|A Night at the Opera|
|Directed by||Sam Wood|
|Produced by||Irving Thalberg|
|Written by||James Kevin McGuinness|
George S. Kaufman
|Distributed by||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (1935-1986)|
Turner Entertainment (1986-96)
Warner Bros. (1996-present)
|Release date(s)||November 15, 1935 (USA)|
|Running time||96 min. Samuel Grosvenor (Sam Wood ( July 10 1883 – September 22 1949) was a prolific Hollywood director he also did some production writing Irving Grant Thalberg ( May 30, 1899 – September 14, 1936) was an Academy Award -winning American Film producer James Kevin McGuinness ( 20 December, 1893 &ndash 4 December, 1950) was an American Screenwriter and Film producer George Simon Kaufman ( November 16 1889 - June 2 1961) was an American Playwright, Theatre director and Morrie Ryskind ( October 20, 1895 in New York City - August 24, 1985 in Washington DC Leonard Marx, known as Chico, ( March 22, 1887 &ndash October 11, 1961) was one of the Marx Brothers. Arthur Marx (previously Adolph Marx) popularly known as Harpo Marx ( November 23, 1893 &ndash September 28, 1964 Turner Entertainment Company Inc is an American media company founded by Ted Turner. Warner Bros Entertainment Inc (or Warner Bros, Warner Bros Pictures) is one of the world's largest producers of Film and Events 655 - Battle of Winwaed: Penda of Mercia is defeated by Oswiu of Northumbria. Year 1935 ( MCMXXXV) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. United States cinema has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early 20th century|
A Night at the Opera is a 1935 comedy film starring Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Kitty Carlisle, Allan Jones, Walter Woolf King, Siegfried Rumann and Margaret Dumont. English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States Italian ( or lingua italiana) is a Romance language spoken by about 63 million people as a First language, primarily in Italy. Events Judy Garland signs a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM Comedy film is a genre of Film in which the main emphasis is on humor. Leonard Marx, known as Chico, ( March 22, 1887 &ndash October 11, 1961) was one of the Marx Brothers. Arthur Marx (previously Adolph Marx) popularly known as Harpo Marx ( November 23, 1893 &ndash September 28, 1964 Kitty Carlisle Hart (also billed as Kitty Carlisle; September 3, 1910 &ndash April 17, 2007) was an American Singer Allan Jones ( October 14 1907 in Old Forge Pennsylvania – June 27 1992 in New York New York) was an American Walter Woolf King ( November 2, 1899 – October 24, 1984) was an American singer performer and film actor Born in San Francisco Sig Ruman (born Siegfried Albon Rumann) ( October 11, 1884 – February 14, 1967) was a German-American actor known for Margaret Dumont ( October 20, 1882 &ndash March 6, 1965) was an American comedic actress It was the first film the Marx Brothers made for MGM after their departure from Paramount, and the first without Zeppo. The Marx Brothers were a popular team of sibling Comedians who appeared in Vaudeville, stage plays film and television Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American motion picture production and Distribution company, based in Hollywood California. Herbert Manfred Marx ( February 25, 1901 &ndash November 30, 1979) is best known as Zeppo Marx, the name he used when he performed The movie was adapted by George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, Al Boasberg (uncredited) and Buster Keaton (uncredited) from a story by James Kevin McGuinness. George Simon Kaufman ( November 16 1889 - June 2 1961) was an American Playwright, Theatre director and Morrie Ryskind ( October 20, 1895 in New York City - August 24, 1985 in Washington DC Al Boasberg ( 5 December, 1892 &ndash 18 June, 1937) was an American Comedy writer in Vaudeville, Radio Joseph Frank "Buster" Keaton ( October 4 1895 &ndash February 1 1966) was an Academy Award -winning American James Kevin McGuinness ( 20 December, 1893 &ndash 4 December, 1950) was an American Screenwriter and Film producer It was directed by Sam Wood. Samuel Grosvenor (Sam Wood ( July 10 1883 – September 22 1949) was a prolific Hollywood director he also did some production writing
In 1993, A Night at the Opera was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The National Film Registry is the registry of Films selected by the United States National Film Preservation Board for preservation in the Library of The Library of Congress is the De facto National library of the United States and the research arm of the United States Congress It is also included in the 2007 update of AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies, at number 85. The first of the AFI 100 Years series of cinematic milestones AFI's 100 Years
