Room Service (1938)
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as Gordon Miller
as Harry Binelli
as Faker Englund
as Christine Marlowe
as Hilda Manny
as Leo Davis
as Gregory Wagner
as Joseph Gribble
as Timothy Hogarth
as Simon Jenkins
as Dr. Glass
Critic Reviews for Room Service
With far too many drawn-out chats lacking in any wit or humor, Room Service is close to a total Marx Brothers dud.
Seiter's direction keeps the brothers at half speed, stuck to static material
Lower-key than most Marx comedies, but still fun
Still enough zaniness to make it a Marx Brother vehicle, but the craziness is diluted.
Some classic Marx bits make this a must-see.
This oft-dismissed exception in the Marx Brothers canon includes no musical numbers and only a few bits specifically tailored to the brothers...underrated.
Audience Reviews for Room Service
I love the Marx Brothers, but this movie wasn't as good as their other movies. It felt slow and very scripted, no ad libs. Also, it felt as though the screenwriter gave the other actors more jokes than the Marx Brothers. Groucho seemed really quiet in this movie, he didn't get to say much, and I didn't like that. I was disappointed with this movie. Towards the end it gets funnier, though, so it wasn't all bad.
JUMPING BUTTERBALLS! Adapted from a stage play, which is obvious when you notice that nearly the entire movie is filmed within two adjoining hotel rooms. Made for RKO, so except for Ryskind who had written for some other Marx Brothers movies, they had a whole different production team and supporting cast. Still very funny situations and opportunities for madcap Marx antics, but no musical numbers except a few bars of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. Ball is an actress in the play Groucho is trying to produce and his assistant, but she fades into the background amidst the brothers' schemes. Miller has next to no screen time and no chance of making an impression. Albertson is the author of the play, a whiny, small town bumpkin who is taken in by all the craziness. Dunstan plays Groucho's half brother and hotel manager, so he represents the authority of the hotel, but also goes along with Groucho's and Chico's plans without too much trouble. MacBride, as Wagner the efficiency expert, is really the stiff that the Marx Brothers are trying to tear down with their anti-authority hijinks. The man from the collection agency, the man representing the financial backer for the play, the Russian want-to-be actor, and the doctor each pop up in one or two scenes to move the plot and supply the set up for a couple gags. Several high quality visual and verbal gags are included. I must say that my favorite was when the doctor tries to get Harpo to say "Ahhh" too.
Highly enjoyable from the Marx brothers. Unlike many of their other films, "Room Service" has a relatively coherent and followable story (instead of just "random" gags and musical numbers) and I liked that. Harpo has a pretty big role in this, and overshadows Groucho. Perhaps Groucho's less prominent role can explain why it's not one of their best, seeing that we miss many witty commentaries from Groucho. A must watch for the fans nevertheless.
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