Horse Feathers (1932)

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description:

Horse Feathers (1932) is a Marx Brothers film comedy. It starred the four Marx Brothers (their 4th film released), Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo, as well as Thelma Todd as Connie Bailey. It was written by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, S. J. Perelman, and Will B. Johnstone. Kalmar and Ruby also wrote some of the original music for the film. Several of the film's gags were taken from the Marx Brothers' stage comedy from the 1920s, Fun in Hi Skule.

plot:

The film revolves around college football and a game between the fictional Darwin and Huxley Colleges. (Thomas Henry Huxley was a defender of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.) Many of the jokes about the amateur status of collegiate football players and how eligibility rules are stretched by collegiate athletic departments remain remarkably current. Groucho plays Quincy Adams Wagstaff, the new president of Huxley College, and Zeppo is his son Frank, who convinces his father to recruit professional football players to help Huxley's team. There are also many references to Prohibition. Baravelli (Chico) is an "iceman", who delivers ice and bootleg liquor from a local speakeasy. Pinky (Harpo) is also an "iceman", and a part-time dogcatcher. Through a series of misunderstandings, Baravelli and Pinky are recruited to play on Huxley's football team; this requires them to enroll as students at Huxley, which creates chaos throughout the school. The climax of the movie, often referenced as one of the greatest football-related scenes in movie history, includes the four protagonists winning the football game by taking the ball into the end zone in a horse-drawn garbage wagon that Pinky rides like a chariot. A picture of the brothers in the "chariot" at the end of the film made the cover of TIME in 1932.