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At the Circus (1939)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical | 20 October 1939 (USA)
The Marx Brothers try to help the owner of a circus recover some stolen funds before he finds himself out of a job.

Director:

Edward Buzzell

Writer:

Irving Brecher (screen play)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Groucho Marx ... Attorney Loophole
Chico Marx ... Antonio
Harpo Marx ... 'Punchy'
Kenny Baker ... Jeff Wilson
Florence Rice ... Julie Randall
Eve Arden ... Peerless Pauline
Margaret Dumont ... Mrs. Dukesbury
Nat Pendleton ... Goliath
Fritz Feld ... Jardinet
James Burke ... John Carter
Jerry Maren ... Little Professor Atom (as Jerry Marenghi)
Barnett Parker ... Whitcomb
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Storyline

Jeff Wilson, the owner of a small circus, owes his partner Carter $10000. Before Jeff can pay, Carter lets his accomplices steal the money, so he can take over the circus. Antonio Pirelli and Punchy, who work at the circus, together with lawyer Loophole try to find the thief and get the money back. Written by Michael Zolk <mzolk@ix.urz.uni-heidelberg.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Keep the world laughing! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 October 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Day at the Circus See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Groucho says "There must be some way of getting that money without getting in trouble with the Hays office." The Hays office (Named after Will Hays) was the Hollywood censorship board from 1930-1934. Joseph Breen replaced Hays in 1934 and was incumbent at time of filming, yet the office remained universally known as the Hays Office. See more »

Goofs

When the little boy is "playing" his trumpet solo (and Punchy is using the bulb of his bicycle horn as a wah-wah mute), not only are the boy's fingerings incorrect, they are out of synch with the sequence of notes. Punchy's use of the "mute" is likewise out of synch. See more »

Quotes

Whitcomb: Pardon me, Madame, but here are the seating arrangements for your final approval.
Mrs. Suzanna Dukesbury: Oh, no, Whitcomb. Judge Chinner will sit on my left hand and you
[turning to look at Loophole]
Mrs. Suzanna Dukesbury: will sit on my right hand.
J. Cheever Loophole: How will you eat? Through a tube?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Classic Comedy Teams (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
(uncredited)
Written by Wallis Willis
Sung a bit in the "Swingali" number by unidentified singers and played on a harp by Harpo Marx
See more »

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User Reviews

 
well, there IS a noticeable difference between their Paramount movies and their MGM movies
2 February 2019 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

The Marx Brothers burst onto the scene in the 1929 comedy "The Cocoanuts". Over the next few years they starred in some of the all-time classics, namely "Horse Feathers" and "Duck Soup".

Then something happened. I don't know the reason, but they left Paramount (which financed the aforementioned movies) and moved to MGM. By that point, MGM was well established as the domain of happy-go-lucky musicals, and it showed in the Marx Brothers' movies. Far from the biting satire of their earlier movies, these newer movies tended to show them performing antics in various settings: opera, horse racing, and now the circus. "At the Circus" is funny, but it's no "Duck Soup".

Ignoring all that, there's plenty of laughs to be had here (and quite a few hot babes). Enjoyable in that respect. Jerry Maren (Atom) is best known as one of the Munchkins in "The Wizard of Oz" and died only last year, making him not only the last surviving speaking cast member from TWoO, but the last surviving cast member from a Marx Brothers movie.


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