1937

A Day at the Races (1937) starring the Marx Brothers (Groucho, Chico, Harpo), Margaret Dumont, Allen Jenkins

A Day at the Races, starring the Marx Brothers

A Day at the Races (1937) starring the Marx Brothers (Groucho, Chico, Harpo), Margaret Dumont, Allen Jenkins

Synopsis for A Day at the Races

A Day at the Races (1937) starring the Marx Brothers (Groucho, Chico, Harpo), Margaret Dumont, Allen Jenkins

Doctor Hugo Hackenbush, Tony, and Stuffy try to save Judy’s sanitarium by winning a big race with Gil’s horse.  A very funny film, with several hilarious moments.  Some say it’s the last great Marx Brothers film.

Cast of Characters in A Day at the Races

  • Judy (Maureen O’Sullivan, The Thin ManHannah and her Sisters).  The young lady running a sanitarium, that’s losing money.
  • Morgan (Douglass Dumbrille, The Ten CommandmentsAbbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion, The Road to Utopia).  The shady man who wants to buy the sanitarium and use it for his horse race track.
  • Stuffy (Harpo Marx).  Fired by Morgan for refusing to throw a race, he throws in with Tony and the rest.
  • Tony (Chico Marx), Judy’s loyal employee who’s determined to help her by hook and crook.  He talks to Mrs. Upjohn and convinces her to not leave the sanitarium since the “famous” Dr. Hackenbush will be taking over the sanitarium.
  • Dr. Hackenbush (Groucho Marx).  A veterinarian, not the Dr. Hackenbush — but who’s willing to pretend and go along for the money – and chase after the rich Mrs. Upjohn.
  • Mrs. Upjohn (Margaret Dumont).  The wealthy widow whose patronage keeps the sanitarium afloat.  She falls in love — somehow — with Dr. Hackenbush.
  • Gil (Allan JonesA Night at the Opera, One Night in the Tropics).  Judy’s love interest, who invests his life savings in buying a racehorse, on the hope of winning a race and rescuing Judy financially.  Morgan, of course, doesn’t want that …
  • Flo (Esther MuirSunset Murder Case).  The pretty young lady, hired by Morgan, to get caught in a “compromising position” with Dr. Hackenbush so that Mrs. Upjohn will leave.  Allowing Morgan to buy the sanitarium for a song.
  • Dr. Steinberg (Sig RumanStalag 17To Be or Not to Be, Way … Way Out).  The stuffy doctor who doesn’t believe that Dr. Hackenbush is on the level … and is determined to prove that he’s not!

Editorial Review of A Day at the Races (courtesy of Amazon.com)

A Day at the Races is the  Marx Brothers at their commercial and popular peak, working with a top Hollywood director (Sam Wood of  The Pride of the Yankees), supported with a healthy screen budget paying for such extras as a blue-tinted ballet sequence, love songs from crooner Allan Jones, and decorative sets. But the brothers are also at the top of their game in terms of their own comic material and timing. The story finds  Groucho, Chico, and Harpo helping out at a sanatorium, where their longtime foil in the movies,  Margaret Dumont, is the leading patient. The film has some of the trio’s funniest and most memorable bits and a dazzling horserace at the climax. (more…)

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