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Monkey Business (1931)


No Reviews Yet...

Release Date: Sep 19, 1931 Wide



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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 7,573

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Movie Info

The first Marx Brothers film to be written directly for the screen (its authors included S. J. Perelman, Arthur Sheekman and Will B. Johnstone), Monkey Business is also the merry Marxes' first Hollywood production. Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo are brilliantly cast as four stowaways on an ocean liner, bound for New York. As our heroes endeavor to elude dimwitted First Mate Gibson (Tom Kennedy), each of the brothers gets involved in an adventure of his own. Groucho finds himself in a menage a


Classics, Comedy

Arthur Sheekman

Oct 10, 2000

MCA Universal Home Video

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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (1) | DVD (9)

It's not the most dynamic and timeless of the brothers' movies but it has enough moments and lines to stand alongside any of them.

May 13, 2014 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

...allows for a welcome bit of personal space between the audience and the comedians' antics.

February 1, 2013 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm

Marx Bros. classic is zany slapstick done right.

December 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Coruscating surrealism

September 25, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion


February 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews | Comments (2)
Reel Film Reviews

Not the best Marx Brothers, but pretty close.

December 19, 2005

The Brothers offer lunacy, anarchy, and unbound nonsense for their Depression audience as they mock the foolish ways the rich behave aboard the luxury liner.

April 10, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Probably only bettered by Horse Feathers and Duck Soup in the Marx library.

January 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

There's something a little special about this film in that it might well be the most wholly anarchic they ever made.

December 1, 2002 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Monkey Business

All the brothers were musicians but Harpo alone always got so serious whenever he played harp (sometimes Chico on the piano, but not always). His clown character creation falls from him, regardless of his costume and ... I always think of their mom, making those guys take music lessons. Those guys. One look from Harpo and women run for their virtue, one look, and then the same guy sits down to play a harp, what angels are supposed to play, its a contradiction, isn't it?
Big fun as always, this film, as the stowaway foursome mess with stuffy shipboard personnel, the gentry elite, and gangsters to boot.
Who is Maurice Chevalier?
May 11, 2012

Super Reviewer

My favourite Marx Brothers movie. It's hilarious and short, it's just packed full of jokes and gags.
October 30, 2010

Super Reviewer

complete anarchy and absolutely hilarious. at the rate they fire off the gags they're bound to miss a few but most of it sticks. i'm inclined to think the boys lost something when they left paramount. i never much cared for the elaborate plots thalberg imposed on them at mgm.
August 31, 2010
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

The brothers stowaway on board an ocean liner and get mixed up with a mobster trying to take over his old bosses territory. The usual mix of wisecracking, slapstick and glamorous gals, Monkey Business is virtually plotless and more of a freeform farce that gives them the freedom to do their thing. The scenes on board ship feel far less forced than a lot of their films as a result, and although it rarely provokes belly laughs, it's always great fun and Ruth Hall and Thelma Todd model some pretty outfits to provide some old school glamour. Once they hit land, things peter out somewhat as they set about resolving the "plot" and Harpo and Chico inevitably wheel out their ubiquitous and coma inducing musical asides. Not the best of the Marx brothers films, but it still has its moments, and Groucho once again proves he is at his best when he has an aging dowager to insult!
February 19, 2010
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

    1. Stowaway: Oh I realize it's a penny here and a penny there but look at me, I've worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.
    – Submitted by Kevin R (9 months ago)
    1. Stowaway: You're a woman who's been getting nothing but dirty breaks. Well, we can clean and tighten your brakes, but you'll have to stay in the garage all night.
    – Submitted by Kevin R (9 months ago)
View all quotes (2)

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