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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Animal Crackers (1930)



Reviews and Comments

"Well, all the jokes can't be good -- you've got to expect that once in a while."

Weather the out-of-place and overlong musical number that opens this early Marx Brothers feature, and you'll be rewarded with near-nonstop hysteria. Groucho is his usual self, spouting wisecracks at a phenomenal rate in free, train-of-thought sequences. Chico does a lot of that too, as well as playing the foil to and partner-in-crime of Harpo, who chases women and puts the world in his pockets. And Zeppo is his usual romantic lead. It's not quite relentless -- there are a few scenes that lose steam midway through -- and not all the jokes work, as Groucho even admits with the quote above. But the laughs are so numerous, coming fast and furious, that you still have to quiet yourself for fear of missing the next gag. The bridge game scene, in particular, is a classic.