At the Circus (1939) HD online
|Complete credited cast:|
|Groucho Marx||-||Attorney Loophole|
|Kenny Baker||-||Jeff Wilson|
|Florence Rice||-||Julie Randall|
|Eve Arden||-||Peerless Pauline|
|Margaret Dumont||-||Mrs. Dukesbury|
|James Burke||-||John Carter|
|Jerry Maren||-||Little Professor Atom (as Jerry Marenghi)|
For Groucho Marx' performance of "'Lydia, the Tattooed Lady", additional lyrics were written by lyricist E.Y. Harburg exclusively for screenings of the film for Allied servicemen in European war zones. The special lyrics included the line "When she stands the world grows littler; When she sits, she sits on Hitler.' The version of the song featuring the special lyrics was filmed, and included in prints of the film distributed in Great Britain and France. The version of the song containing the special lyrics was greeted with marked enthusiasm during screenings in those countries.
The Marx Brothers had been out of favor at MGM since the sudden death in 1936 of their producer and benefactor Irving Thalberg during the production of Marx Brothers - Das große Rennen (1937). So in the middle of the production of this film, longtime Thalberg rival Louis B. Mayer removed songwriters Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg from this film and reassigned them to the "prestige" MGM production Der Zauberer von Oz (1939).
Buster Keaton worked on the film as a gag man. His career was on the downside and he was forced to work for scale. His complex and sometimes belabored gags (recalled in the book "Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Sometimes Zeppo") did not work well with The Marx Brothers' brand of humor, and was a source of friction between the comedian and the brothers. When Groucho called Keaton on the inappropriateness of his gags for the team, Keaton responded, "I'm only doing what Mr. Mayer [MGM chief Louis B. Mayer] asked me to do. You guys don't need help."
Groucho Marx was fond of recounting how the original owner of the "gorilla skin" used in the film was so incensed when the stunt man wearing it poked ventilation holes in it with an ice pick that he took his suit and walked off the picture, forcing the producers to hastily rent an orangutan skin as a replacement. For this reason, Groucho claimed, the gorilla gets bigger and smaller from shot to shot. The man in the gorilla suit is in fact Charles Gemora, well-known movie sculptor and gorilla artist, wearing his own custom-made suit.
The scene in the midget's trailer is one of a handful of times Harpo Marx was even vaguely heard on-screen (when he sneezes).
During "Lydia the Tattooed Lady" Groucho Marx sings "Here is Captain Spaulding exploring the Amazon". This is a reference to his character in Animal Crackers (1930).
Lana Turner was considered for the role that eventually went to Florence Rice.
Groucho says "There must be some way of getting that money without getting in trouble with the Hays office." The Hays office (Named after Will Hays) was the Hollywood censorship board from 1930-1934. Joseph Breen replaced Hays in 1934 and was incumbent at time of filming, yet the office remained universally known as the Hays Office.
Originally entitled "A Day at the Circus", it was to be the third in The Marx Brothers' "Day/Night" series after Skandal in der Oper (1935) and Marx Brothers - Das große Rennen (1937).
Many cast members in studio records/casting call lists for this movie were not seen in the final print. These were (with their character names): Byron Foulger (Meek Defendant), Mariska Aldrich (Mannish Woman), Herbert Ashley (Detective Bludge), Granville Bates (Judge), George Bookasta, Mickey Daniels, Eugene Jackson and Sidney Miller (Quartet Members), Barlowe Borland (Thorndyke), Irene Coleman (Girl on Stand in Courtroom), John Dilson (Defense Attorney) and Henry Sylvester (Court Clerk)
This film was first telecast in Chicago Wednesday 20 February 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2) ,followed by Seattle 22 February 1957 on KING (Channel 5), by New York City 4 March 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2), by Philadelphia 15 March 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), by New Haven CT 22 March 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), by Portland OR 26 March 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), by Altoona PA 30 March 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), and by Hartford CT 17 May 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18); its first television showing in San Francisco occurred 26 April 1958 on KGO (Channel 7); but its first Los Angeles telecast did not take place until 27 January 1959 on KTTV (Channel 11).