The Marx Brothers were a legendary comedy troupe who dominated the entertainment industry in the 1920s and 1930s.

Consisting of Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo, and sometimes Gummo, the Marx Brothers made a name for themselves with their unique brand of irreverent, slapstick humor.

They appeared in a total of 13 feature films, each of which showcased their comedic talents and wit. The Marx Brothers’ films are known for their zany, fast-paced humor, clever wordplay, and unforgettable characters.

Best Marx Brothers Movies

In this article, we will explore some of the best Marx Brothers movies that continue to entertain audiences to this day and are essential viewing for any fan of classic comedy.

1. Duck Soup (1933)

“Duck Soup” is often considered the Marx Brothers’ greatest film and a masterpiece of the comedy genre. In this political satire, Groucho plays Rufus T.

Firefly, the newly appointed leader of the fictional country of Freedonia, who finds himself embroiled in a war with the neighboring country of Sylvania.

The film is a riotous parody of political power and the absurdity of war, with the Marx Brothers delivering rapid-fire jokes, musical numbers, and outrageous gags.

The film’s iconic mirror scene, in which Harpo mimics Groucho’s every move, has become one of the most famous comedy moments in film history.

“Duck Soup” was not a commercial success upon its release, but it has since been recognized as a classic and a must-see for any fan of comedy.

Duck Soup
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

2. A Night at the Opera (1935)

“A Night at the Opera” is another classic Marx Brothers film that has become a fan favorite. In this film, Groucho, Chico, and Harpo play three characters who try to help two young opera singers achieve success while navigating the schemes of a conniving businessman.

The film is a perfect showcase for the Marx Brothers’ unique brand of humor, with Groucho delivering his trademark one-liners, Chico playing the lovable con artist, and Harpo stealing the show with his hilarious physical comedy.

The film also features a memorable musical sequence in which the Marx Brothers cram into a tiny stateroom on a ship and create chaos. “A Night at the Opera” was a commercial and critical success upon its release and remains a beloved classic of the comedy genre.

   

A Night At The Opera
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx (Actors)
  • Sam Wood (Director) - George S. Kaufman (Writer) - Irving Thalberg (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

3. A Day at the Races (1937)

“A Day at the Races” is a comedy film that stars the Marx Brothers as they try to save a struggling sanitarium by entering a horse race.

The film features a number of memorable musical sequences, including the classic song “All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm,” as well as several hilarious scenes involving Groucho, Chico, and Harpo.

The film also features a romantic subplot between the sanitarium’s owner, played by Maureen O’Sullivan, and a wealthy racehorse owner, played by Allan Jones.

“A Day at the Races” was a commercial success and remains a fan favorite among Marx Brothers fans for its clever humor and memorable musical numbers.

A Day at The Races (1937)
  • Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx (Actors)
  • Sam Wood (Director) - Robert Pirosh (Writer)
  • English, French, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

4. The Cocoanuts (1929)

“The Cocoanuts” is the Marx Brothers’ first feature-length film and is set in a hotel in Florida during the land boom of the 1920s.

Groucho plays the hotel manager, Chico and Harpo play two con artists, and Zeppo plays a desk clerk.

The film features several classic Marx Brothers routines, including Groucho’s hilarious monologues, Chico and Harpo’s piano duets, and a memorable scene in which Harpo steals a hotel guest’s clothes.

“The Cocoanuts” was a commercial success and paved the way for the Marx Brothers’ future film career. While it may not be as well-known as some of their later films, it remains an important part of their legacy and a must-see for any fan of classic comedy.

5. Horse Feathers (1932)

“Horse Feathers” is a satirical comedy film that stars the Marx Brothers as they try to help a college football team win a big game. Groucho plays the college president, who hires two incompetent professors played by Chico and Harpo to recruit football players.

   

The film features several classic Marx Brothers routines, including Groucho’s famous song “Whatever It Is, I’m Against It” and a hilarious scene in which the brothers disrupt a classroom lecture.

“Horse Feathers” was a commercial success and remains a fan favorite among Marx Brothers fans for its clever humor and memorable performances.

Horse Feathers
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

6. Animal Crackers (1930)

“Animal Crackers” is a comedy film that stars the Marx Brothers as they attend a party in honor of a famous explorer. Groucho plays the explorer, Captain Spaulding, who becomes embroiled in a plot involving stolen artwork.

