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The Marx Brothers: Animal Crackers [VHS]

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, The Marx Brothers, Zeppo Marx
  • Directors: Victor Heerman
  • Writers: Bert Kalmar, George S. Kaufman, Harry Ruby, Morrie Ryskind, Pierre Collings
  • Format: VHS
  • Language: English
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: 4 Front
  • VHS Release Date: 8 Jan. 2001
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000054208
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 469,090 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

The Marx Brothers' second film is an adaptation of their Broadway hit. Mrs Rittenhouse (Margaret Dumont) is throwing a high society party, at which African explorer Jeffrey T. Spaulding (Groucho Marx) is the guest of honour. When a valuable painting is stolen from the house, Spaulding teams up with Italian musician Emanual Ravelli (Chico Marx) and the eccentric Professor (Harpo Marx) to track down the thieves - in between trading insults with their fellow guests and generally creating mayhem!

From Amazon.co.uk

This second Marx Brothers classic has Groucho playing Captain Spaulding (an inside joke pertaining to a renowned Hollywood drug pusher), whose song "Hooray for Captain Spaulding" became his signature anthem. Despite its staginess, it has some hilarious gags as the boys try to solve the mystery of a stolen painting among the high-society crowd. Some of the highlights include Groucho's African lecture about shooting an elephant in his pajamas, and a wacky card game between Harpo, Chico, and the always-gullible Margaret Dumont. The musical interludes here don't seem as awkward as in later films. It's really quite charming watching Chico and Harpo show off their graceful talents. --Bill Desowitz --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
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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By A Customer on 29 Jan. 2001
Format: VHS Tape
"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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Another cracker from the Marx Brothers, daft but funny story revolving widely around a 'sort of' plot. It might be old but it still makes you laugh. I'm still not sure what the title has to do with the film, but hey ho, it's still worth watching especially if all the gloom and doom are getting you down and you want cheering up and need a giggle or two!
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Format: 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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By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 April 2015
Format: DVD
Originally released in 1930, Animal Crackers was the Marx Brother's second film, and another that translated one of their musical comedies onto the big screen.

At the home of wealthy society woman Mrs. Rittenhouse [Groucho's almost regular foil Margaret Dumont] there's a party going on. Where a valuable painting will be unveiled. Guests include the famous African explorer Captain Spaulding [Groucho] musicians Ravelli and the Professor [Chico and Harpo]. And others who have their eye on the painting for various reasons.

Chaos and romance and a hunt for missing art ensue.

Being a direct translation of the stage play onto the screen means it's longer than their later films, which were especially written for the big screen. But it comes from their earlier movies with Paramount, which are generally held in higher regard as they emphasised the chaos.

It's a little overlong. And it's a very old film now, so it can feel a little bit dated. You could also, as ever, easily do without the musical interludes. But there are great set pieces and some amazingly clever wordplay plus some excellent physical comedy. The picture quality is very good. The audio is a little weak at points, but never enough to make it a problem.

Not the best Marx Brothers movie all in all, but still a classic piece of screen comedy, and it should be in every film fan's collection.

The dvd has no extras.

The language and subtitle options are as follows:

Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish.

Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Greek, Turkish, Portugese, Russian.
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