Monkey Business (1931)


The brothers stowaway on board an ocean liner and get mixed up with a mobster trying to take over his old boss’ territory.

The usual mix of wisecracking, slapstick and glamorous gals, Monkey Business is virtually plotless and more of a free form farce that gives them the freedom to do their thing. The scenes on board ship feel far less forced than a lot of their films as a result and although it rarely provokes belly laughs, it’s always great fun and Ruth Hall and Thelma Todd model some pretty outfits to provide some old school glamour. Once they hit land, things peter out somewhat as they set about resolving the “plot” and Harpo and Chico inevitably wheel out their ubiquitous and coma inducing musical asides.

Not the best of the Marx brothers films but it still has its moments, and Groucho once again proves he is at his best when he has an ageing dowager to insult!



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