A Day at the Races

Director: Sam Wood
Year Released: 1937
Rating: 2.5

The film the Marx Bros. made after the landmark A Night at the Opera tries to reuse the same formula but isn't nearly as successful (how often is it that a follow-up trumps - or even equals - the original?). The gags range from acceptable to half-decent (Groucho examining Harpo - then three brothers examining Margaret Dumont - is a high point), but there's a lengthy section towards the end that compromises the movie's brevity with a series of extended musical numbers by virtually everyone: there's a stage show, Chico plays the piano, Harpo plays the piano, Harpo plays the harp and then there are African-Americans singing-and-dancing (not to mention an obligatory 'blackface' cheap shot).