Screening as part of BFI Musicals! The Greatest Show on Screen, a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery, BFI Film Audience Network and ICO. bfimusicals.co.uk
A Night at the Opera on the Belfast Barge
The Marx Brothers run amuck on a boat and in the world of opera when Otis B. Driftwood (Groucho Marx) meets aspiring singer Ricardo, who is determined to win the love of fellow performer Rosa.
The most popular of the legendary Marx Brothers’ 13 films and the team’s first picture for MGM, A Night at the Opera (1935) endures as one of the funniest comedies ever made. The plot—in which the brothers try to launch the career of an aspiring Italian tenor—allows ample opportunity for their trademark hijinks, from the witty banter of the contract scene to the raucous finale backstage at a performance of Verdi’s Il trovatore.
Alongside Groucho, Chico, and Harpo (this was the first Marx Brothers film without Zeppo), Margaret Dumont and Sig Ruman, two of the brothers’ frequent screen partners, appear as comic foils, with Kitty Carlisle and Allan Jones—both trained opera singers—as the young lovers, Rosa and Riccardo.
Dir: Sam Wood, Edmund Goulding, USA, 1935, 96 mins, PG