It's comedy on the high seas when the Marx Brothers sneak aboard an ocean liner and get involved in a crazy set of comedy capers not to be missed. A madcap vintage voyage where pure lunacy rides the waves.
Bertin Ramirez | San Ysidro, California United States | 07/31/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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!"
The immigrant experience & the funniest movie ever made
SteveB | Venice Beach, CA | 12/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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."
Parts are as funny as anything the Brothers have done
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 06/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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."Probably the most famous skit in the film, though I must confess to preferring several others more, is their attempted exit off the ship as Maurice Chevalier. Other great skits include Harpo's intrusion into a Punch and Judy show, Groucho and Harpo's invasion of the captain's quarters on the ship, Chico and Harpo's pretending to be barbers, and Groucho's attempt to give romantic advice to a couple of surreptitious lovers. Although one of their best films, the second half falls off sharply as soon as they all get off the ship. Apart from Groucho's extraordinary encounters with Thelma Todd on the verandah outside a house where a party is taking place, virtually all the good skits take place in the first half."
Just A Lot of Monkeying Around - Who Could Ask For More
T. W. Fuller | Wheeling, IL. USA | 10/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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. After Groucho and Chico stumble onto his scheme, Briggs hires them to kill Joe; and rather than be killed themselves, they accept. This is only a ploy to escape, however; for, after they are given guns, they quickly drop them into a water bucket.As the ship docks, the Marx Bros. must find a way to slip off, without anyone discovering they are onboard as stowaways. They do so by impersonating Maurice Chevalier, each in their own unique style. However, this fails, and as pandemonium erupts, they give the crew the slip once more and successfully depart the ship via another means.It is at this juncture of "Monkey Business", after the Marx Bros. are off the ship, that many people feel the movie slows down and becomes boring. In certain respects it does slow down; but by no means becomes boring. The boys make their way to the house of Joe Helton and help prevent Alky briggs from killing him. There is no violence; for it is a Marx Bros. film, not a gangster film. And one of Groucho's most famous lines is uttered toward the end when, while fighting the bad guys in a barn, and rolling around a a pile of hay, he says, "I wonder where all those farmers daughters are?"With their third film, the Marx Bros. have brought another delightful comedy to the screen, and one which may be watched over and over without ever becoming stale."
We loved it!
skyblupinkink | New York USA | 12/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the marx bros craziest, i couldn't stop laughing. They are all over the place in this one. It was nice to see more of zeppo too. Chico is the man. Groucho, Thelma and that closet- (just watch it!)The scene where Harpo hides in the puppet booth and performs for the kids was hilarous, my kids love this one. If you like yer love comedy with a touch less anarchy and a bit more structure in the story, try A Night At The Opera, but for the kids, its this one and The Coconuts. I love them all :)"