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Animal Crackers

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Tom’s Recommended Film of the Week

Animal Crackers

Lately my youngest son has taken a liking to the manic comedy of Monty Python and the Marx Brothers. This week we watched a couple of the older Marx Brothers films including the wacky Animal Crackers.


Animal Crackers
was written as a stage play and the Marx Brothers performed it on the road for months before entering the studio for filming. You can tell, as they had every line down pat and if a supporting player flubbed a line, Groucho was right there, ready to capitalize with some quick banter. The dialogue is so fast paced that you really have to pay attention to get every juicy bit of humor, and believe me there are plenty.

Some of the Marx Brothers jokes are pop culturally based and since many younger viewers will not be familiar with life in the 1920’s these jokes will be missed. However, many of the word-play gags will hit home with school aged kids, as they are studying language and will love the break from the serious nature of their English class to the crazy english of Chico.

Some classic jokes originated in this film, like the “I shot an Elephant in my pajamas” line, and the “Bigamy” gag. For our part, we found the “East is East and West is West” dialogue to be hilarious! I loved the bit about setting a meeting date and time, where Groucho sets the meeting date up for one day after he’s left town.

So take a break and enjoy something wonderful and crazy, “Hooray for Captain Spaulding!”

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