Classic Movie 2019

Classic Movie Of The Week: Night At The Opera (1935)

Starring: Marx Brothers, Kitty Carlisle, Allan Jones

Director: Sam Wood

A shrewd manager and his friends (Groucho and the Marx brothers) befriend two opera singers (Carlisle and Jones) and plan to take them all the way to the top. But just like the course of romance, a Marx Brothers plot never did run smooth. There are mix ups and mishaps, and many a snob is offended and lampooned along the way to stardom for these two.

The brothers are in excellent form in this film, where their timing and delivery could not be better. I love that you’ll find yourself laughing as much at a witty rejoinder from Groucho, who has such an excellent way with words, as you will at the antics and general physical comedy. It’s like a gift that keeps on giving.

One of the most famous sequences in this film is one in which a small ships cabin is invaded by everyone. It’s hard to describe, but all the people ramming themselves into the space and going about their business is just wonderful.

I have to admit, I lost the thread of the plot a few times, in outline, the two singers want to be together, but there’s a third guy who feels jilted and wants to stall their careers. But I guess in a film like this, the plot is just a thread, a nice long bit of string to hang things on and to give the Marx brothers room to do their thing. And they do it so well. This is considered one of their best, and with good reason.

See It If: with a nice mix of physical and verbal comedy, this is not only a classic Marx brothers film of the finest order, but also one of classic Hollywood’s best comedies too.


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