Friday, January 14, 2022

Movie Review: Horse Feathers (1932)

Horse Feathers (1932) directed by Norman McLeod

Groucho Marx stars as Quincy Adams Wagstaff, a man just hired by Huxley College as their president. He has a son (Zeppo Marx) who has been at the college for twelve years and has been dating the "college widow," which seems like an excuse to squeeze in a female character. The college's big problem is their football team, the real source of revenue and prestige (yes, even in the 1930s, it was that bad). Rival Darwin College has beaten them every year for far too long. Wagstaff hires some ringers at a local speakeasy but naturally hires the wrong guys--Chico and Harpo Marx. Chico is a speakeasy employee and Harpo is the local dog catcher. Darwin has hired the real ringers so things don't look so good for Huxley.

The plot is little more than an excuse to string along a bunch of comedy routines, songs, and musical performances. The comedy is more hit than miss. The songs are unremarkable. Chico's piano playing and Harpo's harp performance are impressive and enjoyable. Overall, it's a good time though there's nothing particularly memorable in this film, other than the password is "swordfish."

Mildly recommended.

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