At the Circus 1939 NR CC

Amazon Instant Video

(29) IMDb 6.9/10
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The Marx Bros. team up to keep a circus from going bankrupt.

Starring:
Groucho Marx, Chico Marx
Runtime:
1 hour 27 minutes

At the Circus

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Product Details

Genres Musical, Comedy
Director Edward Buzzell
Starring Groucho Marx, Chico Marx
Supporting actors Harpo Marx, Kenny Baker, Florence Rice, Eve Arden, Margaret Dumont, Nat Pendleton, Fritz Feld, James Burke, Jerry Maren, Barnett Parker, Irving Bacon, Willie Best, John Binns, Henry Blair, James Conaty, Frank Darien, Dudley Dickerson, Betsy Gay
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

AT THE CIRCUS was the ninth Marx Brothers movie and it's not one of their best.
"scotsladdie"
Something tells me that the Marx Brother's brand of humor may be lost on me, but I'm going to give a few more of their films a try before I make up my mind.
Andrew Ellington
The scenes with Groucho and Margaret Dumont are good but all too brief; and the musical numbers don't truly fit in with the film.
Matthew G. Sherwin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 11, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
....then you should see this movie. There is plenty of stuff to laugh at in the movie. The biggest problen is that the musical numbers and romance are particularly annoying in this movie. They become even more annoying when you find out that a scene with Groucho in court doing his best to bring chaos to the court proceedings while he practices law was deleted because the movie was too long. You'll wish that one of the musical numbers was deleted instead. But after about thirty minutes the movie picks up and keeps going at a good pace. There are many good scenes after that like a great one with Harpo and Chico sneaking into the strongman's room and trying to be quiet. I find that to be one of their best scenes. There's also good scenes with Grouch wooing Margaret Dumont once again, and the funny dinner party scene. So overall the movie is a disappointment because you get the feeling that with a little more work it could've been a great movie instead of a good, uneven one. But as usual, when the Marx Brothers are left to their own devices they shine through. There are plenty of funny things in this movie, so watch it if you can. Just forward through the songs because they're bad and they kill the pace of the movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Luke on March 4, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This film was one of the best Marx videos I have ever seen. Groucho and Chico's wigs make them look silly, and some of the songs are a bit strange. But, some classic scenes. Margaret Dumont gets shot out of a cannon, the "Gorilla chase" scene,where the gorilla chases the bad guy on the trapeze,and when Harpo and Chico search the strongman's room for the money, while he is asleep. That scene was better then the "Mirror scene" in "Duck Soup". If you are a big Marx fan, know all of their trademarks, or just want to see a funny movie, I would reccomend this video.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matthew G. Sherwin HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 25, 2007
Format: VHS Tape
At The Circus isn't rated as one of the better Marx Brothers comedies; but I myself liked it very much. OK, so many there's not enough joking around between Groucho Marx and Margaret DuMont; but there are numerous great moments in the script and the plot moves along at a very good pace. The acting is very convincing and although the musical numbers could have been cut down a little they do add something when Chico plays the piano, for example.

The action begins when Jeff Wilson (Kenny Baker) forgets about his wealthy aunt's inheritance to run his own circus. Jeff also has plans to marry his sweetheart Julie Randall (Florence Rice). However, what Jeff doesn't know is that his partner John Carter (James Burke) is crooked and wants to own the circus all on his own. Carter wants to be sure that Jeff Wilson won't be able to repay the $10,000 loan he owes to John Carter. Look for a great performance by Eve Arden as "Peerless Pauline," Carter's accomplice in crime.

What happens when Carter sends Goliath (Nat Pendleton) and his buddy Little Professor Atom (Jerry Maren) to get the money from Jeff? Well, they're successful--they steal it.

The plot can go anywhere from here. How will Jeff Wilson get his stolen money back from Carter and his thugs to own the circus and marry his sweetheart Julie? Look to a lawyer named Loophole (Groucho Marx), Goliath's sidekick "Punchy" (Harpo Marx) and circus worker Antonio (Chico Marx) to help Jeff Wilson get the money back.

The scenes with Groucho and Margaret Dumont are good but all too brief; and the musical numbers don't truly fit in with the film. However, the movie is actually rather funny overall so I can give this movie a four star review.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Scott T. Rivers VINE VOICE on July 29, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Though it has a few classic moments, notably Groucho's rendition of "Lydia the Tattooed Lady," the lackluster "At the Circus" (1939) ranks among the Marxes' worst films. A contributing factor to the depressing atmosphere is the annoying presence of romantic lead Kenny Baker, whose terrible songs and insipid "Oh, boy!" cheerfulness have no place in a Marx Brothers film. It's sad to see Groucho, Harpo and Chico brought down by poor material as well as a lack of creative input. Harpo, in particular, is diminished by the MGM gloss. Not even Margaret Dumont's presence can salvage this half-hearted attempt at comedy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert S. Clay Jr. on June 11, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Conventional opinion in the realm of Marx mania targets this movie as inferior. It is ironic that top-of-the-line MGM was partly responsible for diminishing the later Marx magic by teaming silly scripts and moronic musical numbers with the lunacy of the Marx screen persona. This tone-deaf creative acumen relegated Messrs. Marx to lesser material in their last three films at the studio. Take courage; not all is lost. Looking past the annoyances of Kenny Baker's unfortunate singing and the goofy dancing horse number, we can see Marxian mirth in good health. Groucho, without an ID badge, tries to board the circus train guarded by Chico, and we are off to more classic comedy. As Groucho and the guys try to obtain an incriminating cigar from a thieving midget, Marx mayhem prevails. The spirited performance of "Lydia the Tattooed Lady" is also a definite plus. Harpo struggles, at times, to find something relevant to do. His pantomime antics do not always make sense within the! context of the action. However, Harpo's mischievous elfin qualities sparkle as he and Chico search the sleeping strongman's room for the missing money. Despite a bias against intrusive musical numbers..., Harpo connects with the singing and dancing African-American kids in a way that illustrates that his otherworldy perspective truly transcends mere racial barriers. His harp solo punctuates this segment nicely. Margaret Dumont is again on hand as the hilarious target of Groucho's barbed zingers. Even with its faults, this is an enjoyable Marx Brothers jolt for fans of classic comedy. Fast forwarding through the dull spots makes multiple viewing a treat. ;-)
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