A Day at the Races (1937)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In this Marx Brothers' comedy, a horse named Hi-Hat is a financially troubled sanitarium's only hope of avoiding foreclosure. Luckily, the sanitarium's new director is a veterinarian impersonating a physician. Groucho and his gang are up to their usual zany tricks, trying to make sure Hi-Hat wins a steeplechase race.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Classics , Comedy , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
MGM Home Entertainment

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Cast

Groucho Marx
as Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush
Harpo Marx
as Stuffy
Chico Marx
as Tony
John Hyams
as Judge
Maureen O'Sullivan
as Judy Standish
Allan Jones
as Gil Stewart
Hooper Atchley
as Race Judge
Charles Trowbridge
as Dr. Wilmerding
Frankie Darro
as Morgan's Jockey
Margaret Dumont
as Emily Upjohn
Esther Muir
as "Flo"
Wilbur Mack
as Judge
Pat Flaherty
as Detective
Frank Dawson
as Doctor
Si Jenks
as Messenger
Marx Brothers
as themselves (Groucho,Chico, Harpo)
Jack Norton
as Drunk
Ivie Anderson
as Specialty Singer
Sig Rumann
as Dr. Steinberg
Leonard Ceeley
as Whitmore
Vivien Fay
as Solo Dancer
Max Lucke
as Doctor
Vivian Fay
as Solo Dancer
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Critic Reviews for A Day at the Races

All Critics (14)

It places the Marx Brothers clearly among the few fine comedians of our day.

Full Review… | January 18, 2013
The Nation

Marx Bros.' big hit may miss with today's kids.

Full Review… | December 14, 2010
Common Sense Media

...may not inspire one to gales of laughter the way the earlier Marx Brothers films did, but there are still some good laughs here.

Full Review… | January 26, 2010
Movie Metropolis

Proof of the absence of God comes when Marx Brothers gags get the scissors ... yet we still must endure a show-stopping (in the worst sense of the word) water-ballet number that's a dose of Robitussin when the movie needs a double espresso.

Full Review… | April 4, 2006
DVDJournal.com

Vintage Groucho, Harpo and Chico.

October 20, 2005
Nitrate Online

Quote not available.

June 29, 2005
EmanuelLevy.Com

Audience Reviews for A Day at the Races

I believe this is the longest of the Marx Brother's movies. It really didn't need to be so long, there were a couple of boring scenes. Other than that, the Brothers do all their usual jokes and run around being silly as usual, which is always fun, so I liked this movie anyway.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Much funnier than the last couple of films I've seen.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

This second Marx Brothers picture for MGM has many of the same elements. Sam Wood directs again. Allan Jones and Margaret Dumont are still on hand. Ruman returns in a briefer supporting part. Wunderkind Thalberg dies part way through production at age 37 though. Maureen O'Sullivan is the new romantic leading lady. Ceeley, Dumbrille, and Middlemass are the villains this time representing business managers of a sanitarium who want to turn the building into a casino. Groucho is Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush, a vet who has convinced Dumont's Mrs. Upjohn that he is an expert psychiatrist and medical doctor. He is brought in to try to save O'Sullivan's sanitarium, which her father ran before her. Chico works for O'Sullivan and Harpo is a jockey at the nearby horse track. Jones is romantically involved with O'Sullivan of course, but annoys her when he invests in a race horse expecting to win enough to pay her debts and his. Again some of their best comic "set pieces" are contained here: Tootsie-Fruitsie Ice Cream, Groucho calling Whitmore as the Florida medical board, Harpo's charades for Hackenbush is gonna be framed, Chico and Harpo interrupting Hackenbush's dinner with Flo, the medical examination of Mrs. Upjohn, and the chaos the boys cause at the race track. Harpo's non-verbal pantomime is even more expressive and hilarious in this picture. The music is still great entertainment though more on a popular track this time since the opera of the previous film. Jones has a solo in front of a wall of water, a Busby Berkeley type ballet number is revealed behind the wall of water, and a solo ballerina does an unbelievable number of rapid pirouettes. Chico does another piano piece and Harpo does too until he demolishes the instrument. It is a treat to see him use the strings and frame from the inside of the piano as his harp to avoid being hauled away by the authorities. Later there is a huge gospel/jazz/swing musical number. An entire black community living around a barn where the brothers are hiding out follow Harpo who is playing a whistle. The scene is a little odd and at times disturbing for its racial stereotyping, but the singing and dancing by everyone but the Marx Brothers is well done. At least there is some variety from the ballads popular to white culture in the mid-30's here.

Byron Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer

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