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A Day at the Races Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

A Day at the Races was the Marx Brothers' follow-up to their incomparable A Night at the Opera. Groucho Marx is cast as Hugo Z. Hackenbush, a veterinarian who passes himself off as a human doctor when summoned by wealthy hypochondriac Emily Upjohn (Margaret Dumont) to take over the financially strapped Standish Sanitarium. Chico Marx plays the sanitarium's general factotum, who works without pay because he has a soft spot for its owner, lovely Judy Standish (Maureen O'Sullivan). Harpo Marx portrays a jockey at the local racetrack, constantly bullied by the evil Morgan (Douglass Dumbrille), who will take over the sanitarium if Judy can't pay its debts. After several side-splitting routines--Chico selling Groucho tips on the races, Chico and Harpo rescuing Groucho from the clutches of femme fatale Esther Muir, all three Marxes conducting a lunatic "examination" of Margaret Dumont--the fate of the sanitarium rests on a Big Race involving Hi-Hat, a horse belonging to the film's nominal hero, Allan Jones. Virtually everything that worked in "Opera" is trotted out again for "Races", including a hectic slapstick finale wherein the Marxes lay waste to a public event. What is missing here is inspiration; perhaps this is due to the fact that MGM producer Irving Thalberg, whose input was so essential to the success of "Opera", died during the filming of "Races". Even so, Day at the Races made more money than any other previous Marx Brothers film--the result being that MGM, in the spirit of "they loved it once", would continue recycling Races' best bits for the studio's next three Marx vehicles. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:June 11, 1937

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Dave Gould Best Dance Direction 1937 Nominee

Cast

Groucho Marx
as Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush
Marx Brothers
as themselves (Groucho,Chico, Harpo)
Chico Marx
as Tony
Harpo Marx
as Stuffy
Allan Jones
as Gil Stewart
Maureen O'Sullivan
as Judy Standish
Leonard Ceeley
as Whitmore
Douglas Dumbrille
as Morgan
Margaret Dumont
as Mrs. Emily Upjohn
Sig Rumann
as Dr. Leopold X. Steinberg
Robert Middlemass
as The Sheriff
Vivien Fay
as Solo Dancer
Charles Trowbridge
as Dr. Wilmerding
Frankie Darro
as Morgan's Jockey
Hooper Atchley
as Race Judge
Wilbur Mack
as Judge
Jack Norton
as Drunk
Si Jenks
as Messenger
Edward J. Le Saint
as Doctor
Pat Flaherty
as Detective
Carole Landis
as Extra

Crew

Sam Wood
Director
Sam Wood
Producer
Lawrence Weingarten
Producer
Irving G. Thalberg
Producer
George Seaton
Screenwriter
George Oppenheimer
Screenwriter
Robert Pirosh
Screenwriter
Joseph Ruttenberg
Cinematographer
Bronislau Kaper
Composer (Music Score)
Walter Jurmann
Composer (Music Score)
Franz Waxman
Composer (Music Score)
Franz Waxman
Musical Direction/Supervision
Gus Kahn
Composer (Music Score)
George Bassman
Composer (Music Score)
Cedric Gibbons
Art Director
Edwin B. Willis
Art Director
Dolly Tree
Costume Designer
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