Animal Crackers (1930)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Animal Crackers, like The Cocoanuts before is an all-but-literal translation to film of a smash-hit Marx Brothers Broadway musical. The aristocratic Mrs. Rittenhouse (Margaret Dumont) holds a weekend party at her Long Island Estate. Her guest of honor is famed (but likely fraudulent) African explorer Geoffrey T. Spaulding (Groucho Marx). Also showing up are renegade musician Signor Emmanuel Ravelli (Chico Marx), the mute, girl-chasing "Professor" (Harpo Marx) and Spaulding's faithful secretary Horatio Jamison (Zeppo Marx). The film, revolving around a stolen painting, finds Groucho lecturing on his most recent safari ("One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know"), Harpo and Chico unabashedly cheating at bridge, Groucho dictating a wildly nonsequitur letter to the firm of Hungerdunger, Hungerdunger, Hungerdunger and McCormick, and Groucho and Chico drawing up plans to build a house.
Classics , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
MCA Universal Home Video


Groucho Marx
as Capt. Jeffrey Spaulding
Harpo Marx
as The Professor
Chico Marx
as Signor Emanuel Ravelli
Zeppo Marx
as Horatio Jamison
Louis Sorin
as Roscoe W. Chandler
Lillian Roth
as Arabella Rittenhouse
Margaret Dumont
as Mrs. Rittenhouse
Hal Thompson
as John Parker
Margaret Irving
as Mrs. Whitehead
Kathryn Reece
as Grace Carpenter
Robert Greig
as Hives, the Butler
Earl Metcalfe
as Inspector Hennessey
Ann Roth
as Girl
Donald MacBride
as Bit Part
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Critic Reviews for Animal Crackers

All Critics (24)

More so than any of the other Paramount films, Animal Crackers is Groucho's picture. [Blu-ray]

Full Review… | October 18, 2016
Groucho Reviews

What's most evident, however, is the raging egomania at the center of the brothers' comedy - Groucho in particular.

Full Review… | January 30, 2013

The Marx Brothers' second film is creaky, stagy, and episodic, but it's also very funny.

Full Review… | January 6, 2013

Beloved but creaky Marx Brothers comedy hit.

Full Review… | December 14, 2010
Common Sense Media

A thoroughgoing derangement of Love's Labour's Lost, played saltando by the still-rough Marx Brothers

Full Review… | February 24, 2010
CinePassion exceedingly hit-and-miss affair that is, unfortunately, more miss than hit.

Full Review… | February 28, 2006
Reel Film Reviews

Audience Reviews for Animal Crackers

Altho based on their hit stage play, resulting in a stagebound feel to the thing, many scenes with a cast of extras merely standing around in the background, nonetheless still zany. Groucho himself notes that "not all the jokes can be good", but then again, many are. Margaret Dumont does better stuff with her eyes than some actresses do with their whole career. One of my favorites, including the classic " Hello, I Must Be Going".

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Very funny and silly, a classic Marx Brothers movie. The only thing I don't like about it is the ending, it's kind of strange. Otherwise, a great movie.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Famous explorer Captain Jeffrey T. Spaulding returns from the dark continent to attend the unveiling of a work of art, but it is stolen from under their noses. Animal Crackers may not be the strongest of the Marx brothers films as it's firmly anchored to the stage, basically set in its entirety in the same room but it still definitely has its moments. The earlier part of the film spends far too much time on the farcical plot and not enough on Groucho who is obviously the star of the show. Some of Chico and Harpo's antics are a little hit and miss, some of the routines outstaying their welcome somewhat (the card game in particular) and even some of Groucho's rants get positively surreal (maybe their context has been lost in the sands of time!) It certainly gets better as it goes on though, the Groucho/Chico gags a stand out and by the last scene I was LOL-ing my heart out. And at least Zeppo doesn't sing in this one...

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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