DirectorEdward Buzzell Music directorHarold Arlen Duration CountryUnited States
WriterIrving Brecher, Buster Keaton, Laurence Stallings Release dateOctober 20, 1939 (1939-10-20) CastGroucho Marx (Attorney Loophole), Chico Marx (Antonio), Harpo Marx (Punchy), Florence Rice (Julie Randall), Eve Arden (Peerless Pauline), Margaret Dumont (Mrs. Dukesbury) Similar moviesBirdman, Pitch Perfect 2, Aladdin, Frozen, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Beauty and the Beast
TaglineKeep the world laughing!
At the circus official trailer 1 nat pendleton movie 1939 hd
At the Circus (also called The Marx Brothers at the Circus) is a 1939 Marx Brothers comedy film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in which they save a circus from bankruptcy. The movie is notable for Groucho Marx's classic rendition of "Lydia the Tattooed Lady". The supporting cast includes Florence Rice, Kenny Baker, Margaret Dumont, and Eve Arden.
Goliath, the circus strongman (Nat Pendleton) and the midget, Little Professor Atom (Jerry Maren), are accomplices of bad guy John Carter (James Burke) who is trying to take over the Wilson Wonder Circus. Julie Randall (Florence Rice), performs a horse act in the circus. In the animal car on the circus train, Goliath and Atom knock out Julie's boyfriend, Jeff Wilson (Kenny Baker), and steal $10,000, which Jeff owes Carter.
Jeff's friend and circus employee, Tony (Chico), summons attorney J. Cheever Loophole (Groucho) to handle the situation. Loophole caves in when he sees the muscular Goliath, and gets nowhere with Little Professor Atom. In order to help Wilson, he first tries to get the hidden money from Carter's moll, Peerless Pauline (Eve Arden), but fails. Tony and Punchy search Goliath's stateroom on the circus train for the money, but are unsuccessful.
Loophole calls upon Jeff's wealthy aunt, Mrs. Dukesbury (Margaret Dumont), and tricks her into paying $10,000 for the Wilson Wonder Circus to entertain the Newport 400, instead of a performance by French conductor Jardinet (Fritz Feld), and his symphony orchestra. The audience is delighted with the circus; when Jardinet arrives, Loophole, who also delayed the Frenchman by implicating him in a dope ring, disposes of the conductor and his orchestra by having them play on a floating bandstand down at the water's edge.
Tony and Punchy (Harpo) cut the mooring rope while the orchestra plays the Prelude to Act Three of Wagner's Lohengrin, Meanwhile, Carter and his henchmen try to burn down the circus, but are thwarted by Loophole, Tony, and Punchy, along with the only witness to the robbery: Gibraltar the gorilla (Charles Gemora), who also retrieves Wilson's money.
Groucho Marx as attorney J. Cheever Loophole
Harpo Marx as Punchy
Chico Marx as Antonio 'Tony' Pirelli
Florence Rice as Julie Randall
Kenny Baker as Jeff Wilson
Margaret Dumont as Mrs. Susanna Dukesbury
Eve Arden as Peerless Pauline
James Burke as John Carter
Nat Pendleton as Goliath the Strongman
Jerry Marenghi as Little Professor Atom
Fritz Feld as Jardinet
Barnett Parker as Whitcomb
Charles Gemora as Gibraltar the Gorilla
"Step Up And Take A Bow"
"Lydia, the Tattooed Lady"
"Two Blind Loves"
"Beer Barrel Polka"
Reviews from critics were generally not as positive as those for earlier Marx Brothers films. Frank S. Nugent of The New York Times wrote that "in all charity and with a very real twinge of regret we must report that their new frolic is not exactly frolicsome; that it is, in cruel fact, a rather dispirited imitation of former Marx successes, a matter more of perspiration that inspiration and not at all up to the standards (foot-high though they may be) of daffy comedy." Variety called the film "broad, ribald fun in familiar pattern to early pictures of the Marx Bros." Film Daily wrote, "The mad Marxmen have never been funnier, nor have they had a better story in which to cavort than 'At the Circus'." Harrison's Reports called it "about the worst Marx picture seen in years ... Children should enjoy it, but hardly any adults." John Mosher of The New Yorker wrote that the Marxes seemed to be trying harder in this picture than they were in Room Service, "but the achievement of novelty or surprise, the true Marx note, is never apparent." The November 11, 1939 Ottawa Citizen described the film as "a veritable riot of hilarity" and "possibly the nuttiest of the films that Groucho, Chico and Harpo have perpetuated."