The Big Store (1941)

CHARLES REISNER

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BB

USA, 1941.  .  Original story by , Screenplay by , , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by , , , George Stoll.  Production Design by Cedric Gibbons.  Film Editing by .

One of the least memorable Marx Brothers comedies is this choppy adventure that takes place in a department store. The boys get involved in the sale of a store that is thwarted by greedy crooks who don’t want the recently successful crooner () who owns a share to sell his part and make off with the cash. Martin’s family senses the possibility of danger to his person from the bad guys and hire a store detective in the form of , who as you can imagine is fantastic at protecting the premises while also enjoying the comforts of the various departments. The scene where he is found sleeping in the bedding department is a riot, but there is also too much ridiculously stereotyped racist humour to make the film palatable for today’s viewer. Delightful performances ( and get to do some music, which is always great to watch), and Groucho has his usual brilliant lines, but don’t expect much.

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