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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Cocoanuts (1929)



Reviews and Comments

The Marx Brothers' first film was this early sound effort -- so early that the kinks still hadn't been worked out of the medium. (Watch out for scenes containing maps, newspapers, and other paper items -- they're all soaked in water to keep them from rustling in the primitive microphones.) But the four Marx Brothers do a fine job working around the technical shortcomings by unleashing their customarily irreverent barrage of wit. Groucho's one-liners are delivered so fast you can't stop to laugh at any one punchline, and Harpo eats up the set...literally. Although their best work was still to come, The Cocoanuts has an energy and freshness that, regrettably, wore off over the years.