Animal Crackers Movie Story
A newspaper headline explains that society matron Mrs. Rittenhouse is holding a lavish party at her home in Long Island. The party will host renowned explorer Captain Geoffrey (or Jeffrey) T. Spaulding as the guest of honor, recently returned from Africa. Also, as a special treat for the guests and Capt. Spaulding, revered art collector Roscoe W. Chandler will unveil his recently acquired painting by famous fictional artist Beaugard.
Hives instructs the servant crew on preparations for the party (“He’s One Of Those Men”). Chandler arrives with the Beaugard and proceeds to set it up to be displayed. Capt. Spaulding’s assistant Horatio Jameson announces the Captain’s arrival (“I Represent The Captain”) (“Hooray for Captain Spaulding, Part I”). Capt. Spaulding makes a grand entrance and announces that he cannot stay and must leave immediately (Hello, I Must Be Going”). Mrs. Rittenhouse begs him to stay and the guests declare their admiration for the Captain and he decides to stay (“Hooray for Captain Spaulding, Part II”). Soon after, Signor Emanuel Ravelli arrives with his colleague the professor, hired to provide music for the weekend event. After an elaborate introduction, The Professor scares the guests away with a pistol he grabs from Capt. Spaulding’s supplies. The Professor soon takes off chasing after an attractive blonde party-goer.
Mrs. Rittenhouse’s daughter Arabella is attending the party with her fiancé John Parker, who is a struggling painter. John feels discouraged because he hasn’t been able to make a living with his art in order to support himself and Arabella. Arabella suggests John do a portrait for Chandler, suggesting he would receive an impressive commission. John laughs at the idea, not believing Chandler to have a genuine appreciation for art. After examining the Beaugard, Arabella devises a scheme to win Chandler’s interest in John’s work: They’ll replace the Beaugard with an almost perfect copy of it John painted in art school, since they can find no obvious differences. After the painting is unveiled at the party, they will surprise everyone and hopefully convince Chandler to hire John. Arabella asks Ravelli to switch the paintings. Meanwhile, another guest, neighbor Mrs. Whitehead thinks up the same idea with her friend Grace Carpenter as a means of humiliating Mrs. Rittenhouse. They grab Grace’s poorly made copy that she painted and ask Hives to put it in place of the Beaugard, unaware that they are taking out John’s copy.
Ravelli catches the Professor chasing after the blonde girl and scolds him. Soon Mrs. Rittenhouse and Mrs. Whitehead arrive and the four proceed to play an absurd variation on Bridge. Ravelli and the Professor run into Chandler and recognize him as Abie the fish peddler from Czechoslovakia. Chandler tries to bribe the two in order to keep them quiet, but they end up taking his money, tie and garters as well as, miraculously, Chandler’s birthmark which is transferred to the Professor’s arm. After a series of strange interludes while speaking with Mrs. Rittenhouse and Mrs. Whitehead, Capt. Spaulding has a debate with Chandler outside on the balcony after his encounter with Ravelli and the Professor.
Later that night in the middle of a thunderstorm, Ravelli and the Professor attempt to replace the Beaugard with the power going on and off, making the job more difficult. In the middle of the job Capt. Spaulding and Mrs. Rittenhouse wander in, making the job more difficult. They succeed in replacing the painting.
During the party, Mrs. Rittenhouse invites Capt. Spaulding to speak about his travels in Africa. He proceeds to tell a ridiculous and absurd account of his travels before Mrs. Rittenhouse cuts him off. Signor Ravelli is invited to play some selection on the piano (I’m Daffy Over You”, “Silver Threads Among The Gold”, “Gypsy Chorus”). After several quips and interruptions Chandler invites the guests into the parlor so he can unveil the Beaugard. Once revealed, Chandler notices the poor quality and realizes someone has stolen his painting and replaced it with a cheap imitation. John feels discouraged, thinking the painting is still his copy. Suddenly the power goes out, and when restored, the imitation Beaugard is missing as well. The guests, now in an uproar, scatter and attempt to find the stolen painting, led by Capt. Spaulding. John and Arabella discuss the excitement of the situation and their love for each other (“Why Am I So Romantic?”).
The next day, a police squad arrives to secure the house and search for the missing painting. Realizing that they may have gone too far, Mrs. Whitehead and Grace ask Hives for the Beaugard he took back, but he can’t find it anywhere. Mrs. Whitehead deduces the Professor must have stolen it. After confronting him she gets Grace’s copy back. Later, John finds Grace’s copy of the Beaugard and reveals to Arabella that someone else must have had the same idea as them. Realizing that Chandler never actually saw John’s copy, they become more hopeful. Soon after John realizes the copy he found is now missing. Capt. Spaulding, Jameson, and Ravelli discuss how they might go about finding the missing painting. After getting the painting back from the Professor, who is now in disguise, John and Arabella bring it to Capt. Spaulding. They figure out that the Professor must be the one who stole the paintings, and enlist the police to help find him.
After a brief altercation Spaulding, Ravelli, and Jameson enter with the Professor (“My Old Kentucky Home”). The Professor is apprehended and the three paintings are returned. Chandler momentarily mistakes John’s copy for the Beaugard. Realizing his talent, Chandler hires John to do a series a portraits for him. After momentarily letting the Professor go free, the police sergeant tries to apprehend him. To escape arrest, the Professor sprays the guests with a knockout substance from a Flit can. After everyone is laid out on the floor and fully subdued, the film concludes with the Professor knocking himself out next to the pretty blonde he has been chasing throughout the entire film.
Release in: 1930
Animal Crackers Movie Cast
Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Margaret Dumont
Detailed Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Crackers_(1930_film)