Review: ‘Monkey Business’

The usual Marx madhouse and plenty of laughs sprouting from a plot structure resembling one of those California bungalows which spring up over night.

The usual Marx madhouse and plenty of laughs sprouting from a plot structure resembling one of those California bungalows which spring up over night.

It starts with the foursome as stowaways on a class liner, and switches to shore as the quartet evenly divide up to become bodyguards for a couple of racketeers. Switch makes the only slow portion being like an intermission with the boys having to start all over again.

Leads to the kidnaping of one gangster’s daughter (Ruth Hall) from a masquerade ball, with the finish a free-for-all between Zeppo (the youngest) and the heavy in a barn as Groucho gags his way from rafter to rafter and in and out of the hay.

Harpo’s main sequence is a mix up in a Punch and Judy show evolving from a chase, while Groucho is always slipping through his double-meaning quips. Thelma Todd, a consistant eyeful, the subject of these cracks, with Rockcliffe Fellowes, who hasn’t been around in some time, and Harry Woods as the well-dressed gangsters.

Monkey Business

Production

Paramount. Director Norman Z. McLeod; Producer [uncredited]; Screenplay S.J. Perelman, Will B. Johnstone, Arthur Sheekman; Camera Arthur L. Todd; Editor [uncredited]; Music [uncredited]; Art Director [uncredited]

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1931. Running time: 78 MIN.

With

Groucho Marx Harpo Marx Chico Marx Zeppo Marx Thelma Todd Tom Kennedy
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