The film features several classic Marx Brothers routines, including Groucho’s witty one-liners and a memorable scene in which Harpo and Chico impersonate famous painters.

The film was a commercial success and helped to cement the Marx Brothers’ reputation as one of the most innovative and irreverent comedy troupes of their time.

Animal Crackers
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx (Actors)
  • Victor Herman (Director) - Morrie Ryskind (Writer) - Walter Wanger (Producer)
  • Spanish, English (Playback Languages)
  • Spanish, English (Subtitles)

7. At the Circus (1939)

“At the Circus” is a comedy film directed by Edward Buzzell and released in 1939. The movie stars the Marx Brothers, Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo, along with a cast of other actors.

   

The plot follows the Marx Brothers as they try to save a circus from financial ruin. Groucho plays the role of Jeff Wilson, a lawyer hired by the circus owner to prevent his greedy business partner from taking over the circus.

Chico and Harpo play two bumbling circus employees who help Groucho in his mission, while Zeppo plays the role of Groucho’s assistant.

Throughout the film, the Marx Brothers engage in their trademark zany antics and slapstick humor, including Chico and Harpo’s musical performances, Groucho’s quick wit and one-liners, and Zeppo’s deadpan humor.

“At the Circus” is considered one of the Marx Brothers’ classic comedies and has become a favorite among fans of their work. It features memorable scenes, such as Harpo’s interaction with a stuffed elephant and Groucho’s famous rendition of “Lydia the Tattooed Lady.”

At The Circus (1939)
  • Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx (Actors)
  • Edward Buzzell (Director) - Irving Brecher (Writer)
  • English, French, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

8. Monkey Business (1931)

“Monkey Business” is a comedy film directed by Norman Z. McLeod and released in 1931. The movie stars the Marx Brothers, Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo, along with Thelma Todd and Rockliffe Fellowes.

The plot follows the Marx Brothers as stowaways on a luxury ocean liner. Groucho plays the role of Groucho, the leader of the group who is constantly getting into trouble with the ship’s crew and passengers.

Chico and Harpo play two of Groucho’s accomplices, while Zeppo plays the role of a young businessman who gets caught up in their antics.

Throughout the film, the Marx Brothers engage in their trademark zany humor, including Groucho’s rapid-fire insults and wordplay, Chico’s Italian accent and piano playing, and Harpo’s pantomime and physical comedy.

“Monkey Business” was the second film to feature all four Marx Brothers and is considered a classic example of their comedic style. It features memorable scenes, such as Harpo’s interaction with a pair of dancing shoes and Groucho’s famous “why a duck?” routine.

Monkey Business [DVD]
  • Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx (Actors)
  • Norman Z. McLeod (Director) - Arthur Sheekman (Writer)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

9. Go West (1940)

“Go West” is a comedy film directed by Edward Buzzell and released in 1940. The movie stars the Marx Brothers, Groucho, Chico, and Harpo, along with John Carroll and Diana Lewis.

The plot follows the Marx Brothers as they try to make a living in the Wild West. Groucho plays the role of S. Quentin Quale, a New York theater agent who heads west with his two sidekicks, Chico and Harpo.

Once there, they get mixed up with a cattle ranch and try to help out by rounding up the cattle and fending off rival ranchers.

Throughout the film, the Marx Brothers engage in their trademark zany humor, including Groucho’s quick wit and puns, Chico’s Italian accent and piano playing, and Harpo’s pantomime and physical comedy.

“Go West” is considered one of the lesser-known Marx Brothers films, but still features many classic moments, such as Harpo’s interaction with a cow and Groucho’s hilarious “How much do you weigh?” routine.

Go West (1940)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx (Actors)
  • Edward Buzzell (Director) - Irving Brecher (Writer) - Jack Cummings (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

10. Room Service (1938)

“Room Service” is a comedy film directed by William A. Seiter and released in 1938. The movie stars the Marx Brothers, Groucho, Chico, and Harpo, along with Lucille Ball and Ann Miller.

The plot follows the Marx Brothers as they try to put on a Broadway show in a hotel room without paying their bills.

Groucho plays the role of Gordon Miller, a fast-talking producer who convinces the hotel staff to let him and his actors stay for free. Chico and Harpo play two of the actors who help Groucho put on the show, while Lucille Ball plays the role of a secretary who falls for one of the actors.