In A Night At the Opera, the brothers help two young lovers to succeed in love as well as in the opera world. Opera is an art form in which Singers and Musicians perform a Dramatic work (called an opera which combines a text (called a Libretto Groucho is Otis B. Driftwood, a hanger-on to widowed socialite Mrs. A socialite is a person who is known to be a part of fashionable Society because of his or her regular participation in social activities and fondness for spending a significant Claypool (Margaret Dumont). Margaret Dumont ( October 20, 1882 &ndash March 6, 1965) was an American comedic actress At the last opera performance of the season in Italy, of Pagliacci, Otis meets Fiorello (Chico), who is the best friend and manager of Riccardo (Allan Jones), an opera singer who longs for his big break and who is in love with fellow opera singer Rosa (Kitty Carlisle). Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest Pagliacci ( Players, or Clowns) is an Opera consisting of a prologue and two acts written and composed by Ruggero Leoncavallo. Allan Jones ( October 14 1907 in Old Forge Pennsylvania – June 27 1992 in New York New York) was an American Kitty Carlisle Hart (also billed as Kitty Carlisle; September 3, 1910 &ndash April 17, 2007) was an American Singer However, Riccardo's dreams are thwarted by the star of the opera, Lasspari (Walter Woolf King), an egotistical man who wants fame — and Rosa — for himself. Walter Woolf King ( November 2, 1899 – October 24, 1984) was an American singer performer and film actor Born in San Francisco Otis signs Riccardo to a contract, thinking he is signing Lasspari; Lasspari, meanwhile, is signed for the New York opera by snobbish financier Herman Gottlieb (Sig Ruman). Sig Ruman (born Siegfried Albon Rumann) ( October 11, 1884 – February 14, 1967) was a German-American actor known for
Although Riccardo and Fiorello are not allowed to accompany the troupe on their trip to New York, they manage to stow away on the ship, along with another of Fiorello's friends, Tomasso (Harpo), a dresser fired by Lasspari. A dresser is a theatrical Stagehand involved with backstage quick changes and maintaining Costume quality each night Once in New York, the stowaways are pursued by the police for entering the country illegally, and Otis ends up losing his position with the opera to Gottlieb. When they find out that Rosa has been fired for siding with Riccardo, the boys spring into action, sabotaging the opening night performance and making sure that both Riccardo and Rosa get their due as the news hits of the opera world.
This continues until Fiorelo and Tomasso have ordered about a dozen hard-boiled eggs and Driftwood has ordered about everything else--including coffee to sober up some stewed prunes. However, this is just to set the viewer up for the famous "Stateroom Scene", which sees a total of 15 people in Driftwood's tiny ship's cabin, already containing a bed and a big wardrobe trunk. It is one of the most famous comedy scenes of all time, and was designed in part by Buster Keaton. Joseph Frank "Buster" Keaton ( October 4 1895 &ndash February 1 1966) was an Academy Award -winning American 
The scene starts with Driftwood finding out that Fiorello, Tomasso and Riccardo Baroni managed to sneak onto the boat by stowing away in his steamer trunk. Fiorello and Tomasso have to hide out in the room while a parade of people walk in, asking to either use their cabin for something, or to perform their appointed tasks. Crammed into this little space at the end of the scene were: Driftwood, Fiorello, Tomasso, Baroni, two cleaning ladies, a manicurist, a ship's engineer and his heavy-set assistant, a girl looking for her aunt, and four waiters with trays of food (prompting Driftwood's classic line; "Is it my imagination, or is it getting crowded in here?"). The mass of humanity tumbles out into the hallway when Mrs. Claypool opens the door.
At the suggestion of producer Irving Thalberg, the film marked a change of direction in the brothers' career. Kitty Carlisle Hart (also billed as Kitty Carlisle; September 3, 1910 &ndash April 17, 2007) was an American Singer Sig Ruman (born Siegfried Albon Rumann) ( October 11, 1884 – February 14, 1967) was a German-American actor known for Robert Emmett O'Connor ( 18 March, 1885 &ndash 4 September, 1962) was an American film actor Purnell Pratt ( 20 October, 1885 &ndash 25 July, 1941) was an American film actor Irving Grant Thalberg ( May 30, 1899 – September 14, 1936) was an Academy Award -winning American Film producer In their Paramount films, the brothers' characters were much more anarchistic: they attacked anybody who was so unfortunate to cross their paths whether they deserved it or not, albeit comically. Anarchism is a Political philosophy encompassing theories and attitudes which support the elimination of all compulsory Government, i Thalberg, however, felt that this made the brothers unsympathetic, particularly to female filmgoers. So in the MGM films, the brothers were recast as more helpful characters, saving their comic attacks for the villains.
