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Animal Crackers


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Product Details

  • Actors: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Zeppo Marx, Margaret Dumont
  • Directors: Victor Heerman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: June 7, 2011
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004P9UWL4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,294 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Filled with comedy sketches, musical numbers and plenty of gags, Animal Crackers is often regarded as the Marx Brothers’ most quoted film for its witty and unforgettable dialogue. Groucho stars as Captain Spaulding, a famed African explorer who is being honored at a high society party at the estate of Mrs. Rittenhouse (Margaret Dumont). Mayhem and chaos ensue after a valuable painting disappears and Spaulding, along with the Professor (Harpo), Signore Emanuel Ravelli (Chico) and Horatio (Zeppo) “help” search for it. Highlighted by musical performances including “Hooray for Captain Spaulding” (which would later become the theme song to Groucho’s popular TV series You Bet Your Life), this classic comedy earned a place on the AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes list.

Customer Reviews

So in many ways, this is a transition film.
Robert Moore
Animal Crackers is easily one of the best Marx Brothers films I've ever had the pleasure of watching.
Matthew G. Sherwin
For those who have never seen a Marx Bros. movie, this is a good starting point.
Alejandro Cortes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R. Kinsey on June 19, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you own the Silver Screen version of this DVD and wonder if it uses the same print the answer is it doesn't. The Silver Screen version contains so many skips in the bridge scene that it's unwatchable. This print is not pristine but the few skips are not during dialog and are hardly noticeable. My advice for Marx Brothers fans is to buy the Siver Screen for the other films and to replace Animal Crackers with this version.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 5, 1999
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Even more so than THE COCOANUTS, this second Marx Brothers film suffers from extremely stagey cinematography; worse still, the print and sound quality is often quite poor and some of the references (most notably Groucho's take on Eugene O'Neil's "Strange Interlude") are so firmly rooted in place and time that one would need be an adept of arcane trivia to grasp the joke. Even so, ANIMAL CRACKERS remains one of the Marx Brothers' most inspired feats of comic anarchy, setting the brothers loose to wreck havoc on a Long Island society house party, where they waste little time in lampooning social pretensions with incredible precision.
Although ingenue Lillian Roth's performance seems stylistically dated, the brothers are extremely well supported by the wonderful Margaret Dumont, and the film abounds in wildly hilarious scenes--most particularly the Bridge party--in which Dumont faces the full brunt of their ribal humor to outrageously funny effect. Other brilliant moments include Groucho's proposals ("Why, that's bigamy!"), Chico's turn at the piano (Chico: "I can't think of the ending." Groucho: "Funny, I can't think of anything else!") and the power failure ("Excuse me, Mrs. Rittenhouse, but have you lost a fish?") All in all, ANIMAL CRACKERS will be a real treat for Marx Brothers fans as well as casual viewers prepared to overlook the film's flaws, and it remains my favorite among their early films.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By T. Cole (tcole@svhs.viator.k12.us) on December 8, 1998
Format: DVD
This DVD was a dissapointment, especially in sound and video quality (what else is there?). I know that the film was a very early talkie, but I didn't find the quality of the sound and video any better than the earlier video versions I have seen. I was really look forward to seeing and hearing some of my favorite Marx Brothers bits, but the sound drops in and out inconsistently. I expected more from a higher priced DVD -- and there are no extras. I hope they do better when the eventually release "A Night at the Opera".
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 8, 2002
Format: DVD
Not as polished as DUCK SOUP, this is nonetheless my favorite Marx Brothers film. This was their second movie; the first filmed in Hollywood, and records their final stage production. So in many ways, this is a transition film. ANIMAL CRACKERS and their first film, COCONUTS, made in 1929, also share the distinction of being perhaps the two oldest sound films that are still widely watched.
The film is not perfect. There are many dead moments scattered throughout the film, though only when one of the Brothers was not onscreen. And because sound recording was still in its infancy, the sound is pretty dreadful. The voices all sound somewhat flat and thin, but Groucho, Harpo, and Chico more than make up for it. And for once, we shouldn't leave out Zeppo. Groucho and Zeppo have a great exchange where Groucho dictates a letter to be sent to his lawyer. Actually, Zeppo was very, very talented in his own right, but with the three older brothers having staked out their own forms of madness, he was left as the straight man. On Broadway, Groucho came down sick, and Zeppo put on Groucho's clothes, put on a grease paint mustache and eyebrows, grabbed a cigar, and no one knew it wasn't Groucho.
ANIMAL CRACKERS is actually an outstanding showcase for all the brothers. Chico and Harpo team up for some of their best skits (including an utterly hysterical game of bridge), each has some great solo moments, and Groucho has dozens of his best and most famous lines. In fact, the movie probably contains half of the famous lines that we associate with Groucho, including the song that became his signature, "Hooray for Captain Spaulding." And Margaret Dumont is amazingly unflappable as Groucho's love (?) interest.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "scotsladdie" on November 15, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
In 1929, a new kind of movie comedy burst into view when THE COCOANUTS gave movie audiences their first dose the Marx Brothers' hilarious anarchy; the cinema had introduced the public to Marx insanity much to the delight of the hoi polloi. ANIMAL CRACKERS was an adaptation of a Marx Bros. Broadway show and it made an even better movie than their first screen effort, which was made rather crudely technically (at the Astoria Studios on Long Island) and was obviously very set-bound with a nearly immobile camera. The George S. Kaufman-Morrie Ryskind story, tailored to celluloid by Ryskind and Pierre Collings - and frequently forgotton while the brothers ran riot - concerned the theft of a painting from Margaret Dumont, whose love-hate relationship with Groucho was fast becoming one the greatest film affairs of all-time. Groucho gave voice to HOORAY FOR CAPTAIN SPALDING - which was later his radio signiture song. Harpo and Chico did their musical specialties while Zeppo stooged and Lillian Roth soubretted as the others merely acted under Victor Heerman's direction. The still-primitive microphone technique gave the Walter Wagner production a rather static look, but the Marxian puns, one-liners, non-sequiturs and miming scored repeatedly.
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