Cover of "The Cocoanuts"

Cover of The Cocoanuts

The Coconuts was the first Marx Bros. film (to be released) from 1929 and it is the most dated of their films. Whilst Groucho and Harpo are both in great form, and even Chico is funny, the movie is a bit bogged down by the elements that would bog down future Marx Bros. films, namely needless crooning of some very boring songs (by Irving Berlin) as well as Chico playing the piano and Harpo playing the Harp. These elements can almost be excused here as this was a remake of their Broadway play and looks to be exactly like a play that has been filmed. Zeppo is also in the film but does nothing much.

The Coconuts also has the ‘Viaduct’ scene with Groucho and Chico and lots of scenes featuring Groucho and his usual foil, Margaret Dumont, playing the wealthy dowager.

Another this I feel should be noted is that the film is in very bad shape. I wonder what restoration Universal has done on the movie since they acquired it.

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