Someone took a cleaver to it, whilst removing five minutes of mayhem.
The deletions were presumably destroyed.
No original prints are known to exist.
So what we have is the 1948 cut of the 1935 film featuring three of the four Marx Brothers, affectionately known to fans as “The Boys.”
The Brothers Marx began their feature film career at the Paramount Astoria Studios in Queens, NY in 1929 with The Coconuts, and followed with Animal Crackers (also Astoria) in 1930. Both were sound on disc releases.
In 1931 they moved west, and continued their Paramount series with Horse Feathers (1932) and Duck Soup (1933).
They had moved to M-G-M in Culver City for A Night at the Opera, hence this Warner Archive release, and appeared in another four films, as well as Room Service for RKO.
Warner Archive’s new Blu-ray looks fine. It’s derived from a duplicate printing negative, and is therefore presumably third generation. It’s perfectly okay. Just nothing special.
In my estimation and I do love the antics of The Boys, they had one more quality film ahead of them – A Day at the Races (1937), which I believe has superb extant film elements. Had they quit then…
With all of the Paramount films available from Universal, there’s but one more major title to come from Warner, and I’ll be quite happy.
Image – 3.5
Audio – 4
Pass / Fail – Pass
Upgrade from DVD – Yes
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