The fourth Paramount movie made by the Marx Brothers, this clownish college football comedy is a masterpiece classic. You will have the pleasure of seeing the madcap team of Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo Marx at their very best, in this ludicrous burlesque filled with goofy antics, whimsical musical numbers, surreal humor, bizarre characters, and dialogues deliberately violating common sense. In addition to its charming extravagance, it is a satirical take on college education and a parody of the college movies popular at the time.
The plot revolves around Huxley College and its newly chosen president, professor Wagstaff (Groucho Marx) who assumes presidency at the College only to dissuade his son Frank, already twelve years a student, from fooling around with girls. Frank is madly in love with Connie (Thelma Todd), a local ‘college widow’ (an outmoded phrase referring to an unmarried young woman who seduces college students). Discovering that Huxley College didn’t have a winning football team since 1888, Wagstaff resolves to save the College by ensuring the victory for Huxley in the big football game against its greatest rival: Darwin College. However, instead of recruiting professional football players, he mistakenly hires two speakeasy regulars, an iceman Baravelli (Chico Marx) and his looney partner, the dogcatcher Pinky (Harpo Marx) and enrolls them in the college as students. When the gaffe is discovered, these two get the task to kidnap Darwin’s star athletes. In the meantime, they all fall in love with Connie, who is trying to steal Huxley’s secret football signals for Darwin. The movie ends with the brothers partaking in a hilarious football game. The legendary winning touchdown scene appeared on the cover of Time in 1932 and was also included in “The top 11 scenes in football movie history” by ESPN (http://www.espn.com/espn/page2/story?page=williams/080404_scenes).
The sheer amount of unrestrained craziness in this accomplishment is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. The Marx brothers did it again.
|Horse Feathers (1932)|
|Rating: 7.7/10 (9,397 votes)
Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Writer: Bert Kalmar (by), Harry Ruby (by), S.J. Perelman (by), Will B. Johnstone (by)
Stars: The Marx Brothers, Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
Runtime: 68 min
Rated: NOT RATED
Genre: Comedy, Musical, Romance
Released: 19 Aug 1932
|Plot: Quincy Adams Wagstaff, the new president of Huxley University, hires bumblers Baravelli and Pinky to help his school win the big football game against rival Darwin University.|