I am a little prejudice against this film. I'm not a huge fan of the Marxs - I know, that is terrible. I like most of their comedy, but it goes too far for me and generally gets too ridiculous. I formed this opinion when I was in High School. So, I am now trying to revisit some of their films to see if I might change my mind.
I will say this: I respect the Marx brothers comedy. So many of their sketches are hilarious! My favorite is in this movie: the crowded stateroom scene. For some reason, the quips in that just hit a spot.
Watching this again, I get more than I did when I first watched it. There is some grand comedy in there, that I will admit. And I love the sequences on the boat with the Italian children watching them play.
I still think that some of the jokes and slapstick goes a little too long sometimes, but there is less of that in this film than I remembered. Surprisingly, I was delighted with most of it.
As far as reception goes, this movie was greatly recieved, despite it being the first without Zeppo. It was their first at MGM - and a lot of the credit goes to Irving Thalberg, boy genius of Hollywood, for its success. It is registered at the Library of Congress, is on AFI's top 100 list as well as being on its top 100 Laughs list.
3 out of 5 stars