The Marxes second film is an even more uncinematic production than their first ("The Cocoanuts"). The camera barely moves throughout the picture, and matters are not helped at all by the fact that the print is in fairly poor condition, with entire frames missing from several scenes. And, as usual, the film contains far too much music. Nevertheless, the brothers (and especially Harpo and Chico, who in my opinion have all the funniest scenes) are amazingly lively for a 1930 film, and they make it worth seeing after all. (**1/2)
Animal Crackers (1930) 720p YIFY Movie
Animal Crackers (1930)
Animal Crackers is a movie starring Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, and Chico Marx. Mayhem and zaniness ensue when a valuable painting goes missing during a party in honor of famed African explorer Captain Spaulding.
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The Synopsis for Animal Crackers (1930) 720p
Captain Spaulding, the noted explorer, returns from Africa and attends a gala party held by Mrs. Rittenhouse. A painting displayed at that party is stolen, and the Marxes help recover it. Well, maybe 'help' isn't quite the word I was looking for--this is the Marx Brothers, after all...
The Director and Players for Animal Crackers (1930) 720p
The Reviews for Animal Crackers (1930) 720p
Flawed early Marx comedy.Reviewed bygridoonVote: 7/10
I've always found it very hard to see the attraction of the Marx canon ? Marx Brothers, that is. Their act seems to me to be of the kind that one is likely to be treated to by gifted amateurs at a party, delivered with an understandably embarrassed smile.
This installment is an operetta of sorts, with nouveau riche protagonists and singing staff, plus a chorus line of morons in swimsuits. The jokes are all delivered at breakneck speed, but not fast enough for my taste ? you can still catch most of them.
When they are not just silly puns, they're mild insults, requiring the various straight men and women to constantly register amusement, consternation and disorientation, instead of ending a pointless and boring conversation.
Well, one of these guys plays the piano, and another the harp, with the usual dire consequences for a captive audience, and they also seem to have prepared a few routines for our polite amusement.
The action (if you can call it that) conveniently takes place at such a party, where three identical paintings are being switched, stolen and returned ? simply riveting.
The guy with the mustache is supposedly so charming that the hostess finds him irresistible in spite of his constant derogatory remarks on her appearance and age and his designs on her money.
"Captain Spaulding," she exclaims, "you stand before me as one of the bravest men of all time!" So he stands before her.
Then there's a funny Italian and a bisexual rapist in a curly wig. None of these disgusting people ever seem to outstay their welcome at the house, although as far as I'm concerned they outstayed it just before the main titles.
"If I had any brains, I'd get a regular job," the leading man muses. I think I can safely say that goes for the entire cast.
The only marginally funny scene is a parody of Eugene O'Neill, who used to have even worse material. Let's face it: This can be of interest only to complete idiots and Woody Allen.
Animal Crackers was the second of two Broadway shows that starred the Marx Brothers and was done at the Paramount Astoria Studios. After they went to Hollywood, with the exception of Room Service, all their material was original for the screen.
The Brothers were doing Animal Crackers on Broadway in 1928-1929 and it had a respectable run of 191 performances. In fact while they were doing Animal Crackers on stage, for a part of 1929 they were shooting The Cocoanuts at the Astoria Studios. Unlike The Cocoanuts, nearly the entire Broadway cast was used in the film, with the exception of the juveniles, Lillian Roth and Hal Thompson. Also unlike The Cocoanuts nearly the entire Bert Kalmar-Harry Ruby score was discarded with the notable exception of Groucho's immortal theme Hooray for Captain Spalding. Kalmar and Ruby did write the ballad that Roth and Thompson sing, Why Am I So Romantic for the screen version.
Margaret Dumont as Mrs. Rittenhouse of the Long Island horsey set is throwing a party and the guest of honor is Groucho with his secretary Zeppo as Captain Spalding. Crashing the party is Chico and Harpo.
But not only is Captain Spalding on display, Dumont is giving an unveiling of a famous painting for which two people have brought copies for different purposes. Of course the original does get stolen and there's no use me going on any further because the plot just dissolves with the various monkeyshines engaged in by the Marx Brothers.
My favorite bits are Groucho when he does a devastating lampoon on Eugene O'Neill's Strange Interlude. It turned out to be too good a satire because when the play made it to the screen two years later, no one took it seriously.
Secondly is Chico and Harpo, mercilessly threatening to expose hoity toity art critic Louis Sorin who they knew back in the day as Abie the Fishman. Actually that's kind of sad in a way because Sorin may be a snob now, but he did in fact educate himself out of peddling fish and rose in an honorable to a legitimate living. But you don't think about that while Chico and Harpo are doing their thing.
Although like The Cocoanuts it's a photographed stage play, Animal Crackers works a whole lot better. The play itself was primarily on one set on the stage and it transitions better to the screen than The Cocoanuts did.
The brothers are at their most anarchistic and zany here, try not to miss it.