Though some Marx Brothers fans were appalled at these changes, Thalberg was vindicated when the film became a solid hit. It helped that the film contained some of what fans consider to be the brothers' funniest routines. These routines were honed on stage, as the brothers performed the new material on the road before filming began. In Theatre, the stage (sometimes referred to as the deck in Stagecraft) is a designated space for the Performance of theatrical productions
However, according to Oscar Levant, the first preview was a "disaster", with "hardly a laugh" as was the second. Oscar Levant ( December 27, 1906 &ndash August 14, 1972) was an American Pianist, Composer, Author Thalberg and George S. Kaufman spent days in the editing room, adjusting the timing to match the rhythm of a stage performance. George Simon Kaufman ( November 16 1889 - June 2 1961) was an American Playwright, Theatre director and About 9 minutes was cut from the running time, and the result was a hit. 
True to its title, the film actually includes some real opera scenes, especially from Il Trovatore, with a duet sung by Kitty Carlisle and Allan Jones. Opera is an art form in which Singers and Musicians perform a Dramatic work (called an opera which combines a text (called a Libretto Il trovatore ( The Troubadour) is an Opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian Libretto by Leone Emanuele Bardare Kitty Carlisle Hart (also billed as Kitty Carlisle; September 3, 1910 &ndash April 17, 2007) was an American Singer Allan Jones ( October 14 1907 in Old Forge Pennsylvania – June 27 1992 in New York New York) was an American The opera setting also allowed MGM to add big production song numbers (which were one of this studio's specialties), such as the song Alone with the departure of the steamship, and the song Cosi Cosa with the Italian buffet and dancing. Italian cuisine as a national Cuisine known today has evolved through centuries of social and political changes with its roots traced back to 4th century BC A buffet is a meal serving system where patrons serve themselves
When Rosa sings in any of the musical numbers, including the opera scenes, Kitty Carlisle recorded the tracks. Kitty Carlisle Hart (also billed as Kitty Carlisle; September 3, 1910 &ndash April 17, 2007) was an American Singer She did not want someone else's voice coming out of her mouth on screen.
The film was to have originally begun with each of The Marx Brothers taking turns roaring in lieu of Leo the Lion (MGM's logo mascot); Harpo Marx was to have honked his horn. For reasons unexplained, this unique, amusing opening was not utilized for the actual film, although it would turn up years later in a re-release trailer.  
According to MGM's dialogue cutting continuity and Leonard Maltin's audio commentary on the current DVD release, the film originally began (after the opening credits) with the image of a "boat on canal. Leonard Maltin (born December 18, 1950) is an American Film critic and Film Historian. " A superimposed title reads: "ITALY - WHERE THEY SING ALL DAY AND GO TO THE OPERA AT NIGHT. " What follows is a musical number featuring bits and pieces from Leoncavallo's Pagliacci performed by "everyday" Italians. A street sweeper sings part of the prologue ("Un nido di memorie. . . ") as he greets a man who then hands out opera tickets to a group of children emerging from a store; the kids respond with "la-la-la-la-la, verso un paese strano. " A "captain" comes down a set of steps, salutes a sentry, then bursts into "Vesti la giubba. " There's a lap dissolve to a hotel lobby, where a "baggage man" is rolling a trunk and crooning about "nettare divino" (divine nectar). A lap dissolve (sometimes called a cross-fade mix or simply a dissolve) is a technical term in Film editing, most often used in the United States, applying He's joined in song by a waiter who then enters the dining room, where he sings as he serves a man who also gets in a few notes. The waiter then crosses over to speak to Mrs. Claypool (Margaret Dumont), marking the beginning of the film in existing copies. Maltin (citing Joe Adamson's book Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Sometimes Zeppo) says the scene was cut during World War II to remove references to Italy, and unfortunately, the main negative was cut as well, so the scene is now lost. This was why the stated running time of the movie (95 minutes) was three minutes longer than it is now. 
A persistent rumor concerning A Night at the Opera involves the presence of the Marx Brother's father Sam Marx (also known as "Frenchy") on the ship and also on the dock waving goodbye. Samuel Marx, born Simon Marrix ( 1861 - May 10, 1933) was a Vaudeville performer husband of Minnie Marx, and father Both Groucho and Harpo stated this rumor in their memoirs,  and even Leonard Maltin reiterates it in the DVD commentary. However, this rumor cannot be true, because Sam Marx had died in 1933, during pre-production of Duck Soup — two years before A Night at the Opera was released. Year 1933 ( MCMXXXIII) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar.  The rumor came about because Frenchy had had a similar cameo appearance in the Marx Brothers' earlier film Monkey Business. Monkey Business ( is the third of the Marx Brothers ' movies and the first not to be an adaptation of one of their Broadway shows Incidentally, part of the concept of having the Marx Brothers as stowaways on a ship was recycled from Monkey Business. Also, there is a reference to the Marx Brothers's mother Minnie Marx during the stateroom scene, in which a little girl asks: "Is my Aunt Minnie in here?" 
