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Monkey Business (1931)

Groucho Marx , Harpo Marx , Norman Z. McLeod  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Zeppo Marx
  • Directors: Norman Z. McLeod
  • 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: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: June 7, 2011
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004P9UWLY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,170 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

The iconic Marx Brothers – Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo – head for the high seas in the outrageously funny Monkey Business. While hiding from the authorities on a luxury cruise ship, a quartet of stowaways inadvertently find themselves posing as bodyguards to rival gangsters. Complete lunacy ensues as the brothers get mixed up in a kidnapping and must save the day. Featuring some of the legendary comedy team’s wackiest scenes ever, including all four brothers each trying to pass themselves off as real-life actor Maurice Chevalier, this unforgettable film earned a place on the AFI’s 100 Years…100 Laughs list.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Zany Riot, The Marx Brothers Are at it Again! July 30, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
The first Marx Bros. film that was written directed for the scream is also one of their best. One of their most energetic yet still feels a little stagy. A fast paced zany riot that has the 4 brothers creating havoc as bumbling stowaways. Filled with memorable routines like the one that has the 4 brothers trying to pass off as Maurice Chevalier. Madness, sight gags and puns abound but as always Groucho gets the most laughs and the best jokes. The ending in the barn is a knockout. Nonstop laughs in this memorable and hilarious Marx Bros. films. Along with Buster Keaton, W.C. Fields and Laurel & Hardy, The Marx Bros. are American comic landmarks and this is one of their best films. I would also recommend 'Duck Soup' (their best), 'A Night At The Opera' (their second best) and 'Horse Feathers'. From a scale of 1-10 I give this film a 7!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the immigrant experience & the funniest movie ever made December 11, 2001
By SteveB
Format:VHS Tape
You can debate forever about which is the greatest of all the Marx Brothers' great movies, but this is the one that makes me laugh the most. In fact, this one makes me laugh as much as any movie I've ever seen. The part where Groucho pretends to be a cat kills me every time, and the Maurice Chevalier gag is pretty amazing too. Monkey Business sustains its zany-paced action better than the others, especially on the ship. As Groucho says, "I'm sorry, the captain's waiting to chase me around the deck..." The basis of the Marx Brothers shtick is reflecting all the nutty immigrants of the 20's and 30's, and here they're literally sneaking into the country illegally by stowing away on an ocean liner. Of course, once here at the fancy-dress ball, Groucho yells at the American Indian "If you don't like it here, why don't you go back where you came from!" Critics may not like this one as much, but it really hits home for me. I love this movie.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Years before Cary Grant starred in a movie entitled "Monkey Business", which is not a remake of this classic film, the Marx Bros. brought their own version of "Monkey Business" to the silver screen.
"Monkey Business" is the Marx Bros. third film, released in 1931. It marks the first film as not being based on a Marx Bros. broadway play, and is the first not to have Margaret Dumont in it. Instead, Thelma Todd plays Dumont's role, only more seductively, which is what the producers were looking for in this film.
In "Monkey Business" the Marx Bros. play stoways aboard a luxery liner. The opening scene has the boys singing "Sweet Adelide" while hidden in large barrels, until they are overheard by one of the ship's crew. Once discovered, the Maex Bros. play a game of cat and mouse with the crew, trying to avoid capture, and always staying one step ahead of them.
While fleeing, Zeppo encounters a young woman, Mary Helton, played by Ruth Hall. He quickly falls head over heels for her, only to discover that she is the daughter of Joe Helton, played by Rockcliff Fellowes, a notorious gangster who is returning to the states, and has plans of announcing, or introducing, his daughter - a common custom of many years passed.
As the love interest intensifies between Zeppo and Mary, so too does the game of cat and mouse. Groucho, trying to avoid one of the crew slips into the stateroom of Lucille briggs, played to perfection by Thelma Todd. Instantly Groucho's concern for being caught is subsided, as he focuses his energy on Lucille. She is married to Alky Briggs, played by Harry Woods. He is aboard the ship with the intent to kill Joe Helton before he reaches the states, so that he might take over his gang.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
MONKEY BUSINESS is clearly one of the Marx Brothers funniest films. Most of the great skits come in the first half of the film, while all are still onboard ship. There is a plot, but it is of less importance, even, than most of the Marx Brothers films. In reality, this is a film any fan will watch merely to get from one skit to the next, and can, like me, easily manage to ignore any plot-related distractions.
The film features some of the Brothers best skits, and in particular some of Groucho's greatest moments. Although I desperately miss Margaret Dumont in this film, Groucho manages some first rate scenes with Thelma Todd, who would later grace HORSEFEATHERS as the College Widow. She would in 1936 die as the result of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, but speculation began immediately that she had been the victim of a crime. She had no record at all of depression, was only 29, and was at the peak of her career. Her death remains one of the great mysteries in the history of Hollywood, and adds poignancy to her comic appearances with Groucho and Co.
Groucho reels off a huge number of classic one-liners in this one. "Look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty." "As for me, I'm going back into the closet, where men are empty overcoats." "Sir, are you trying to offer me a bribe? How much?" "Oh, why can't we break away from all this, just you and I, and lodge with my fleas in the hills? I mean, flee to my lodge in the hills." "Madam, before I get through with you, you will have a clear case for divorce, and so will my wife." Or the great scene where Groucho complains to the ship's purser about the woman he found in his cabin. "What woman?" the shocked officer replies. "No woman, and that's what I want to complain about.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It
My most favorite Marx brothers movie! Duck Soup and A Night at the Opera are great but these four stowed away on a ship just makes for a great time!
Published 2 months ago by Ashley
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of their time ...
Stagy, yet funny and at a pace that would keep up with today's race to the finish lifestyle, The Marx Brothers Interrupt this cruise ship to bring you a special announcement …... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Dean Blackmor
4.0 out of 5 stars "Give 'um a little schnoop 'ere."
Scripted in part by S.J. Perelman, this Marx Bros. comedy is a degree short of perfection only because it lacks a strong finale. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Annie Van Auken
5.0 out of 5 stars "it's enough to make me work myself up from nothing to a state of...
Monkey Business has got to be one of the funniest Marx Brothers films I've seen yet. The movie moves along at a good pace; and the actors all turn in a fine performance. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Matthew G. Sherwin
4.0 out of 5 stars MONKEY BUSINESS
Published 23 months ago by Jennifer W. Myers
4.0 out of 5 stars "Give 'um a little schnoop 'ere."
Scripted in part by S.J. Perelman, this Marx Bros. comedy is a degree short of perfection only because it lacks a strong finale. Read more
Published on May 27, 2012 by Annie Van Auken
5.0 out of 5 stars laugh laugh laugh
this movie is great to bad it's out of print. but wait on e-bay it's only $10.00 hurry hurry hurry or they will be gone!!!!
Published on March 21, 2012 by sleepersteve
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, Good DVD
If I was reviewing just the movie, I would give it four stars (it's a good movie but not one of the Marx Brothers' best). Read more
Published on October 29, 2011 by Jeannie
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Marx Brothers best!
My family loves the Marx Brothers. We did some research on the Marx Brothers family and then set out to watch every one of their movies. Read more
Published on July 16, 2009 by Marx fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's play monkey, you're the ape
That's the new and most recent, 1931, manual for how to immigrate illegally into the US via New York, Ellis Island, and then how to succeed in the gangster dominated society of New... Read more
Published on May 2, 2008 by Jacques COULARDEAU
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