The Cocoanuts Reviews

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Super Reviewer
December 24, 2011
The first of the Marx Bros. movies and, while stagey, most certainly a delight. Margaret Dumont, as ever, is a fortress of femininity against the leering onslaught of Groucho's questionable machinations and grandly so, while Chico and Harpo are the best worthless con men ever. One of the very reasons for film.
Super Reviewer
½ September 16, 2010
You can tell that this is their first movie, it isn't as slick and structured as their other movies. Still, they use the routines which are staples of their later movies, and they are just as funny, but the rest of the actors are all over the place trying to take attention away from the Marx Brothers. Plus, I didn't like the ending.
Super Reviewer
July 27, 2013
What I love about the Marx Brothers is that they never overshoot. There films are filled with slapstick and puns a like, but they never completely miss in their humor. This is my fourth film from them (Duck Soup, A Night in Casablanca, & A Night at the Opera). The only one I would pick this over is A Night In Casablanca, but this is still packed with laughs. I thought the scene where they were going from to room to room was way to long, and I didn't care for the music scenes. Unfortunately this started to lose me in the concluding minutes, but overall I liked it. Especially the auction scene, and the one before it.
Super Reviewer
February 21, 2009
Pretty slow in the beginning, but it picks up. Not my favorite Marx Bros, film, but it's still great fun.
½ February 13, 2014
The Cocoanuts (1929)

This was our first view of the Marx Brothers in movie theaters. It may not have had the refinement of Animal Crackers and Duck Soup, but it gave us a taste of things to come.

Hotel manager, Mr. Hammer (Groucho Marx) is trying to keep his failing Miami resort afloat, even if it means flirting with a paying customer, Mrs. Potter (Margaret Dumont). Her daughter, Polly (Mary Eaton) is interested in an architect, Bob Adams (Oscar Shaw).

Hammer also wants to make a little real estate money with the Florida land boom, but can he bid low with the likes of Chico and Harpo helping him. Then, of course there's the femme fatal, Penelope (Kay Francis) who is working with the jewel theif, Harvey Yates (Cyril Ring).

I think that it's interesting that the Shakespearian group is actually putting on Cocoanuts in Ashland, Oregon, using some of the Irving Berlin stage music that was never put in the movie.
½ October 16, 2012
This was the first Marx Brothers movie. It's also one of the early sound movies. It's not as well made as the latter Marx Brothers movies but it was made it 1929. There are only few Groucho comedy routines. Lot's of dancing girls and a little bit of singing. The young women are 1920's era flat chested flapper girls. Looking at it from the 21st century when actresses all have breast implants looks strange. But that is what the style was in 1929. I found out that the tall actress was born in Oklahoma City.
February 1, 2012
My least favorite of the Marx Bros films. It was proabaly very enjoyable as a play in 1929 but as a film it's slow and the jokes are just not well crafted as they would be in later films, Great to watch if you're a fan of the Marx Bros but overall not worth repeating.
½ September 13, 2011
I finally delved into the boxset of Marx material in the proper order, as I wanted to see how the brothers developed in film. Set in Florida during the land boom, Groucho tries desperately to keep his hotel afloat amid a series of screwball antics from within and without.

Well worth a look, it's got some great bits and the Marx's never fail to amuse with their rapid fire delivery.
July 29, 2007
The Marx's first movie may be rough around the edges (it was an early talkie), but it's worth checking out. Some classic bits (Why a duck?) and Margaret Dumont being herself.
½ May 7, 2007
hehehe I think I remember which this one is, if it is the right one then the auction part is awesome... well.. the other parts are just as awesome also.
June 9, 2006
O for the olden days of comedy, where one got puns, wordplay, and random song and dance sequences instead of tired jokes about bodily functions! I think the Marx Brothers' movies are some of te best comedies of all time. They're so incredibly zany and so unpredictable and so marvelously plotless that they're quite simply a pleasure to watch. They quite often have laugh-out-loud moments -- for me, the shirt-stealing scene has to be one of the funniest things I've ever seen in my history of movie-watching.
½ October 20, 2014
Not as smooth or slick, but it was their first, so you can't expect too much, but it was quite funny watching the bro's play off each other.
October 13, 2013
1933's Duck Soup Is My Favorite Comedy Film.
November 30, 2007
The Marx Brothers first film and it shows. I'm not quite sure I understand why Groucho was funny, but Chico & Harpo were so much more talented.
November 30, 2012
The first Marx Brothers film and it's clear that the long years training and performing and honing their characters and act has paid off as each brother emerges here fully formed. Unfortunately in 1929, sound was very new and movies had yet to move beyond the "watch somebody stand still and sing for five minutes" stage, or the "watch these chorus lines slightly move, but synchronized!" stage of choreography. 20-25 minutes of this could very easily be trimmed, bringing this movie down to a tight 70 minutes of prime Marx Brothers comedy. This mistake would be corrected by the next film.

But when the comedy arrives, it's gold!
½ February 4, 2012
The Cocoanuts, one of Hollywood's earliest sound movies, is the oldest surviving feature starring the Marx Brothers. In it, Groucho plays a hotel manager trying to use a real estate scheme in order to keep his business afloat. His verbal humor is coupled with Harpo's pantomime mayhem and Chico's imbecilic "get rich quick" efforts. While the format of this film would be greatly improved upon in subsequent movies, The Cocoanuts has more than enough humor to engage those who are already keen on The Marx Brothers' comedy.
May 12, 2011
Now an 82+ year old antique, the first of the Marx Bros movies turned out to be a Classic with some of their best routines like the classic 'Why a duck' routine between Groucho and Chico. Recommended
½ March 25, 2011
*** (out of four)

The Marx Brothers first film is not quite one of their best, but it does show glimpses of the genius that would follow.

Groucho romances a wealthy widow as his Florida hotel heads to bankruptcy. His real estate schemes are being ruined by Chico and Harpo.
September 25, 2010
Statically filmed with nascent technology and not very well preserved, this is still the Marx Brothers at their freshest, and the closest we'll ever get to seeing them on stage.
½ December 14, 2009
There are glimpses of what the Marx Brothers would be about, and produce in the future. However the incredibly bad quality of the film, and the novice feel of it, makes the percentage this film got on this website, laughable. However this is not the worst film the brothers stared in, no matter what anyone says. Room service and love happy makes this look like a classic. Marx Brothers made 3 bad films, the rest were okay and some classic.
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