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Horse Feathers (Marx Brothers Comedy) [VHS]

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, The Marx Brothers, Zeppo Marx
  • Directors: Norman Z. McLeod
  • Writers: Arthur Sheekman, Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, S.J. Perelman, Will B. Johnstone
  • Producers: Herman J. Mankiewicz
  • Format: VHS, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: 4 Front
  • VHS Release Date: 8 Jan. 2001
  • Run Time: 63 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004WDE2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 320,065 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

The Marx Brothers' fourth film sees them creating havoc on campus in a high school college comedy. The new president of Huxley college, Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff (Groucho) soon sets about attending to important school business; namely, winning the school their first football game since 1888. On the advice of his son (Zeppo), he enters a local speakeasy, intending to bribe a couple of professional players to make the college team. What he ends up with instead are inept dog catcher Harpo and ice delivery man Chico. However, the duo prove invaluable when Wagstaff becomes romantically involved with the scheming Connie Bailey (Thelma Todd), a college widow who is secretly in league with Huxley's chief rivals, Darwin!

From Amazon.co.uk

Imagine Groucho as the president of a college and Harpo and Chico as football players. It doesn't get much wackier than this. Horse feathers, indeed. Groucho is hilarious to watch as a hip professor. He's at his most rebellious singing "Whatever it is, I'm against it". Thelma Todd does some of her best vamping to help fix the big football game, which Harpo and Chico are supposed to throw. Naturally, the brothers have other ideas. For sheer laughter, this has to rate almost as high as Duck Soup, with the memorable speakeasy sequence, and the funniest football finale of all time, complete with banana peels and a chariot. --Bill Desowitz

Customer Reviews

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Format: VHS Tape
The Marx brothers fourth film is an avalanche of comic invention. Groucho plays a proffessor brought in to save a struggling college. He enlists the aid of Harpo and Chico, a bootlegger and a dog-catcher, to win the college football game, under the impression that they are professional football players. The three of them then proceed to chase seals, fire pea-shooters at each other, flirt with the college widow and do impersonations of Ben Hur before the glorious finale. Groucho with his frenetic wisecracking, Harpo with his silent surrealism, and Chico with his skewed brilliance combine to make this one of the Marx brothers funniest films.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This might be an old film, but it made me laugh more than some recent 'comedies' I have seen. No real plot to speak of, as usual, and I don't know what the title has to do with it either, but who cares? Very daft, but very enjoyable. Great stuff.
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By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Mar. 2014
Format: DVD
Another of the early comedies from the Marx Brothers, Vaudeville stars turned movie stars in the 1930's with their unique brand of comedy.

Moustachioed cigar smoking insult man Groucho.

Fast talking ladies man Chico.

Grinning silent crazy guy Harpo.

And straight man Zeppo.

Horse Feathers, their fourth movie, sees Groucho as the new president of a college. Which hasn't won a football game in a long time. With a big match coming up, his attempt to buy new players results in Baravellli [Chico] and his partner Pinky [Harpo] teaming up with the president to see if they can change the college's run of bad results.

Unknown to them, the college widow Connie Bailey [Thelma Todd, who also played opposite Groucho in their previous film, and who died not long after in somewhat suspicious circumstances] is part of a betting scam and desperate to get her hands on the team's football signals so...

Oh, who cares about the plot? Marx Brothers films always had rather loose ones they could use to string a series of set piece routines together. And the best of these routines are superb. From the speakeasy password to a schoolroom pea shooter shoot-out, to a very memorable football match, and some very good songs, this is classic chaotic Marx Brothers comedy.

Containing the usual harp and piano playing sequences, this is notable for being the only film in which Groucho played his instrument of choice. The guitar. And a wonderful moment of fourth wall breaking when he expresses his [actual] opinion on the musical moments.

This is a very old movie now, and some may find it dated. But others will find it timeless. The quality of the wordplay and the dialogue is second to none and comes from masters of the comedic craft.
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By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 13 Sept. 2004
Format: DVD
When I was young, I really didn't understand the comedy of the Marx Brothers. Now that I'm grown, I still don't understand a lot of it. I love Groucho and his endless supply of witty one-liners, but some of his bits in this film still just go right by me. Chico and his richly comedic language are always good, and I've even grown to like most of Harpo's antics, but somehow, when you put everything together, I'm left shaking my head every so often. I think the main obstacle in my enjoyment of a movie like this is the lack of continuity in the story. Most of the time, the plot is no more than incidental to the comedy. They certainly don't make movies like this anymore, so I have a hard time getting into the proper Marx Brothers mindset.
In Horse Feathers, Groucho plays Professor Waxhaw, the new president of Huxley College; his son (played by Zeppo) is following in the family footsteps of concentrating on a college widow when he should be concentrating on more important things - such as football. Professor Waxhaw decides that the Huxley team simply must beat Darwin, its primary rival. He takes his son's advice and hires a couple of football players who hang out at the speakeasy - well, actually he really recruits Chico and Harpo. Waxhaw also takes an active approach to teaching, and his takeover of the anatomy class makes for the funniest scene in the film (it degenerates into a spitball fight). All the guys hit on the widow woman Waxhaw's son is stuck on, not knowing she (Thelma Todd) is in cahoots with the Darwin team and is trying to steal Huxley's football signals. After a most unsuccessful attempt by Chico and Harpo to kidnap Darwin's two best players, we get to the big game.
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