Thursday, 16 May 2013

Animal Crackers (film)

I might finally get Dave along to one of the Under Ground Theatre Sunday matinees because the chosen film for June is the Marx Brothers feature, Animal Crackers. Dave is a Marx Brothers fan and sometimes bemoans the lack of their films on TV anymore!

Filmed in 1930, Animal Crackers was the last film that Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo filmed in New York. It was directed by Victor Heerman and written by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby and George S Kaufman. The story had started the year before as a Broadway musical also written by Kaufman together with Morrie Ryskind. The Marx Brothers had starred in the Broadway version with Margaret Dumont who joined them for the film.

A vague storyline holds the film together. Captain Geoffrey T Spaulding (Groucho Marx) attends a dinner party held in his honour by Mrs Rittenhouse (Margaret Dumont). During the party, a valuable painting is stolen and Captain Spaulding investigates. The other Marxes attempt to 'help' getting themselves into all sort of bizarre and hilarious situations in the process. There are great comic set-pieces, sharp one-liners that are still amongst filmgoers' favourite quotes today, and several original songs including Why Am I So Romantic? sung by Lilian Roth.

Under Ground Theatre, Sun 16th Jun, 14:30.
Tickets £6.50 to include tea and cake after the film, available online, by calling 0845 680 1926, or in person from the Box Office or the Tourist Information Office.