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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooray for Captain Spaulding!!!
The Paramount Marx movies are now regarded as perhaps their best, with particular praise going to "Duck Soup" and "Horse Feathers", but their first two pictures, based on Broadway stage hits, are often ignored - or, even worse, dismissed as "stagey". Surely that misses the point? Yes, "Cocoanuts" and "Animal Crackers"...
Published on 28 Jan 2001 by M. HICKMAN

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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad
Mrs Rittenhouse (Margaret Dumont) holds a society party at which Captain Spaulding (Groucho Marx) is the guest of honour and Roscoe Chandler (Louis Sorin) will unveil a painting. There are 2 fake paintings that also turn up at the house and the plot involves these 3 paintings being switched round.......the police are called as the valuable original seems to have gone...
Published on 16 Aug 2009 by Alex da Silva


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooray for Captain Spaulding!!!, 28 Jan 2001
By 
M. HICKMAN "Mike Hickman" (York, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The Paramount Marx movies are now regarded as perhaps their best, with particular praise going to "Duck Soup" and "Horse Feathers", but their first two pictures, based on Broadway stage hits, are often ignored - or, even worse, dismissed as "stagey". Surely that misses the point? Yes, "Cocoanuts" and "Animal Crackers" are stagey, but you don't have to read much about the Brothers to discover that much of their best work was lost to posterity - a Groucho ad lib heard once by an audience in New York and then lost to time. These films are about as near as we can get to seeing what the Brothers were like on stage and, while they are not nearly as ad libbed as some would have us believe, there are still some great moments. Moments that MGM would never have let them get away with. "Animal Crackers" improves on "The Cocoanuts" in many respects. The plot, of course, doesn't really matter all that much, but the quality of the humour certainly does. There is a much rougher round the edges feel to this than you might find in the MGM films. It may have been performed hundreds of times on Broadway, but it's done with such a freshness (probably due to the indecent haste with which the film was mounted and made) that at some points you could well be watching Groucho up there on the stage. Wondering what he's going to do next. What damage will the Brothers wreak on poor Roscoe W. Chandler? Will Margaret Dumont escape with her dignity intact? Surely...no!...surely Harpo is NOT going to engage in a mock wrestling match with her! And then, before you know it, yes he most definitely is. It's quite a trick to make something so rehearsed seem so spontaneous, but "Animal Crackers" pulls it off with elan. If you think "A Night at the Opera" can't be bettered, then try this - the same writers, similar plot devices but, at times, much, much funnier.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest and concise, 29 Jan 2001
By A Customer
"One morning I shot an Elephant in my pyjamas.How he got in my pyjamas I'll never know". This is just one joke from a film that will appeal to fans old & new.From the opening scenes where we're introduced to Capt.Spalding(Groucho)to the closing cutlery scene you're treated to jokes,visual gags and music of the highest calibre.If your a fan you know you won't be dissapointed.If its your first time give it a go ,if you don't laugh once you could well be dead.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Classic Old Fare, 2 July 2007
This review is from: The Marx Brothers: Animal Crackers [DVD] (DVD)
Judging by the script, you'd never believe that "Animal Crackers" is over seventy years old. Think of all the "postmodern" things that happen in this movie: Groucho directly addresses the audience to apologize for a bad joke; Harpo shoots a gun at a statue, only to see the statue come to life and return fire; and Margaret Dumont freezes in time while Groucho has a "strange interlude" and rambles to the audience about the perils of marriage and living with your folks! Of course, the absolutely ancient and decaying print will remind you that "Animal Crackers" is older than the hills, but otherwise, it's much fresher and weirder than the stuff that passes for comedy today.

