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Encyclopedia > A Night at the Opera (movie)

A Night At the Opera is a 1935 comedy film starring the Marx Brothers. 1935 was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Airplane! is considered by some critics to be one of the funniest movies of all time. ... The brothers in Hollywood: (left to right) Chico, Zeppo, Groucho, Harpo The Marx Brothers were a team of sibling comedians that played in vaudeville, stage plays, film and television. ...


It was the first film the brothers made for MGM after their departure from Paramount, and, at the suggestion of producer Irving Thalberg the film marked a change of direction in the brothers' career. In their Paramount films, the brothers' characters were much more anarchistic: they attacked (comically) anybody that was unfortunate to cross their paths, whether they deserved it or not. (Usually, they did deserve it). Thalberg, however, felt that this made the brothers come across as unsympathetic, particularly to female film goers. So in the MGM films, the brothers were recast as more helpful characters. From now on they heaped their comic attacks upon only the obvious villains of the piece. In A Night At the Opera, the brothers help two young lovers to succeed in love as well as in the opera world. It stars Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Kitty Carlisle, Allan Jones, Walter Woolf King, Siegfried Rumann and Margaret Dumont. MGM logo Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer or MGM, is a large media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of cinema and television programs. ... The Paramount Pictures logo used from 1987 to 1995. ... Irving Grant Thalberg (May 30, 1899–September 14, 1936) was an American film producer during the early years of motion pictures. ... The foyer of Charles Garniers Opéra, Paris, opened 1875 Opera is an art form consisting of a dramatic stage performance set to music. ... Groucho Marx poses for an NBC promotional photograph Julius Henry Marx, known as Groucho Marx (October 2, 1890 – August 19, 1977), was an American comedian, working both with his siblings, the Marx Brothers, and on his own. ... Leonard Marx, known as Chico, (March 22, 1887 - October 11, 1961) was one of the Marx Brothers. ... Harpo Marx as rendered by Dalí Adolph Arthur Marx, known as Harpo Marx, (November 23, 1888 – September 28, 1964) was one of the Marx Brothers, a group of Vaudeville entertainers who later experienced tremendous success in making film comedies. ... Kitty Carlisle in Die Fledermaus, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1933 Kitty Carlisle Hart (b. ... Allan Jones ( October 14, 1908 – January 27, 1992) was an American actor and singer. ... Walter Woolf King was born on 2 November, 1899 at San Francisco, California. ... Margaret Dumont (October 20, 1889 - March 6, 1965) was an American comedic actress. ...


The opera setting allowed MGM to add big production song numbers, which were one of this studio's specialities. Some Marx Brothers fans were appalled at these format changes, yet the film undoubtedly contained some of the brothers' funniest routines ever. These were honed on stage, as the brothers returned to touring new material on road before filming began (another Thalberg change). Classic scenes included the Stateroom scene (where more and more people are piled into a tiny ship's cabin until they literally spill out at the end), and also the contract discussion scene between Groucho and Chico, which is a masterpiece of non-communication: The foyer of Charles Garniers Opéra, Paris, opened 1875 Opera is an art form consisting of a dramatic stage performance set to music. ...

CHICO: Hey, wait, wait. What does this say here, this thing here?
GROUCHO: Oh, that? Oh, that's the usual clause, that's in every contract. That just says, uh, it says, uh, if any of the parties participating in this contract are shown not to be in their right mind, the entire agreement is automatically nullified.
CHICO: Well, I don't know...
GROUCHO: It's all right. That's, that's in every contract. That's, that's what they call a sanity clause.
CHICO: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! You can't fool me. There ain't no sanity clause.

The movie was adapted by George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, Al Boasberg (uncredited) and Buster Keaton (uncredited) from a story by James Kevin McGuinness. Sam Wood was the director. George Simon Kaufman (November 16, 1889 - June 2, 1961) was a playwright, director, producer, humorist, and drama critic noted for his many collaborations with other writers and his contributions to American comedy in the 20th century. ... Joseph Frank Keaton VI (October 4, 1895 – February 1, 1966), always known as Buster Keaton, was a popular and influential American silent-film comic actor and filmmaker. ... Sam Wood (born July 10, 1883 in Philadelphia - died September 22, 1949 in Hollywood) was a prolific Hollywood director, he also did some production, writing, and to a lesser extent, acting work. ...


It has been deemed "culturally significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. Library of Congress, Jefferson building The Library of Congress is the unofficial national library of the United States. ... The National Film Registry is the registry of films selected by the United States National Film Preservation Board for preservation in the Library of Congress. ...


The British rock group Queen later paid homage to this film by naming one of their most famous albums after it (see A Night at the Opera (album)). The Queen crest, designed by Freddie Mercury Queen is a British rock band which came to popularity during the mid-1970s, and have amassed an enormous worldwide fanbase that continues to exist to this day. ... A Night at the Opera is a rock album by British band Queen originally released in 1975. ...

Stateroom Scene, Groucho:"Is it my imagination, or is it getting crowded in here?"
Stateroom Scene, Groucho:"Is it my imagination, or is it getting crowded in here?"

The film contains one of the most famous comedy scenes of all filmdom (designed in part by Buster Keaton), when loads of people crowd into Groucho's tiny stateroom (see image). Download high resolution version (3000x2371, 1342 KB)Stateroom Scene File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Download high resolution version (3000x2371, 1342 KB)Stateroom Scene File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Joseph Frank Keaton VI (October 4, 1895 – February 1, 1966), always known as Buster Keaton, was a popular and influential American silent-film comic actor and filmmaker. ...


Quotation

Dumont:I've been sitting right here since 7:00.
Groucho:Yes, with your back to me. When I invite a woman to dinner I expect her to look at my face. That's the price she has to pay.


Chicho:(reading a contract) What's this?


Groucho:That's a Sanity Clause. Chicho:There's no such thing as Santy Claus!


External links


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