AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
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Animal Crackers
Director: Victor Heerman (Dir)
Release Date:   6 Sep 1930
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 29 Aug 1930
Duration (in mins):   97
Duration (in feet):   8,897
Duration (in reels):   10
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Cast:   Groucho Marx (Capt. Jeffrey Spaulding)  
    Harpo Marx (Professor)  
    Chico Marx (Signor Emanuel Ravelli)  
    Zeppo Marx (Horatio Jamison)  
    Lillian Roth (Arabella Rittenhouse)  
    Margaret Dumont (Mrs. Rittenhouse)  
    Louis Sorin (Roscoe Chandler)  
    Hal Thompson (John Parker)  
    Margaret Irving (Mrs. Whitehead)  
    Kathryn Reece (Grace Carpenter)  
    Richard Greig (Hives)  
    Edward Metcalf (Hennessey)  
    The Music Masters (Six Footmen)  

Summary: At the estate of Mrs. Rittenhouse, Jeffrey Spaulding, an African explorer, and Horatio, his secretary, become social lions at a house party in progress; and on their heels are the professor and Signor Ravelli, musicians. Arabella, the hostess' daughter, is in love with John Parker, an unknown artist; and Roscoe Chandler, an art connoisseur, arrives with a valuable master painting, of which John had made a pastiche while a student. Arabella persuades the musicians to substitute the copy for the original, and recognizing the art patron as a former fish peddler, they blackmail him. But a rival society matron, whose daughter has copied the same painting, plots a similar substitution to embarrass Mrs. Rittenhouse. Later, during a thunderstorm, the musicians steal the painting, but Hives, the butler, replaces it with the other pastiche, and at the unveiling the plot is exposed. 

Production Company: Paramount Publix Corp.  
Distribution Company: Paramount Publix Corp.  
Director: Victor Heerman (Dir)
Writer: Morris Ryskind (Scr)
  Pierre Collings (Cont)
Photography: George Folsey (Dir of photog)
Music: John W. Green (Mus arr)
Sound: Ernest F. Zatorsky (Rec eng)
Country: United States
Language: English

Songs: "Collegiate," music and lyrics by Moe Jaffe, Nat Bonx; "Some of These Days," music and lyrics by Shelton Brooks; "Why Am I So Romantic?" and "Hooray for Captain Spalding," music and lyrics by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby.
Composer: Nat Bonx
  Shelton Brooks
  Moe Jaffe
  Bert Kalmar
  Harry Ruby
Source Text: Based on the play Animal Crackers by George S. Kaufman, Bert Kalmar, Morris Ryskind and Harry Ruby (New York, 23 Oct 1928).
Authors: Bert Kalmar
  George S. Kaufman
  Harry Ruby
  Morris Ryskind

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Paramount Publix Corp. 6/9/1930 dd/mm/yyyy LP1546

Physical Properties: Sd: Movietone

Genre: Comedy
Sub-Genre: with songs
Subjects (Major): Artists
  Peddlers and peddling


Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
EHW   6 Sep 1930   pp. 38-39.
Film Daily   3 Aug 1930   p. 11.
Life   26 Sep 1930   p. 20.
New York Times   4 May 1930   p. 6.
New York Times   29 Aug 1930   p. 30.
New York Times   7 Sep 1930   p. 5.
New Yorker   6 Sep 1930   pp. 62-63.
Time   8 Sep 1930   p. 25.
Variety   3 Sep 1930   p. 19.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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