Monkey Business | Chicago Reader

Monkey Business

The Marx Brothers are stowaways on an ocean liner, where Groucho and Zeppo (on the one hand) and Chico and Harpo (on the other) get involved with rival gangs and a kidnapping. This 1931 comedy was the first of their films to be written for the screen (The Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers had been successful Marx vehicles onstage), and the first of two with contributions by S.J. Perelman. A bit disorganized, it carries hints of surrealism (especially in Harpo's extraordinary performance) that later flowered in Duck Soup.


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