ANIMAL CRACKERS (1930) B/W 97m dir: Victor Heerman
w/Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Zeppo Marx, Lillian Roth, Margaret Dumont, Louis Sorin, Hal Thompson, Margaret Irving, Kathryn Reece
Wacky screenplay by Morrie Ryskind, based on the hit Broadway musical he wrote with George F. Kaufman, has Groucho as the African explorer Captain Spaulding, guest of honor at a party at matron Margaret Dumont's Long Island estate. Hilarity ensues.
From The Movie Guide: "The second Marx Brothers film is a riotous version of their stage hit. ...
"ANIMAL CRACKERS is exceedingly stagy and theatrical, even by 1930s standards, but is nevertheless very funny and highly enjoyable. Some of its classic bits include the 'Hooray for Captain Spaulding' production number, featuring the melody that Groucho would later adopt as the theme song for his radio and television hit 'You Bet Your Life'; the hilarious parody of Eugene O'Neill's Strange Interlude, with Spaulding stepping forward and vocalizing his internal thoughts in the middle of a scene; and the usual quota of bad puns. ANIMAL CRACKERS was also the hardest Marx Brothers film to see for many years, having been withheld from circulation from 1958 to 1974 due to a copyright dispute. When it was re-released to theaters in 1974, a whole new generation of Marx Brothers fans were [sic] born, and happily, Groucho was still alive to bask in the triumph."