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A Night at the Opera

160 customer reviews

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(Apr 05, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Night at the Opera, A (DVD)

The legendary Marx Brothers take a hilarious, musical swipe atself-importance, pomposity and insensitivity, that crescendos with amanic on-stage performance, A Night at the Opera.Milan. Seedy promoterOtis B. Driftwood (Groucho Marx) guarantees patroness (Margaret Dumont)a position in high society if she bankrolls an opera. The plan hinges onsigning egotistical tenor Rodolfo Lassparri (Walter Woolf King), butDriftwood meets his match in talent manager Fiorello (Chico Marx), whorepresents "the world's greatest tenor" -- actually the more-deserving,but unknown Ricardo Baroni (Allan Jones), who's also in love with theopera's soprano, Rosa (Kitty Carlisle). When Driftwood's deal fallsthrough, the promoter, his patroness, tenors, soprano and many more mustmake a madcap Atlantic steamship crossing.


Absolutely one of the most hilarious movies ever made, this classic farce featuring the outrageous genius of the Marx Brothers is a chance to see some of their best bits woven together seamlessly in a story of high society, matchmaking, and chaos. In order to bring two young lovers together, brothers Groucho, Chico, and Harpo must sabotage an opera performance even as they try to pass themselves off as stuffed shirts. Featuring the classic sequence where Groucho piles as many people as possible into a ship's stateroom, A Night at the Opera is a deliciously zany romp worth watching again and again. --Robert Lane

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Margaret Dumont, Kitty Carlisle
  • Directors: Sam Wood
  • Writers: George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, James Kevin McGuinness
  • Producers: Irving Thalberg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English, Italian
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • 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: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 5, 2005
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001HAINQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,033 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Night at the Opera" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By keviny01 on May 9, 2004
Format: DVD
The 1935 comedy A NIGHT AT THE OPERA is a grab bag of a movie that includes physical gags, verbal gags, a romantic subplot, backstage intrigue, an operatic aria, an elaborate dance number, stunts, absurdity, and sentimentality. The main attraction is, of course, the patented zaniness of The Marx Brothers -- the acerbic Groucho, the mute Harpo, and the dim-witted Chico -- whose unique brand of comedy is often edgy, subversive, and even surreal and other-worldly. Count me as one of those who thinks that such style of comedy loses some edge in A NIGHT AT THE OPERA, where the comic trio seem out of place in a methodical plot, realistic settings, and among ordinary people. These mundane elements are also, surprisingly, engrossing enough to often upstage the comedians. Groucho's usual anti-establishment stance also seems softened in order to give way to crowd-pleasing sentimentality. The Marx Brothers, like Jacques Tati, are creators of their own comic universes, and that's where they need to inhabit, such as in the whimsical delight DUCK SOUP, the Brothers' previous film, where their presence is more dominant. With that said, A NIGHT AT THE OPERA does have some of most memorable gags in the Brothers' history. A verbal confusion with Santa Claus, a tiny room cramped with 15 people, mixing opera with baseball, and Harpo's stunts with the ropes are some of the highlights.

The new Warner DVD of A NIGHT AT THE OPERA is encoded for Region 1 and 4, and has a cleaner video transfer than I expected considering the age of the film. Obviously, a video restoration has been done, as were the cases for many of recent Warner DVDs of old movies. The original mono audio is fine, save for some age-related hisses in the background.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Andrew McCaffrey VINE VOICE on May 23, 2004
Format: DVD
Many have argued that A NIGHT AT THE OPERA is the Marx Brother's finest film, pointing out that it combined the best of the Brother's comedy with the biggest and boldest in MGM production values. Personally, while I really like the film, I wouldn't quite put it in the top slot. Any of the sequences containing the Marx Brothers themselves are gold, but I find that I'm not as enamored with the romantic subplot and singing as other reviewers have been (notably Leonard Maltin in this DVD's commentary). Still, arguing about which one of the fine films is actually the best is a little pointless. This is a great movie, regardless with how it compares to the others.
The biggest thing this film has going for it (outside of the wonderful Marx Brothers themselves, of course) is the big production values that MGM splashed out on. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it's nice to have some great big sets for the Brothers to clown around in (Harpo's stunt double swinging through the rafters is great), but all things considered, I think I prefer the tongue-in-cheek send-up of the big dance numbers (as done in DUCK SOUP) to the production dances which are played straight here.
Margaret Dumont is underused, which is a shame since her dignified outrage usually accounted for big laughs. She gets a good scene at the beginning, and a handful of opportunities to look indignant later in the film, but she isn't the constant presence that she had been in other films.
Still, while I can pick out a few flaws here and there, this is overall a hilarious and fun movie.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R.D. Monsoon VINE VOICE on February 12, 2004
Format: DVD
"A Night at the Opera" was released on DVD back in the late 90s by Image. Image had licensed the film from WB, and once that licence expired the disc was pulled. Since then that OOP DVD has fetched in the hundreds on Ebay. Finally WB has released it as a special edition.
Extra features are as follows:
Commentary by Leonard Maltin
All-New Documentary "Remarks On Marx"
The Hy Gardner Show (1/1/61) excerpt featuring Groucho Marx
Theatrical Trailer
Three Vintage MGM Shorts:
Fitzpatrick Traveltalk's Los Angeles: Wonder City Of The World
Sunday Night At The Trocadero
Robert Benchley's Academy Award -Winning How To Sleep
WB is releasing 6 other Marx Brother's films all at the same time. Universal also is preparing to release their Marx Brothers films this year, including "Duck Soup."
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 22, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
On the one hand I want to say that I think "A Night at the Opera" is the greatest Marx Brothers comedy because their peculiar brand of lunacy works better when given a real world target such as Opera than in the fantasy land of Freedonia in "Duck Soup." On the other hand I want to say that I think "A Night at the Opera" has more funny stuff in it than "Duck Soup." I do not even want to begin to get into any consideration of what difference the retirement of Zeppo meant in all this. I just want to laugh my head off.
Groucho is Otis P. Driftwood, too busy trying to fleece Mrs. Claypool (Margaret Dumont) to waste time running an Opera Company. Harpo is Tomasso, the much abused valet to the pompous tenor Rudolpho Lassparri (Walter Woolf King), while Chico is Fiorello, self-appointed agent for the unknown but talent young singer Ricardo Baroni (Allan Jones), who is in love with Rosa Castaldi (Kitty Carlisle). When Groucho loses his job to stuffed shirt Herman Gottlieb (Sig Ruman), it is up to the Marx Brothers to restore order and sanity to the universe.
In terms of classic comic routines "A Night at the Opera" gives you (1) the Stateroom scene with all those people (and don't forget the hardboiled eggs); (2) Groucho and Chico discussing the clauses in a contract (including the Sanity Clause); (3) Chico and Harpo working "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" into the overture of the opera (get your peanuts); (4) a dinner date between Groucho and Margaret Dumont (looking at him is the price you have to pay); and (5) Chico the Russian aviator explaining how they flew across the Atlantic Ocean in a boat (always remember to take enough gas or else you will have to turn back).
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