a night in casablanca

the year: 1946

the genre: comedy

the cast: Groucho Marx (Ronald Kornblow); Harpo Marx (Rusty); Chico Marx (Corbaccio); Charles Drake (Lt. Pierre Delmar); Lois Collier (Annette); Sig Ruman (Count Pfferman / Heinrich Stubel); Lisette Verea (Beatrice Rheiner)

the plot: In post-war Casablanca, Ronald Kornblow is hired to run a hotel whose previous managers have all wound up being murdered. French soldier Pierre suspects the involvement of ex-Nazis, specifically Count Pfefferman, in reality the notorious Heinrich Stubel. But Pierre himself is accused of collaborating with the enemy, and attempts to clear his name with the help of his girlfriend Annette and cagey buddy Corbaccio. They enlist the aid of Pfefferman's beleaguered mute valet, Rusty, and discover a hoard of war loot the Nazis have stashed in the hotel.

count: how many customers Ronald Kornblow offends during his stint at the hotel registration desk.

don’t miss: the toupee’s run in with the vacuum cleaner.

check out: Harpo’s hair. The reason it looks a little strange is that for some reason, the producers decided to curl and dye his real hair, as opposed to using his customary blonde wig.

listen for: “From now on the essence of this hotel will be speed. If a customer asks you for a three-minute egg, give it to him in two minutes. If he asks you for a two-minute egg, give it to him in one minute. If he asks you for a one-minute egg, give him the chicken and let him work it out for himself!”

also listen for: “My name's Beatrice Rheiner. I stop at the hotel.” “My name's Ronald Kornblow. I stop at nothing!”

did you know: According to Marx Bros. biographer Joe Adamson, Harpo was offered $50,000 to utter the single word "Murder!" in this film, presumably to add publicity value to the film by having Harpo speak for the only time on-screen. Harpo declined the offer and never spoke publicly until a concert one year before his death.

extra bonus points: if you can name the character Sig Rugman played in White Christmas.


Erika said...

I have nothing to add. I have never seen a Marx Brothers movie... sorry.

Scott said...

I always wondered why the Groucho glasses with the nose and mustache don't come with a cigar, too.

According to imdb (source of all wisdom) Sig Ruman was an uncredited landlord

Millie Motts said...

Erika, I'd recommend this one or A Night at the Opera to get you started - the percentage of plot to insanity is much more balanced.

Scott, you are correct! Sig Ruman played the landlord who wanted to charge the girls for burning a hole in the carpet and was angry that the sheriff wasn't arresting them.