HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Boys from County Hell
All Hands On Deck
Teddy
Beasts Clawing at Straws
Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Windom's Way
True Don Quixote, The
Babymother
Mitchells vs. the Machines, The
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Unholy, The
How to Deter a Robber
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
   
 
Newest Articles
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
   
 
  Horse Feathers All In The Gamesmanship
Year: 1932
Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Zeppo Marx, Thelma Todd, David Landau, Nat Pendleton, James Pierce, Reginald Barlow, Robert Greig, Theresa Harris
Genre: Musical, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: The Dean of Huxley College is retiring today, so the professors and students have assembled in the large hall to pay tribute to him and meet the new Dean. However, the new Dean is Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff (Groucho Marx), a man not given to reverence, making no bones about how pleased he is to see the back of the old Dean. After spotting his son Frank (Zeppo Marx) in the audience and asking him to get up from his seat so he can see the son rise, Wagstaff proceeds to sing a song about how whatever it is, he's against it. But despite his forthright views, can he stay in his post with the important football game coming up?

Horse Feathers was the fourth of the Marx Brothers movies, continuing a successful run of classics that lasted until around A Day at the Races five years later. It's difficult to imagine a world without them, as their characters were so vivid and unique, with Groucho, complete with spectacles, painted on moustache and cigar making with the wisecracks, Chico and his phoney Italian accent and doublespeak, and Harpo, saying not a word and running wild as possibly the most insane screen comedian of all time. Oh, and Zeppo too, still with the team at this point, and filling in as straight man.

Here it's the respectable halls of American learning that are the target of the humour, but really they're a backdrop for the jokes and sketches. Putting across the point that it's the sports fields that make or break a college's reputation, Horse Feathers has as its plot a scheme to help Huxley win at the football game against Darwin College. To this end, Wagstaff is offered a tip by his son that there are a couple of football players drinking at the local speakeasy, and they can be bought for a small sum. Wagstaff dutifully goes along, but hires the wrong two.

Can you guess who he hires by mistake? The real footballers have been scooped up by Darwin, who are obviously just as double dealing as Huxley so we don't mind them getting their comeuppance. This means Wagstaff gets involved with Baravelli (Chico), an ice deliveryman, and Pinky (Harpo) who is a dogcatcher (well, he chases after pooches whenever they run across the set, at any rate). At the bar, there's the famous password routine to enjoy, with Wagstaff fooling Baravelli into giving away "Swordfish", and Pinky playing one armed bandit with a telephone.

Speaking of telephones, marvel at the incidental pleasures such as Groucho cracking walnuts with a phone, or in one of the funniest throwaway gags, Harpo shoveling the Dean's books into the roaring hearth. You can't have a Marx Brothers film without the songs, for better or worse, but here they're fairly satisfying as first Zeppo croons Everyone Says I Love You to "college widow" Thelma Todd (who didn't have long to live, dying in mysterious circumstances three years later), and the other brothers offer variations on this - Harpo on the harp, and Chico on the piano, of course. The climactic football game, even if you don't know the rules, is a fitting finale, with the brothers careering around the field as Roman charioteers in a horse-drawn garbage cart. You can't go wrong with the Marxes during this period.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5071 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: