Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Cocoanuts (1929)

Debut film for the Marx Brothers is a step below their subsequent slices of hysteria, up to and including A Day at the Races; a lot of the film kind of sits there, hampered by the inadequacy of early sound technology, and I can kind of understand why the Marxes might want to have this thing burned. (The crummy, spliced-up print used on Universal's DVD release doesn't help.) Even a subpar Marx Brothers comedy, though, is generally superior to the top-flight work of others -- this has enough chuckles to make it worth a sit. Plus, there's the famed "viaduct" routine, and the auction setpiece kills.

Grade: B-


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