Review: ‘Go West’

The three Marx Bros ride a merry trail of laughs and broad burlesque in a speedy adventure through the sagebrush country. Story is only a slight framework on which to parade the generally nonsensical antics of the trio.

The three Marx Bros ride a merry trail of laughs and broad burlesque in a speedy adventure through the sagebrush country. Story is only a slight framework on which to parade the generally nonsensical antics of the trio.

Attracted to the wide open spaces by tales of gold lining the street, Chico, Harpo, and Groucho get involved in ownership of a deed to property wanted by the railroad for its western extension, and the action flashes through typical dance hall, rumbling stagecoach and desert waste episodes – with a wild train ride for a climax to outwit the villains.

Material provided by tightly knit script is topnotch while direction by Edward Buzzell smacks over the gags and comedy situations for maximum laughs. The Marxes secured pre-production audience reaction through tour of key picture houses trying out various sequences, which undoubtedly aided in tightening the action and dialog.

Groucho, Chico and Harpo handle their assignments with zestful enthusiasm. There’s a bill-changing routine in Grand Central Station, wild melee and clowning in the rolling stagecoach, a comedy safe-cracking episode, and the train chase for a finish that winds up with the upper car structures dismantled by the silent Harpo to provide fuel for the engine. It’s all ridiculous, but tuned for fun.

Go West

Production

M-G-M. Director Edward Buzzell; Producer Jack Cummings; Screenplay Irving Brecher; Camera Leonard Smith; Editor Blanche Sewell; Music Georgie Stoll (dir.); Art Director Cedric Gibbons, Stan Rogers

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1940. Running time: 79 MIN.

With

Groucho Marx Harpo Marx Chico Marx John Carroll Diana Lewis Walter Woolf King
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