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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And you thought The Matrix had the best chase scene ever!
I would agree with the other reviewers; this is not the Marx Brothers' best film. ( see Night at the Opera! ) but it does have plenty of moments which put it up there with the top 3 or 4.
The sheer unpredictability is what makes this film great, from when Margaret Dumont gets in Flywheel's car, to the absolute comic genius of the funniest chase scenes i have ever...
Published on 9 Dec. 2003 by Paolo

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars NO WOOGIE BOOGIE ON THIS PIANO
'The Big Store' whilst not a classic Marx movie (spoiled again by other actors taking up valuable Marx space) but it is a Marx Brothers film and consequently deserves a look on that merit alone. It has some great moments in it particulary 'the chase scene' When I was a 6 year old I remember splitting my sides laughing at 'the chase scene', now many years later with...
Published on 13 Oct. 2000


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars NO WOOGIE BOOGIE ON THIS PIANO, 13 Oct. 2000
By A Customer
'The Big Store' whilst not a classic Marx movie (spoiled again by other actors taking up valuable Marx space) but it is a Marx Brothers film and consequently deserves a look on that merit alone. It has some great moments in it particulary 'the chase scene' When I was a 6 year old I remember splitting my sides laughing at 'the chase scene', now many years later with computer affects in all movies 'the chase scene' looks a little dated but is still good for a laugh. Groucho plays Wolf J Flywheel Private Eye and Mangy Lover. Harpo plays his eager assistant - the movie's best piece I believe is when Margaret Dumont goes to Flywheels 'Office' to hire him as a bodyguard! Worth the price of admission alone. The Brothers made 13 films, this one would rate outside the top 6.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And you thought The Matrix had the best chase scene ever!, 9 Dec. 2003
By 
Paolo (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
I would agree with the other reviewers; this is not the Marx Brothers' best film. ( see Night at the Opera! ) but it does have plenty of moments which put it up there with the top 3 or 4.
The sheer unpredictability is what makes this film great, from when Margaret Dumont gets in Flywheel's car, to the absolute comic genius of the funniest chase scenes i have ever scene. It knits together perfectly as the various characters find themselves chasing or chased in various different situations. You have to admire both the writing and the ability of Groucho to turn 180 degrees on a unicycle!
Of course, the musical numbers are a bit of a pain, but this is certainly not out of the ordinary for a Marx Bros film is it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The worst Marx Brothers movie? Easy, "The Big Store", 18 Feb. 2005
By 
Lawrance Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
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By the time you get to "The Big Store" in working your way through the comedies of the Marx Brothers you need to remind yourself that Harpo joined the group and turned "The Three Nightingales" into "The Four Nightingales" in 1908, twenty-one years before they made their first movie, "The Cocoanuts." That is why by the time we get to "The Big Store," their tenth film in 1941 (I am not counting their 1926 silent comedy "Humor Risk") it is rather painfully obvious it is time to break up the act, but you also have to lament what great comedy was lost because talking pictures were not developed a decade earlier. Because this is the Marx Brothers, there are a few choice moments, but certainly nothing compared to what they were doing at the height of their career in "Duck Soup" and "A Night at the Opera."
The story in "The Big Store" has young Tommy Rogers (Tony Martin) hoping to open up his own music conservatory with Ravelli (Chico). To raise money he sells his shares of the department store that he and his aunt, Martha Phelps (Margaret Dumont) own. The problem is that Mr. Grover (Douglass Dumbrille), the store manager, is trying to steal the store for himself and he has a group of thugs attack Tommy. So Mrs. Phelps hires a private detective, Wolf J. Flywheel (Groucho) to help out, as if this could possibly be a good thing. Harpo plays a character named Wacky (really), and Virginia Grey is Joan Sutton, the requisite love interest for Tommy.
If you want a simple explanation for why "The Big Store" is a step down from the Marx Brothers' previous film, "Go West," then look no farther than the script. Buster Keaton had worked on "Go West," and there is no way he would not have helped with this one, which had a story by Nat Perrin that was then turned into a screenplay by Sid Kuller, Hal Fimberg, and Ray Golden. At this point you can only fondly recall that Marx Brothers movies used to be written by the likes of George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby. Besides, while the setting of a department store worked fine for Charlie Chaplin in "Modern Times," it does not suit the anarchy of the Marx Brothers, which fares much better when it is set in a college, on an ocean liner, or at the opera house.
Then there are the songs that Tony Martin keeps singing, where the longest, "The Tenement Symphony," is certainly the worst. When Chico finally gets around to playing "Mama Yo Quiero" on the piano you can finally relax a bit. Like the music, the romantic subplot gets in the way of the Brothers Marx as well. No wonder Groucho announced publicly that "The Big Store" would be the final film for the Marx Brothers. This is their low point and if you gave me the choice of wiping "The Big Store" from human memory along with the small measure of redemption the Marx Brothers achieved in 1946 when they filmed "A Night in Casablanca," then I think I would be willing to delete both movies.
There are some moments worth from the Marx Brothers that justify watching this movie once. The scene where Flywheel first meets with Mrs. Phelps is the last good moment between Groucho and Dumont, and watching Flywheel and Ravelli try to sell "modern" bunk beds is also pretty good. The big chase scene at the end has its moments as well. But then Tony Martin keeps popping up to sing those songs and you just have to fast-forward or lose your mind. I know that the original formula for a Marx Brothers show, whether on stage or in the movies, was to combine comedy with music and romance. But when a movie makes you extol the long lost virtues of Zeppo Marx as a leading man, you know something is horribly wrong.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Big Store-y, 25 Oct. 2002
By A Customer
Although not a huge Marx Bros. fan - I was in stitches watching this piece of comic genius. Shot in Black and white, and not at all hi-tech adds to the charm and appeal of this film. The incredibly witty script is only enhanced by the sheer volume of visual humour - in particular the client scene in Wolf J Flywheels office!
Don't be put off by the volume of musical numbers either. The main one I would urge you to look out for is the 'Rock-a-bye-baby' number, I defy anyone not to be holding their sides in raptures by the end of it.
Overall, a fantastic film. Even for a Marx novice!
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5.0 out of 5 stars the Big Store (1941) VHS, 20 Oct. 2013
By 
A. Cooke - See all my reviews
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Loved the film...however there was a slight glitch on the sound of the tape. I tried to track it in...this may be temporily I don't know? But I'm still glad to have the film in my collection. Clever stuff!
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1.0 out of 5 stars great songs from tony martin, 15 Nov. 2013
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Mr. Ar Bertrand (jersey channel islands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Big Store (DVD)
i do not understand how people cannot like the songs in this film, i think tenement symphony and if its you by tony martin are superb the dvd is worth the money just for those
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4.0 out of 5 stars marx bros, 10 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Big Store [1941] (DVD)
Classic comedy! If you like the marx brothers then this wont disappoint! Clever, fast paced, laughter throughout! one to add to your collection
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 9 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The Big Store (DVD)
not the best marx movie but the chase scene brill,good quick delivery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 28 Dec. 2014
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Mrs. P. Kelly - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Big Store (DVD)
Great
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5.0 out of 5 stars good, 12 July 2014
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good
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