BETTER… BATTIER… FUNNIER THAN EVER!
As the manager of a hotel tries to evict theater producer Gordon Miller (Groucho Marx), he and his assistants try to find a financier for a new play. The Broadway hit turned into a vehicle for the Marx Brothers in this film, but the results are uneven. The constricted hotel room setting can hardly be described as cinematic. People keep running in and out of it (and there’s a turkey on the loose), but don’t expect big laughs. Still, the supporting cast is unusually good, including Donald MacBride as the hysterical hotel manager (“jumping butterballs!”). And the brothers have fun even without Margaret Dumont.
1938-U.S. 80 min. B/W. Directed by William A. Seiter. Screenplay: Morrie Ryskind. Play: Allen Boretz, John Murray. Cast: Groucho Marx (Gordon Miller), Chico Marx (Harry Binelli), Harpo Marx (Faker Englund), Lucille Ball, Anne Miller, Frank Albertson.
Trivia: This is the only film where the Marx Brothers worked with material not written directly for them. Remade as Step Lively (1944).