, the lines are poor. A reviewer here is very fond of the "sanity claus / santa claus" joke. A crack like this is a dime a dozen in the other two aforementioned movies.

Duck Soup or Animal Crackers are the Marx Brothers able to play at the top of their game. Did the Hayes office water down the script? Did the studio manoeuvre the Brothers into this utterly dull plot format? Duck Soup is wonderfully subversive, taking swipes at politics, and masterfully anarchic. Each of the Brothers is at their best. What an utter let down A Night at the Opera is in comparison.

How can the other reviewers here like this film so much? Haven't they seen the other two I mention? Do these two baffle or offend them? Do they need staid convention to make it palatable? It's bizarre.
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