Film Rankings


For the curious, to get a sense of exactly what you're dealing with, here are the three hosts' current rankings of the Marx Brothers' thirteen films, in order of decreasing preference. (We refer you to Episode 1 for an in-depth discussion.) We reserve the right to revise our rankings at any moment, and above all, don't worry.

Matthew's list

      1.    Animal Crackers
      2.    The Cocoanuts
      3-4. Monkey Business / Horse Feathers 
      5.    A Night at the Opera 
      6.    Duck Soup 
      7.    A Night in Casablanca 
      8.    A Day at the Races 
      9.    Room Service 
      10.   The Big Store 
      11.   At the Circus 
      12.   Love Happy 
      13.   Go West

Bob's list

  1. Animal Crackers
  2. Duck Soup
  3. Horse Feathers
  4. The Cocoanuts
  5. Monkey Business
  6. A Night at the Opera
  7. A Day at the Races
  8. A Night in Casablanca
  9. At The Circus
  10. The Big Store
  11. Go West
  12. Love Happy
  13. Room Service

Bob notes: "I really don't like having to include Room Service and Love Happy at all. They shouldn't be compared to the others..."

Noah's list

  1. Animal Crackers
  2. Horse Feathers
  3. The Cocoanuts
  4. Duck Soup
  5. Monkey Business
  6. A Night at the Opera
  7. A Day at the Races
  8. A Night in Casablanca
  9. The Big Store
  10. Room Service
  11. At the Circus
  12. Go West
  13. Love Happy

Note: For the purposes of these rankings, we're considering only the thirteen canonical Marx Brothers movies. If we were widening the scope, of course, the lists would look quite different, as we all consider The Story of Mankind to be the greatest film ever made, with the possible exception of Skidoo.

11 comments:

  1. Funny how "Animal Crackers" has gone up in popularity over the years; maybe I should give it another look.

    "Room Service" is dull -- a weird hybrid of Marx Bros. and straight stage-to-film adaptation, and neither being satisfying. "Go West" is my least favorite -- it almost seems like it was written for Abbott & Costello, then re-written to include Harpo. At least "The Big Store" feels like the Marx Brothers, even if it doesn't quite succeed.

    By the way, I met one of the dancers from "The Big Store" about 20 years ago. Her strongest memory was that Groucho was very funny between takes. As we talked, I realized I had watched her as part of a three-person dance team on the Ed Sullivan in the early '60s!

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  2. Not that anyone should care but I think "Go West" is their worst movie. There are some decent gags but the spirit is all wrong. Their best movies express an ebullient contempt for the dishonest drudgery of it all. In GW, they're stupid tepid buffoons with edge almost completely gone. Even the train sequence can't save it.

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  3. 1.Duck Soup 2.A Night at the opera 3.Animal crackers 4.Horse feathers 5.Monkey business 6.the coconanuts 7.A Day at the races 8.a night in Casablanca 9.Room service 10.the big store 11.At the circus 12.Go west 13Love Happy that's my list but I can switch a couple here and there depending on my mood maybe animal crackers number 2 it was Grouchos favorite so it's very close I sometimes dont like to put a night at the opera at 2 only because Zeppo is not there but it's hard not to

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  4. Well, seven out of thirteen ain't bad. As a matter of fact, seven are pretty good. Well, five out of seven are actually as good as it gets - and it gets pretty good, in my opinion. Not that you asked. What this country needs is a seven cent nickel. Or at least seven excellent Marx Brothers movies, because we sure could use a laugh.

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  5. I'm pretty sure may be the only remaining human* who actually thinks Go West isn't that bad. It's higher up on my ranking of the lower half of their careers.

    *Horses love it.

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    Replies
    1. Though the Native American scene is very, very cringworthy...

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  6. My list is fairly different than most I've seen:
    1. Animal Crackers
    2. Duck Soup
    3. Monkey Business
    4. A Night at the Opera
    5. The Cocoanuts
    6. Horsefeathers
    7. Room Service
    8. Go West
    9. A Night in Casablanca
    10. A Day at the Races
    11. The Big Store
    12. At the Circus
    13. Love Happy

    (...but my order shifts regularly 🤷‍♀️)

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  7. I love the Tutsi-Frutsi scene.

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  8. Classic:
    S. Quentin Quale : You love your brother, don't you?

    Joseph Panello : No, but I'm used to him.

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    Replies
    1. I frequently see that cited as a great line; indeed an online review of my book claimed that it was significantly compromised by my failure to stop and note its magnificence. I don't think it ever even made me smile.

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