Throughout the film, the Marx Brothers engage in their trademark zany humor, including Groucho’s quick wit and insults, Chico’s Italian accent and piano playing, and Harpo’s pantomime and physical comedy.

“Room Service” is considered one of the Marx Brothers’ best films outside of their Paramount years. It features memorable scenes, such as Harpo’s interaction with a live turkey and Groucho’s classic “How would you like to be spitting cotton?” routine.

Room Service (1938)
  • Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx (Actors)
  • William A. Seiter (Director) - Morrie Ryskind (Writer)
  • English, French, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

11. The Big Store (1941)

“The Big Store” is a comedy film directed by Charles Reisner and released in 1941. The movie stars the Marx Brothers, Groucho, Chico, and Harpo, along with Tony Martin and Virginia Grey.

The plot follows the Marx Brothers as they try to save a department store from a group of corrupt executives who are plotting to take over the business.

Groucho plays the role of Wolf J. Flywheel, a private investigator hired by the store’s owner to uncover the conspiracy.

Chico and Harpo play two bumbling employees who assist Groucho in his mission, while Tony Martin plays the role of a young singer who falls in love with one of the store’s clerks.

Throughout the film, the Marx Brothers engage in their trademark zany humor, including Groucho’s quick wit and one-liners, Chico’s Italian accent and piano playing, and Harpo’s pantomime and physical comedy.

“The Big Store” is considered one of the Marx Brothers’ lesser-known films, but still features many classic moments, such as Harpo’s interaction with a revolving door and Groucho’s hilarious “Don’t look now, but there’s one man too many in this room” routine.

The Big Store (1941)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx (Actors)
  • Charles Reisner (Director) - Sid Kuller (Writer) - Louis K. Sidney (Producer)
  • English (Subtitle)

12. A Night in Casablanca (1946)

“A Night in Casablanca” is a comedy film directed by Archie Mayo and released in 1946. The movie stars the Marx Brothers, Groucho, Chico, and Harpo, along with Charles Drake and Lois Collier.

The plot follows the Marx Brothers as they try to manage a hotel in Casablanca, Morocco while being pursued by a group of Nazis who are after a stolen treasure hidden in the hotel. Groucho plays the role of Ronald Kornblow, a hotel manager who gets mixed up in the plot.

Chico and Harpo play two of Kornblow’s employees who help him out, while Charles Drake plays the role of a former Gestapo officer who tries to uncover the treasure.

Throughout the film, the Marx Brothers engage in their trademark zany humor, including Groucho’s quick wit and insults, Chico’s Italian accent and piano playing, and Harpo’s pantomime and physical comedy.

“A Night in Casablanca” is considered one of the Marx Brothers’ later films and features many classic moments, such as Harpo’s interaction with a vacuum cleaner and Groucho’s hilarious “swordfish” conversation.

The film was also notable for its title, which led to a legal dispute with Warner Bros. over the use of the name “Casablanca” in a movie title.

3 Reasons To Watch Marx Brothers Movies

Timeless humor: The Marx Brothers were masters of comedy, and their humor has stood the test of time. Their films are filled with quick wit, wordplay, physical comedy, and absurd situations that are just as funny today as they were when they were first released.

Unique characters: Each of the Marx Brothers had a distinct personality and comedic style. Groucho was known for his sharp wit and mustache, Chico for his Italian accent and piano playing, and Harpo for his silent physical comedy and harp playing.

Watching their characters interact with each other and the world around them is a joy to behold.

Classic entertainment: The Marx Brothers were part of the golden age of Hollywood, and their films are a window into a bygone era of entertainment.

Their movies are not only funny, but also offer a glimpse into the cultural and social trends of the time. Watching their films can be a great way to appreciate the art of filmmaking and the history of comedy.

Best Marx Brothers Movies – Wrap Up

The Marx Brothers were one of the greatest comedy acts of all time, and their movies continue to entertain audiences to this day.

While opinions may vary on which Marx Brothers movie is the best, some of their most beloved and iconic films include “Duck Soup,” “A Night at the Opera,” “Animal Crackers,” and “Horse Feathers.”

These films showcase the Marx Brothers’ unique brand of humor, rapid-fire one-liners, and zany antics, and are considered classics of the comedy genre.