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The Cocoanuts (1929)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical | 3 August 1929 (USA)
During the Florida land boom, The Marx Brothers run a hotel, auction off some land, thwart a jewel robbery, and generally act like themselves.


George S. Kaufman (book), Morrie Ryskind (adapted by)
2 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
The Marx Brothers
Zeppo Marx ... Jamison
Groucho Marx ... Hammer
Harpo Marx ... Harpo
Chico Marx ... Chico
Oscar Shaw ... Bob Adams
Mary Eaton ... Polly Potter
Cyril Ring ... Harvey Yates
Kay Francis ... Penelope Martin
Margaret Dumont ... Mrs. Potter
Basil Ruysdael ... Detective Hennessy
Gamby-Hale Ballet Girls Gamby-Hale Ballet Girls ... Dancers (as Gamby-Hale Girls)
Allan K. Foster Girls Allan K. Foster Girls ... Dancers


Mr. Hammer runs a bankrupt Florida hotel. He'll try anything to make money, even make love to rich Mrs. Potter. But his main scheme, selling real estate, is in danger of sabotage from zanies Chico and Harpo, who also reduce the schemes of a pair of jewel thieves to chaos. A subplot involves the star-crossed love of Polly Potter and architect Bob Adams. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Paramount's All Talking-Singing Musical Comedy Hit! See more »


Comedy | Musical


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Assuming its copyright has not lapsed already, this film and all others produced in 1929 enter the U.S. public domain in 2025. See more »


When Penelope (Kay Francis) takes the necklace from Mrs. Potter's locked drawer with a key stolen by Harvey Yates from Mrs. Potter's purse, she neglects to take the key back from the drawer and to re-lock the drawer. See more »


Hammer: And now, friends, in view of the fact that Miss Potter's engagement is being celebrated here tonight, so to speak, I think a few words from her mother would be revolting! I now take great pleasure in presenting to you the well-preserved and partially pickled, Mrs. Potter.
Mrs. Potter: My good, good friends. If I could only tell you how rosy-hued everything seems to me tonight. As I look into your faces, they're all lit with gay laughter. The whole world and everything in it is bathed in a soft, glowing ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are run against a background of negative film of the "Monkey-Doodle-Doo" number. See more »

Alternate Versions

Preview version reputedly ran 140 minutes; extensively cut to 96 minutes for the final release version. The cut material allegedly consisted mostly of additional musical numbers. See more »


Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Marx Brothers (1962) See more »


(1925) (uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
Sung off-screen by chorus
Danced by Gamby-Hale Ballet Girls and Allan K. Foster Girls
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User Reviews

On Your Marx
28 November 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The creative talents of George S. Kaufman, Irving Berlin, and the Brothers Marx went into the production of the Broadway musical The Cocoanuts which ran for 216 shows in the 1925-1926 season. Of the talent involved it was the Marx Brothers who came out the winners.

George S. Kaufman was one of the great wits of the last century, but so were the Marx Brothers. They ad-libbed and eliminated much of Kaufman's well turned prose and things were pretty tense between him and the brothers on Broadway. He also did not like a certain song that Berlin wanted to use in The Cocoanuts and Berlin took it from the show after Kaufman ragged on him. The song was Always. The Cocoanuts was the first book musical that Irving Berlin ever wrote, he did mostly reviews before The Cocoanuts. It also is the only one without a single hit song from it.

But as a Marx Brothers comedy it made the Brothers reputations. The plot such as it is concerns the boom in Florida real estate in which a lot of people got wealthy and a lot lost their shirts, though not quite in the way Basil Ruysdael does when Harpo and Chico take it off his back while he's trying to frisk them in his duties as the house detective.

The Cocoanuts was shot at the Paramount Astoria studio in Queens and used a lot of Broadway performers in the roles. Besides the Brothers, only Margaret Dumont and Basil Ruysdael came over from the Broadway cast. But Oscar Shaw and Mary Eaton had well established reputations on Broadway. Kay Francis is in the cast as the bad girl and she certainly went on to a substantial Hollywood career.

The main thing The Cocoanuts has going for it besides the Marx Brothers is the fact it is a filmed record of a Twenties era Broadway musical. Paramount made very few concessions in adapting The Cocoanuts to the screen. What we see is filmed play. Historic, but I fear not as entertaining as the later work of the Marx Brothers.

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Release Date:

3 August 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Cocoanuts See more »


Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


| (preview) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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