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Monkey Business

Monkey Business

Director:Norman McLeod
Cast:Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Zeppo Marx
Genre:Film, Comedy, Classic

By Eric Allen Hatch | Posted

In the early 1930s, Hollywood went gangster as classics like Little Caesar, Scarface, and Public Enemy lit up the screen with Tommy-gun fire and caused controversy beyond theater lobbies. In their third feature film, the Marx Brothers even got in on the act: The four brothers (including straight man Zeppo) begin this film as ocean-liner stowaways but quickly sell their dubious services as muscle for rival mob bosses. While not as biting nor as particular in its social commentary as the subsequent Duck Soup, Monkey Business (1931) rivals that acknowledged masterpiece with its rapid-fire comedic pacing and overall anti-establishment energy. Thankfully, it also lacks the sappy non-Marxist musical numbers that would mar some of the Brothers' later cinematic ventures. Director Norman McLeod would go on to direct Groucho and company again in Horse Feathers, in addition to such classic comedies as It's a Gift and Topper; he keeps these proceedings moving at a fast and furious clip.

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