Animal Crackers

Pardon me while i have a strange interlude…… That line,spoken by Groucho Marx to Margret Dumont comes at one of the many points in this movie where Groucho as Cpt Jeffery T Spaulding breaks the forth wall,though while other comics use this tactic to address us as the audience,Groucho here is just letting us know that this is his show,his party,his finest hour and we shouldnt be any more at ease than anyone else in the cast. Animal Crackers was the 3rd broadway smash to feature the Marx Brothers,written by George S Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind with songs by Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar,it was the perfect follow up to”The Cocoanuts”which despite being every bit as manic,hadnt made the transition to film quite so smoothly. Though written during the pre-depression Golden era,Animal Crackers was filmed during the darkest days following the stock market crash.Everyone involved in the production had lost something,anger,mistrust and bitterness were rife at Paramount Studios and with the sharpest wittiest playwright in history providing the gags for the finest delieverer on earth,this was never going to be just another comedy. I wont waste words on the plot(there isnt one)or quoting gags(there is barely a word wasted)or on the filmaking(budget cuts stripped the cast down to the bare ensemble and the impression is of a filmed stage play,though credit to director Victor Herrmann who at least manages...

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