The Marx Brothers take on high society. Two lovers who are both in opera are prevented from being together by the man's lack of acceptance as an operatic tenor. Pulling several typical Marx Brothers' stunts, they arrange for the normal tenor to be absent so that the young lover can get his chance.Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is the first The Marx Brothers movie in which Harpo Marx does not wear his signature overcoat, a costume designed to conceal many of his trademark props for physical comedy. See more »
Tomasso slips a violoncello part to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" into the clarinet book for "Il Trovatore." A clarinetist would be unable to read, let alone play, a violoncello part. See more »
The gentleman has not arrived yet?
No, he has not.
I'm afraid the dinner will be spoiled.
Otis B. Driftwood:
What difference does it make? It's too late to dine now.
Otis B. Driftwood:
Otis B. Driftwood:
Will you page Mr. Otis B. Driftwood, please? Mister Otis B. Driftwood.
Paging Mr. Driftwood! Mr. Driftwood!
[Driftwood's dinner companion giggles out loud]
Mr. Driftwood! Mr. Driftwood!
[...] See more »
All references to the first portion of the film taking place in Italy were edited from the original negative sometime after the original release. There is speculation that this was done during WWII when Italy was as Axis power, but it also may have been done in the late 1930's to appease Mussolini, who didn't like the way Italians were being portrayed. Either way, the film's first scene begins rather abruptly and is missing a musical number and references to Milan, Italy. See more »
The best Marx Brothers film, the best comedy, the best everything
"A Night at the Opera" is one of those films you can see dozens of times and laugh just as hard as you did the first time. The brothers get mixed up with an opera company and a divo and diva in love - Allan Jones and Kitty Carlisle, and trying to get the two to perform together.
The one-liners come so fast - you keep thinking you'll remember them, but one is funnier than the next. I do remember what Groucho says when he sees the gypsy Azucena in the opera, however. "How would you like to feel how she looks?" The stateroom scene is, of course, a classic, and my favorite part is when Groucho tells the housekeeper, "I want two pillows on that bed" and Harpo sound asleep and being moved everywhere, including onto a tray of food.
But nothing beats the last half hour - the performance of "Il Trovatore" with Harpo using the stage ropes like Tarzan, and Chico playing baseball in the orchestra while Groucho sells peanuts. They have replaced part of the overture with "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
Allan Jones plays the tenor Ricardo Baroni who is hoping for his break. Why they cast the blond Jones as a tenor named Baroni - well, there you go. He sings very well and is quite handsome. Kitty Carlisle is the diva waiting, petite and pretty and singing music out of her vocal type, with the exception of "Alone." "Stridono lassu" and Leonora in Trovatore were both much too heavy for her. She does sing well and what a woman - she's still alive and recently performed at a New York supper club recently at the age of 95.
The only problem with any Marx Brothers film is that when they aren't in front of the camera, suddenly their films become very slow. Because I was trained in opera and have some interest in it, this was less the case than with some of their other films. They were too magical, too energetic, and too darn funny to ever share a spotlight with anyone else. Thank goodness they did, though, as they left us with many treasures. This is one.
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