Also remembered for the famous phrase,"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, 17 July 2013
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This review is from: The Marx Brothers: Animal Crackers [DVD] (DVD)
Having recently discovered Marx brothers, bought this expecting more laughs and was not disappointed. The slapstick is original and extremely funny and well acted.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't sharpen your tusks, they may get loose, 29 April 2008
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This review is from: The Marx Brothers: Animal Crackers [DVD] (DVD)
The depression is finally arrived and the Marx Brothers are having it easy more than ever, stealing silverware and paintings and anything they can set their fingers on. When the rich are living well, they know how to throw a party in their fancy homes and invite all kinds of funny characters that are nothing but funny and have absolutely nothing in common except their grotesqueness. But beware the musicians or artists you may invite because you may invite trouble more than music. And the four siblings are adding their touch of delirium tremens to that alco-hole which is no waterhole though there is no alcohol in this prohibition blind alley that is as dark as the wine cellar in which you keep the roof of the house for the chimneys not to get wet when it rains. And they play on the dumbness of one, I mean muteness though I do not reject dumbness for that Harpo the harpist that is as dumb as my thumb, and on the accents of the Chico who is a good pianist and mixes all kinds of linguistic idiosyncrasies, Italian, German, New Yorker, Jewish, except maybe black, and even so at times he is not that clear, especially when everything is alight and he wants to make them dark, or is it the other way round and everything is dark and he wants to make them alight, and he looks for a "flash" and gets across, right out of Harpo's pockets, the "flesh" of a cheek, a "fish", a "flask", a "flush" (of cards of course), a "flitz" of Fly-toxic fluid that will be used at the end of the film, an enchanted "flutz" with six holes that makes it a pipe, and he may even get to some more fluted or highfalutin objects, things or beings if he did not find the "flash"-light and lose it all over again at once. And we enter the labyrinth of all kinds of plays on words and puns and innuendo, of "bigamy" that is "big of me", "Uruguay" that is "going your-a-way and me mine", even the "small stakes" of the game of bridge come along with some "French-fried potatoes". And do not call three times for "three cheers" for anyone at all because the Harpo may bring you three chairs, and you may turn "colder than a Frigidaire", and if you have "quotes, unquotes, quotes," in other words three quotes, you just add "one more and you get a gallon", though that gallon may come along with "a moose", you know this little animal that "runs around on the floor, eats cheese and is chased by the cat," and you may even understand why "tusks are looser in Alabama" somewhere on the University of Alabama's campus in Tuscaloosa, which is another story. If finally you ask your own brother to provide you with "a parachute," he will probably abide by your wish if he knows "the parachute won't open," and you should think your wish over and check if you have a "pair of shoes" instead. At least these do not need to open for you to be able to walk. And the depression is completely contained in this motto: "One nickel carefully used would last a family a lifetime." And that is so because with what we today call inflation "a nickel is no longer what it used to be ten years ago," and even "fifteen years ago," to the point of the obligation we find ourselves in to invent the seven-cent nickel and even later an eight-cent nickel, which would enable a well husbanded family to buy a three cent newspaper with that eight-cent nickel and yet get the good old nickel back again to be used over and over again and again in a three-penny store, a way to rewrite the three-penny opera of some English tradition that had been revived in 1928 by Bertold Brecht in Germany. Brilliant. And at least some kind of rejuvenation for the nickel that has been in use unchanged for at least "one hundred years, since 1492" And the physical antics are just as crazy, repetitive and luminously hilarious as well as benightedly exhilarating. If you just manage to follow the rhythm of these four siblings, you will be in for a down slope going race that will look like a high dive and sound like a deep delve into the abysmal chasm of the ocean where you may find a dozen of ir-elephant elks convening for a symposium on the importance of being earnest about the true value of learning how to paint in Paris, sell fish in Czechoslovakia, or hunt tigers with a bag or a sack or a plain vanity case as for that in Africa. These Marx Brothers are more than brothers, they are a whole tribe of buffoons, clowns, fools, bunglers and blunderheads. I just stop at five not to reach Solomon's number.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love this film, 17 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Marx Brothers: Animal Crackers [DVD] (DVD)
Classic film and i just love the brothers making me laugh!! I'll be buying more of theirs too and laughing plenty
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad, 16 Aug 2009
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This review is from: The Marx Brothers: Animal Crackers [DVD] (DVD)
Mrs Rittenhouse (Margaret Dumont) holds a society party at which Captain Spaulding (Groucho Marx) is the guest of honour and Roscoe Chandler (Louis Sorin) will unveil a painting. There are 2 fake paintings that also turn up at the house and the plot involves these 3 paintings being switched round.......the police are called as the valuable original seems to have gone missing...

There are only 3 entertaining sections that last about 3 minutes each in this film: 1 - Chico playing the piano; 2 - Harpo dealing the cards at a Bridge game: 3 - Chico and Harpo hammering very loudly in the dark while trying to subtly steal the painting from the wall. That's your lot. The rest of the film is boring and it's too long. Margaret Dumont sounds like Anne Widdicombe, ie, she has a terrible voice and there is no real need for the insipid characters that play the romance story that runs simultaneously. Harpo has always creeped me out a little and that's what he does in this film. The brothers should have rehearsed something funny.......more practice needed....
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The Marx Brothers: Animal Crackers [DVD]
The Marx Brothers: Animal Crackers [DVD] by Victor Heerman (DVD - 2004)
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