Horse Feathers

Critics Consensus

Horse Feathers finds the Marx Brothers in fine madcap form, taking aim at an array of timely targets while serving up classic set pieces.

96%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 28

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,105

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Movie Info

The Marx Brothers take on higher education and football in this riotous comedy. The newly minted president of Huxley University, Quincy Adams Wagstaff (Groucho Marx), is getting pressure from his son Frank (Zeppo Marx) to improve the football squad at the school. Frank thinks his father should recruit two professional ball players so Huxley can finally defeat their gridiron rival, Darwin. But when Wagstaff hires the wrong guys, suddenly a pair of bootleggers are wreaking havoc as undergrads.

Cast & Crew

Groucho Marx
Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff
Chico Marx
Baravelli
Zeppo Marx
Frank Wagstaff
Thelma Todd
Connie Bailey
Robert Greig
Biology Professor
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News & Interviews for Horse Feathers

Critic Reviews for Horse Feathers

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (1)

  • The madcap Marxes, in one of their maddest screen frolics.

    October 18, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • The Brothers have never been so chaotic or so aggressively funny.

    February 9, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Some of the fun is even more reprehensible than the doings of these clowns in previous films, but there is no denying that their antics and their patter are helped along by originality and ready wit.

    January 28, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • This 1932 release was the first Marx film to take on the Depression, and the brothers manage to satirize everything from education to prostitution and bootlegging.

    January 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • I like them but nothing could be more painful than a description of a Marx Brothers show, so 1 simply advise you that Groucho has a new set of horrible puns, equally as good as the ones he last used.

    June 3, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Somehow, the boys manage to incorporate a horse-drawn vehicle into a football game.

    October 29, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Horse Feathers

  • Sep 18, 2011
    This is a pretty funny Marx Brothers movie. Maybe not as good as say, Duck Soup or A Night at the Opera, but still worthwhile. Harpo never gets old.
    Dillon L Super Reviewer
  • Sep 10, 2010
    Incredibly funny! Although there are scenes that are a bit long or too silly, the ending in particular, the movie overall is fun and very very funny.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • May 13, 2010
    This movie for me is the funniest of the Marx Brothers comedies. From the opening moments, when Groucho assumes control of Huxley College, and sings his new policy to the assembled professors, " Whatever it is, I'm against it", to the riotous football game at the end, this movie is a total delight. Chico does one of his funniest Italian con man roles, with Harpo doing some of his most inspired silent clowning, communicating by showing his tattoos, acting out in mime routines what he thinks, and blowing his usual horn. One of the most hilarious scenes has Groucho dropping in on a class ,and taking over from the professor. His attempt to deliver a lecture on anatomy is interrupted by Chico and Harpo, assaulting him with bean-shooters. When Groucho discovers the old time circus acrobat poster hung up in front of the blackboard, and demands to know who the culprit is, Harpo tearfully confesses, after Groucho has asked Chico if it's his picture, and Chico responds," I don't think so, it doesn't look like me." There's a surprisingly bawdy undercurrent of humor involving college president Groucho and his son Zeppo, vying for the attentions of the " college widow", Thelma Todd. Her gangster husband walks in, and demands to know what the various men are doing there. Chico quickly improvises, and declares that he's the music teacher, there to give Thelma a lesson. The suspicious husband makes Groucho stay to listen to the alleged singing lesson, which includes some truly delightful interplay between Thelma and Chico. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the movie is the vintage Prohibition humor, involving speakeasies and bootlegging. Prohibition was still in effect when this movie was new, and there's a whole sequence set in the local speakeasy, with Chico taking phone orders for booze, and filling differently labeled bottles of whiskey with the exact same hooch. The classic password sequence, with Chico minding the peephole, and denying Groucho admittance, is Marx Brothers zaniness at its best. As for the climactic football game...well, you just have to see it.
    David L Super Reviewer
  • Dec 25, 2009
    I love the comedy teams of the black and white era. In my opinion, the Marx brothers were the worst of these though. I thought they were very unfunny and the jokes and their stories didn't make much sense. This movie is a prime example of that. That had to be one of the worst football sequences I've ever watched. I know that I'm in the minority in this, but the Marx brothers are just plain unfunny.
    Ken D Super Reviewer

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