Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says OK for kids 5+
Marx Bros. classic is zany slapstick done right.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is not to be confused with another comedy from Hollywood's black-and-white era, the 1951 Monkey Business with Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, and Marilyn Monroe. That's funny too (and has a real monkey!), but TV-schedule guides sometimes get the two confused, and -- for kids especially -- Marilyn is no substitute for Groucho. Like most Marx Bros. outings, this is all about the silliness and mature content is at a minimum: At one point Groucho tries to cultivate an affair with a married woman, and there's a slapsticky fistfight at the movie's climax. Some of the jokes deal with topics and people -- especially French crooner Maurice Chevalier -- better known in the 1930s than now.
- Families can talk about the appeal of the Marx Brothers. Which Marx is the funniest? How are their approaches to comedy different? How do they stack up next to the Three Stooges? Laurel and Hardy? Or Abbott and Costello, among other favorites of old-school funnymen? How about kid comedy favorites of today?
The good stuff
Positive messages: The Marx Bros.' shtick is to bring chaos into a polite, high-class social environment -- first a cruise ship, then a party. Zeppo, though, gets to act heroic by rescuing a girl at the end.
What to watch for
Violence and scariness: Climax is a fistfight between Zeppo and various gangsters and henchmen -- more slapstick than anything else.
Sex: Mild innuendo from Groucho. Young women are chased around by Harpo, but his attitude is so childlike you get the feeling he wouldn't know what to do if he ever caught one.
Language: Not an issue
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Groucho smokes his famous cigar. Also social drinking.