A Day at the Races (1937) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Day at the Races1937

A Day at the Races (1937)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

A Day at the Races Photos

Movie Info

In this Marx Brothers' comedy, a horse named Hi-Hat is a financially troubled sanitarium's only hope of avoiding foreclosure. Luckily, the sanitarium's new director is a veterinarian impersonating a physician. Groucho and his gang are up to their usual zany tricks, trying to make sure Hi-Hat wins a steeplechase race.

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Marx Brothers
as themselves (Groucho,Chico, Harpo)
Groucho Marx
as Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush
Harpo Marx
as Stuffy
Margaret Dumont
as Emily Upjohn
Allan Jones
as Gil Stewart
Maureen O'Sullivan
as Judy Standish
Sig Rumann
as Dr. Steinberg
Vivien Fay
as Solo Dancer
Vivian Fay
as Solo Dancer
Charles Trowbridge
as Dr. Wilmerding
Max Lucke
as Doctor
Frankie Darro
as Morgan's Jockey
Pat Flaherty
as Detective
Si Jenks
as Messenger
Hooper Atchley
as Race Judge
Ivie Anderson
as Specialty Singer
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Critic Reviews for A Day at the Races

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (3)


June 20, 2003 | Rating: 5/5
Top Critic

The Marx Brothers' second MGM movie (1937) has its moments, but the anarchy of the Paramount period was obviously gone forever.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

The antics don't amount to much, nor are any of them particularly memorable.

July 26, 2020 | Rating: 4/10 | Full Review…

A Day at the Races brings us the Marx Brothers at their best; which means that their latest film is a good deal like their other films and wildly unlike anything else on earth.

October 2, 2019 | Full Review…

It places the Marx Brothers clearly among the few fine comedians of our day.

January 18, 2013 | Full Review…

Marx Bros.' big hit may miss with today's kids.

December 14, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Day at the Races

I believe this is the longest of the Marx Brother's movies. It really didn't need to be so long, there were a couple of boring scenes. Other than that, the Brothers do all their usual jokes and run around being silly as usual, which is always fun, so I liked this movie anyway.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Much funnier than the last couple of films I've seen.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

This second Marx Brothers picture for MGM has many of the same elements. Sam Wood directs again. Allan Jones and Margaret Dumont are still on hand. Ruman returns in a briefer supporting part. Wunderkind Thalberg dies part way through production at age 37 though. Maureen O'Sullivan is the new romantic leading lady. Ceeley, Dumbrille, and Middlemass are the villains this time representing business managers of a sanitarium who want to turn the building into a casino. Groucho is Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush, a vet who has convinced Dumont's Mrs. Upjohn that he is an expert psychiatrist and medical doctor. He is brought in to try to save O'Sullivan's sanitarium, which her father ran before her. Chico works for O'Sullivan and Harpo is a jockey at the nearby horse track. Jones is romantically involved with O'Sullivan of course, but annoys her when he invests in a race horse expecting to win enough to pay her debts and his. Again some of their best comic "set pieces" are contained here: Tootsie-Fruitsie Ice Cream, Groucho calling Whitmore as the Florida medical board, Harpo's charades for Hackenbush is gonna be framed, Chico and Harpo interrupting Hackenbush's dinner with Flo, the medical examination of Mrs. Upjohn, and the chaos the boys cause at the race track. Harpo's non-verbal pantomime is even more expressive and hilarious in this picture. The music is still great entertainment though more on a popular track this time since the opera of the previous film. Jones has a solo in front of a wall of water, a Busby Berkeley type ballet number is revealed behind the wall of water, and a solo ballerina does an unbelievable number of rapid pirouettes. Chico does another piano piece and Harpo does too until he demolishes the instrument. It is a treat to see him use the strings and frame from the inside of the piano as his harp to avoid being hauled away by the authorities. Later there is a huge gospel/jazz/swing musical number. An entire black community living around a barn where the brothers are hiding out follow Harpo who is playing a whistle. The scene is a little odd and at times disturbing for its racial stereotyping, but the singing and dancing by everyone but the Marx Brothers is well done. At least there is some variety from the ballads popular to white culture in the mid-30's here.

Byron Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer

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