In the scene where the three stowaways are impersonating Russian aviators, Driftwood seems to talk gibberish with the dignitaries. Minnie Schönberg Marx ( November 9, 1865 &ndash September 13, 1929) born in Dornum, East Frisia, was the mother As a matter of fact, it is English; if played backwards, it can be heard what they are saying ("This man is accusing you of being impostors", etc. ). It was recorded normally, and inserted into the movie in reverse. Backmasking (also known as Backward masking) is a recording technique in which a sound or message is recorded backward onto a track that is meant to be 
Today, A Night at the Opera is widely regarded as a classic and is arguably (along with Duck Soup) the Marx Brothers' greatest film. Duck Soup is a Marx Brothers Anarchic comedy film written by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, with additional dialogue by Arthur As of December 31, 2007, the film scores a 97% "fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Events 406 – Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine, beginning an invasion of Gallia. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. Rotten Tomatoes is a Website devoted to reviews information and news of Movies.  Internet reviews suggest that the film is "a very funny movie slowed down by MGM’s expensive production values and idiotic songs. " Ken Hanke calls it "hysterical, but not up to the boys’ Paramount films. " Mark Bourne concurs: "[The Marx Brothers] still let the air out of stuffed shirts and barbecue a few sacred cows, but something got lost in all that MGMness when the screen's ultimate anti-authoritarian team starting working the Andy Hardy side of the street. " 
Roger Ebert admits that, while A Night at the Opera "contains some of their best work," he "fast-forward[s] over the sappy interludes involving Kitty Carlisle and Allan Jones. Roger Joseph Ebert (iːbɝt born June 18, 1942) is an American film critic and Screenwriter. In Duck Soup there are no sequences I can skip; the movie is funny from beginning to end. "
Danel Griffin of the University of Alaska Southeast goes even further with his criticism, stating:
Certainly A Night at the Opera is funny, but this is NOT the Marx Brothers, and their earlier style is so sorely missed that the film falls flat. The University of Alaska Southeast ( UAS) is a regional university in the University of Alaska System. The main problem with A Night at the Opera is the obvious lack of the Marx Brothers’ trademark anarchy. What distinguished them in their Paramount films from all other comedians was their thumb-biting indictment of society. They were so separated from the concerns of the world that absolutely nothing shook them. They didn’t scoff at danger or social patterns—they ignored them, and reduced their sets to chaos and rubble.
[. . . . The] plotline is more than enough for the Brothers to reduce the film to anarchy, and the upper-crust society that they are facing could have been a ripe, unsuspecting victim (though similar to Animal Crackers and Monkey Business). Yet in the end, it is the Marx Brothers themselves who are the victims. They have funny scenes (Groucho and Chico are up to their tongue-twisting arguments again, and the famous stateroom scene is a real howler), yet they never deviate from the confines of the storyline, and they come across as restrained and watered down in their familiar antics. The Marx Brothers are merely janitors in this story, helping this Jones fellow win his love and make it big. Jones himself is the backbone of A Night at the Opera, and the Brothers are simply a means to an end for his romantic adventure.
Even the stateroom scene, considered one of the funniest moments in motion picture history, lacks the chaos of their previous films. The scene concerns the Brothers getting jam-packed in a small room filled with dozens of people, who continue to walk in and get lost in the ocean of arms, legs, and faces. The cluttered group is only freed when someone finally opens the door and they all tumble out. This is certainly an amusing scene, but I have a feeling that the Marx Brothers of Paramount would have snuck out of the room early on, invited others in, waited for the room to fill up, opened the door themselves, and laugh at their victims. Instead, they are out of control of the comedy and are subject to the humor themselves—something that would have never happened in a true Marx Brothers picture in which they were the gods.
[Allan] Jones’ replacement of Zeppo reveals the fundamental flaw in the film: The Marx Brothers’ archaic style is compromised for a conventional love story, when we expect them to be their usual, inflammatory selves and reduce the opera, high society, and, darn it all, the love story to rubble. They absolutely and inexcusably give into a formulaic plot undistinguished from any other comedy team's films of the era, and it is not the Marx Brothers that we know and love. As a comedy, A Night at the Opera is very funny. As a Marx Brothers film, it is an absolute failure.