Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. USA, 1933. Paramount Pictures. Story by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, additional dialogue by Arthur Sheekman, Nat Perrin. Cinematography by Henry Sharp. Produced by Herman J. Mankiewicz. Music by John Leipold. Production Design by Hans Dreier, Wiard Ihnen. Film Editing by LeRoy Stone.
This is definitely one of the most popular, beloved comedies starring the Marx Brothers. In it, Groucho plays a citizen of Freedonia who is suddenly catapulted to national domination when a wealthy widow (Margaret Dumont) allows the state to borrow vast sums of her money provided they put him in charge of government. Louis Calhern plays the ambassador from Sylvania who decides to start a war that he hopes will result in his ruling both nations. Also featuring the hilarious comic hijinx of Chico and Harpo and the straight-man patience of Zeppo, this movie is so funny you might just have to watch it twice to catch the stuff you missed the first time. Oddly enough, this wise political allegory was ignored by critics and audiences when first released, but has since been labelled an absolute classic.