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Room Service/At the Circus
Room Service/At the Circus
Actors: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Kenny Baker, Florence Rice
Directors: Edward Buzzell, William A. Seiter
Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family, Musicals & Performing Arts
UR     2006     2hr 45min

The Marx Bros. try to find a backer for a Broadway play then scramble to find a backer for a circus. So we put them backer to backer in this hilarious twofer. In Side A's Room Service (with Lucille Ball and Ann Miller) a c...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Kenny Baker, Florence Rice
Directors: Edward Buzzell, William A. Seiter
Creators: Allen Boretz, Glenn Tryon, Irving Brecher, John Murray, Morrie Ryskind, Philip Loeb
Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Classic Comedies, Classics, Musicals
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/02/2006
Original Release Date: 09/30/1938
Theatrical Release Date: 09/30/1938
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 2hr 45min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

No HORSE FEATHERS in this DUCK SOUP of a Twofer
Bennet Pomerantz | Seabrook, Maryland | 08/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Marx Brothers are a comedy taste..part wit/part slapstick. Sometime when you want wit, you get slap stick...sometimes it works and others it fails. In these two features there is an surity in both films

The highlight of Circus is Groucho singing Lydia the Tattoed Lady, one of his classics songs (He saings like George Burns-but it works). After that it seem the normal slapstick treads that have been played before by the Brothers Marx, Chico's Italian wears thin and Harpo is give very little to do. The weight falls to the Grouch man who holds the film lame plot together

Writer Morrie Rysind gave the Marxs free reign in his script for room Service and its works. However it seemed too rehearsed for the comedy to flow. The comedy is overrated, but works. The room service steals scenes which played well in A Night at the Opera. The film service also stars a young Lucille Ball (pre I Love Lucy days)and Ann Miller (pre MGM dance Musicals), watch them in this 1938 classic and see what they became.

In this Marx Double feature, you get both the best (Room Service) and the one of the Worst (At the Circus..the worst in my opinion was Go West).These were not the Duck Soup/Horse Feathers/Day at the Races Marxes, they seem too rehearsed and not as funny Well the movies are part of their mythos, so they are worth an airing

Bennet Pomerantz AUDIOWORLD"
Generally Low Marx
Scott T. Rivers | Los Angeles, CA USA | 07/23/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)

"The Marx Brothers in less-than-stellar form. Based on the hit Broadway play, "Room Service" (1938) was the only film not written specifically for the team. The result is an awkward fit, but there are a few priceless moments within the situation-comedy framework. Regrettably, the harp and piano solos have been jettisoned while Margaret Dumont's presence is sorely missed. "Room Service" should be viewed as a well-intentioned, yet unsuccessful experiment. Sadly, "At the Circus" (1939) ranks as the Marxes' worst film. Groucho, Harpo and Chico are brought down by weak material, an obvious lack of enthusiasm, and Kenny Baker's annoying presence. Strictly for completists."
Two good but not great Marx Brothers films
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 12/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This DVD offers us two of The Marx Brothers films entitled Room Service and At The Circus. These are not their best movies because L. B. Mayer, chief of MGM, simply didn't like them. The brothers got lesser quality scripts as a result. Sigh.

Room Service features The Marx Brothers and Lucille Ball in the only film The Marx Brothers made at R-K-O. The plot moves slower than the typical Marx Brothers plot and the classic Marx Brothers one liners aren't there often; but Room Service was based on a play not written for The Marx Brothers. Unfortunately, Room Service winds up being good but nothing special.

The action begins when Gordon Miller (Groucho Marx) is very deep into debt at New York City's Hotel White Way as he struggles to keep himself, the producer of a play, and the cast in a hotel until they can find a backer for the show. Gordon's buddies Harry Binelli (Chico Marx) and Faker Englund (Harpo Marx) try unsuccessfully to help Gordon. When the author of the play, Leo Davis (Frank Albertson), comes to New York to stay with Gordon and the cast it means there's now another person Gordon must harbor. Christine Marlowe (Lucille Ball) plays a cast member of the show who also tries to get the show on the stage.

Unfortunately, their luck is running out. Hotel manager Gregory Wagner (Donald MacBride) is furious that Gordon and his cast have run up a $1,200 bill (a lot in those days) and they can't pay. Wagner is even more enraged when he finds out that Gordon, his buddies and the cast have been allowed to run up a high bill because Gordon's brother-in-law, Joseph Gribble (Cliff Dunstan), runs the hotel.

Just when a wealthy backer finally comes through, things get even more out of control. Expects to see some high jinks and silly scenarios as Gordon, his buddies and the cast all stall for time so that they can put on the show and finally get their profitable hit.

Can they stall the hotel's top management to make the show go on so they can have a hit? What happens when Gordon gets the idea that the playwright must pretend to be ill to stall for time? Do doctors arrive to examine the "patient?" No spoilers here, folks!

Room Service is a must for true Marx Brothers fans; but I can't tell you it's their best movie ever. It's OK; but it's not great. The actors work very hard with the script they were given although the film never quite takes off to make Room Service a true classic.

At The Circus also isn't rated as one of the better Marx Brothers comedies; but I liked it very much. OK, so there's not enough joking around between Groucho Marx and Margaret DuMont; but there are great moments in the script and the plot moves along nicely. The acting is convincing and although the musical numbers could have been cut down they do add something when Chico plays the piano, for example.

The action begins when Jeff Wilson (Kenny Baker) forgets about his wealthy aunt's inheritance to run his circus. Jeff also plans to marry his sweetheart Julie Randall (Florence Rice). However, what Jeff doesn't know is that his partner John Carter (James Burke) is crooked and wants to own the circus independently. Carter wants help so that Jeff Wilson can't repay the $10,000 loan he owes Carter. Look for a great performance by Eve Arden as "Peerless Pauline," Carter's accomplice in crime.

Carter sends Goliath (Nat Pendleton) and his buddy Little Professor Atom (Jerry Maren) to get the money from Jeff. Well, they're successful--they steal it.

The plot can now go anywhere. How will Jeff Wilson get his stolen money back from Carter and his thugs to own the circus and marry his sweetheart Julie? Look to a lawyer named Loophole (Groucho Marx), Goliath's sidekick "Punchy" (Harpo Marx) and circus worker Antonio (Chico Marx) to help Jeff Wilson get the money back.

The scenes with Groucho and Margaret Dumont are good but all too brief; and the musical numbers don't fit in with the film. However, the movie is actually rather funny overall so I can give this movie a four star review.

After all is said and done, this DVD of Room Service and At The Circus is great for fans of The Marx Brothers. This is not geared toward a more casual fan because these movies aren't first rate. Still, the humor is good on an otherwise cloudy day and a Marx Brothers fan won't regret watching these two flicks.
Ok Marx Brothers Films
Lynn Ellingwood | Webster, NY United States | 09/06/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Room Service and At the Circus are Ok Marx Brothers films. After the death of Irving Thalberg, MGM didn't take an interest in the Marx Brothers and left them in a bind doing B level movies. They knew the films weren't as good but felt they couldn't do much about it. Still the films have great Marx Brothers moments. Room Service was actually produced at RKO and At The Circus was at MGM. At The Circus is the better of the two."