Horse Feathers (1932)

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The brothers join a college football team to beat their bitter rivals in an important game but vampish Thelma Todd does all she can to spoil their chances.

Following the formula of barely organised insanity and songs, Groucho supplies the wise cracks, Harpo and Chico the slapstick and Zeppo the dodgy acting and worse singing as per usual. Groucho’s constant one liners are amusing – although his partnership with Margaret DuMont is glaring in its absence – and he even takes time out to side with the audience and mock the musical interludes. Harpo’s slapstick is accordingly juvenile, but as is always the way with genuine comic genius, they manage to make even the weakest material funny. It barrels along with little thought to plot or logic and is really just a series of sketches, but it’s an always pleasantly amusing snapshot into an era long gone.

In any event, the Marx Brothers are always guaranteed to make me belly laugh at least a couple of times over the space of an hour.

7/10

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