If there was any means of happiness to anyone who was growing up during the Great Depression era, it was to see comedic movies like ones starring The Marx Brothers that just made you feel good inside. A Night at the Opera is when The Marx Brothers decide to use their wacky, humorous, and spectacular stunt skills to assure two opera singers achieve the fame that the rich snobs of the New York Opera Company try to take away from them.
The original plan for this film was for The Marx Brothers to commit anarchy to everything and everyone that they cross paths with. But the creators didn’t want this film to reach only male audiences but female audiences as well. After all, what woman likes to see male characters that are unsympathetic throughout the run of a film? If that was the case, they could just watch Curb Your Enthusiasm! Yeah anyways…Groucho, Harpo, and Chico decide to use their powers for good instead and try to help Ricardo and Rosa put their names in the spotlight as well as to use the hook for the snobby Lassparri. I love the musical numbers in this film such as “Alone” where you can hear the real life tenor of Allan Jones and the beautiful soprano of Kitty Carlisle. So happy this wasn’t a case of lip-synching except for the character of Lassparri but who cares about that character anyways?
I love the clever, witty wordplay that occurs throughout the film. You hear lines such as “What juices do you have here?” “You might have some tomato juice, orange juice, grape juice or pineapple juice.” “Hey, turn off the juice before I get electrocuted!” They come snappy, quick, and hilarious! We also see a lot of impressive stunt work in the finale which is entertaining to see as they treat the opera house like their own personal circus or Tarzan’s jungle. I think of this whole film as the opera being a place of class and bourgeois and the Marx Brothers are the flea in their silver platter. Sticking out like a sore thumb, they make a splash and disrupt this perfect means of existence with their slapstick. It’s just nice once in a while to see a film that will make you laugh and smile. Can you think of any other films that make you feel that way?
Unfortunately I couldn’t find a copy anywhere online. I know you can rent A Night at the Opera on Amazon for $2.99. Here’s a clip of the infamous stateroom scene: