The 4 Marx Brothers at Paramount: 1929-1933

1933
  |  398 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC

Synopsis

Collection of five classic Marx Brothers films. In 'The Cocoanuts' (1929), Hammer (Groucho Marx) is the fast-talking owner of a Florida hotel, hoping to make a fortune by persuading wealthy society matron Mrs Potter (Margaret Dumont) and her daughter Polly (Mary Eaton) to invest in the local land boom. He is aided and abetted by a pair of inept conmen (Chico Marx and Harpo Marx) and desk clerk Jamison (Zeppo Marx). However, the quartet soon become distracted from their task when they are recruited to help Polly's sweetheart Bob (Oscar Shaw) prove his innocence after he is wrongfully accused of stealing Mrs Potter's jewels. In 'Animal Crackers' (1930), Mrs Rittenhouse (Dumont) is throwing a high society party, at which African explorer Jeffrey T. Spaulding (Groucho) is the guest of honour. When a valuable painting is stolen from the house, Spaulding teams up with Italian musician Emanual Ravelli (Chico) and the eccentric Professor (Harpo) to track down the thieves. 'Monkey Business' (1931) features the brothers as stowaways aboard a luxury ocean liner. While Groucho, Chico and Harpo create mayhem attempting to escape the clutches of the captain and crew, Zeppo embarks on a romance with Mary Helton (Ruth Hall) - daughter of retired gangster Joe Helton (Rockcliffe Fellowes). When rival gang leader Alky Briggs (Harry Woods) hatches a plot to kidnap Mary and hold her to ransom, it is up to the boys to save the day. In 'Horse Feathers' (1932), the new president of Huxley College, Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff (Groucho) sets about attending to important school business; namely, winning the school their first football game since 1888. On the advice of his son Frank (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 Pinky (Harpo) and ice delivery man Baravelli (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. Finally, in 'Duck Soup' (1933), Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho) is appointed president of Freedonia under the patronage of the wealthy Mrs Teasdale (Dumont) and sets about starting a war with neighbouring Sylvania. To this end he trades insults with Sylvanian ambassador Trentino (Louis Calhern), unaware that Trentino's spies Chicolini (Chico) and Pinky (Harpo) are already working to bring down Freedonia from within.