The Marx Brothers are known as a “madcap comedy team” that starred in movies from 1929 to 1949, coming out with a total of thirteen movies. These movies have a niche group of fans that cannot get enough of the eccentric and comedic style. Check out our list of the best Marx Brothers movies, and where they rank according to IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, and their earnings to find your next movie to watch.
Who are the Marx Brothers?
The Marx Brothers were all born in New York to a German immigrant father. The boys were raised in a Jewish faith and grew up in a poor Manhattan neighborhood of mostly Italian and German immigrants on East 93rd street. The boys changed their names before their first performance, and they would therefore be known as Groucho (Julius Henry), Chico (Leonard), Harpo (Adolph), Zeppo (Herbert), and Gummo (Milton) for the rest of their careers.
In 1924 Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo landed their first breakthrough performance in a Broadway musical called “I’ll Say She Is,” and in 1925 they premiered their first film The Cocoanuts. They went on to create a dozen other films, all landing quite well in the comedy genre.
How many Marx Brothers films are there?
In total there are thirteen Marx Brothers movies that were created between 1929 and 1949. Most of these movies highlighted four characters – Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo – but in later movies Zeppo stepped out of the business to pursue other job opportunities.
Where should I start with the Marx Brothers?
You can really start anywhere you want in terms of watching the Marx brother’s movies, but if you want to watch the progression of the group, try watching the movies in order of when they come out, listed down below. Their films are not connected as sequels or anything like that, so you can enjoy any of the Marx movies whenever you want to.
Best Marx Brothers movies ranked by IMDB score
See where your favorite Marx Brothers movie ranks based on the IMDB popularity score.
13. Love Happy (5.8/10)
In the final feature film with all of the Marx Brothers, Harpo is the leader of a group of aspiring actors who must commit light larceny to feed his friends. When he accidentally steals a tin of sardines that has stolen diamonds in it, he must evade the criminals who stole the diamonds in the first place.
12. The Big Store (6.5/10)
The Marx Brothers appear as private detectives in The Big Store as they are hired by the co-owner of a department store. Her nephew Tommy has been assaulted and she wants to figure out who did it, but the culprit is her fiancé who is trying to hide years of fraud and theft.
11. Room Service (6.6/10)
Broadway producer Gordon Miller has put all of his money into his latest project that is struggling to get out of rehearsals. While dodging the hotel manager about unpaid bills, the director of the show and the manager try to convince a wealthy man to invest in the show and save Miller.
10. Go West (6.8/10)
New Yorkers Rusty and his brother Joe cheat Quentin Quale out of some money that buys them a train ticket out west. Soon, all three end up in the middle of two feuding clans and two crooked land promoters. In order to help the clans reconcile, the three pursue an eastbound train in a madcap race for justice.
9. The Cocoanuts (6.8/10)
Trying to save his hotel from bankruptcy, owner Hammer flatters his only paying customer Mrs. Potter. While Mrs. Potter’s daughter Polly has romantic feelings for the hotel clerk, two other guests (Harpo and Chico) go around the hotel wrecking havoc, due to the inattention of Hammer.
8. At the Circus (6.8/10)
The Marx Brothers are trying to save a circus from closing in At the Circus. The owner Jeff needs to pay off his business partner John, but John wants to take over the circus for himself and hires accomplices to steal the $10,000 Jeff needed. Loophole (Groucho), a clumsy attorney, tries to help recover the money with help from wealthy Mrs. Dukesbury.
7. A Night in Casablanca (6.9/10)
Take a trip back to World War II in A Night in Casablanca. Ronald Kornblow (Groucho) takes over as a manager of a hotel in Casablanca after WWII. Once he discovers the previous managers were murdered Kornblow fears for his safety, and even more so when Nazi Count Pfefferman tries to take over the hotel in order to retrieve valuable items stashed in the hotel by fellow Nazis.
6. Monkey Business (7.4/10)
Chemist Dr. Fulton is trying to create a pill that will defy the aging process for a pharmaceutical company. When a loose chimpanzee mixes chemicals together to produce this effect, Fulton tries some on himself. He begins to act like a teenager and soon everyone is feeling the effects of the formula with raucous results.
5. Animal Crackers (7.4/10)
Well-known explorer and hunter Captain Spaulding has returned from Africa and a party is being held in his honor at the society matron Mrs. Rittenhouse’s home. A valuable painting goes missing during the party and Spaulding attempts to solve the crime with the help of his secretary Horatio Jamison, all while battling outside forces.
4. A Day at the Races (7.5/10)
Hugo Hackenbush is a veterinarian who pretends to be a lead doctor in a sanitarium to help a wealthy patient. In order to save the financially struggling sanitarium and its owner, Hackbush, employee Tony, and jockey Stuffy must find ingenious ways to help Gil Stewart and his inept racehorse win the big race.
3. Horse Feathers (7.5/10)
Horse Feathers combines the Marx Brothers with higher education and football in this hilarious comedy. The new president Of Huxley University is getting pressured by his son Frank to improve the football squad at their school, and suggest recruiting two professional ball players so Huxley can defeat their rival. But when the president hires the wrong guys they begin to wreak havoc as undergrads.
2. Duck Soup (7.8/10)
The tiny nation of Freedonia is going bankrupt and its wealthy benefactor Mrs. Teasdale insists that the wacky Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho) should become the country’s president. Sensing weakness, the bordering nation of Sylvania sends in spies Pinky (Harpo) and Chicolini (Chico) to set the stage for a revolution.
1. A Night at the Opera (7.8/10)
The Marx Brothers are let loose on the world of opera when Otis B. Driftwood (Groucho) meets aspiring singer Ricardo who wants to win the love of fellow performer Rosa. Aided by Fiorello (Chico) and Tomasso (Harpo), Otis attempts to break up the couple, but faces opposition from star Lassparri who also has sights on Rosa. Traveling from Italy to New York, Otis and his friends try to save the day amidst all of the chaos.
Best Marx Brothers movies ranked by Rotten Tomatoes critics score
See where your favorite Marx Brothers movie scores on the Rotten Tomatoes critics scale.
13. Love Happy (No score)
12. A Night in Casablanca (57%)
11. The Big Store (67%)
10. Room Service (69%)
9. Go West (89%)
8. Monkey Business (89%)
7. Duck Soup (91%)
6. A Day at the Races (94%)
5. The Cocoanuts (95%)
4. Animal Crackers (96%)
3. Horse Feathers (97%)
2. A Night at the Opera (97%)
1. At the Circus (100%)
Best Marx Brothers movies ranked by Rotten Tomatoes audience scores
See where your favorite Marx Brothers movie scores on the Rotten Tomatoes audience scale.
13. Love Happy (34%)
12. The Big Store (51%)
11. Room Service (56%)
10. Go West (59%)
9. At the Circus (63%)
8. A Night in Casablanca (69%)
7. The Cocoanuts (69%)
6. Monkey Business (84%)
5. Horse Feathers (86%)
4. A Day at the Races (89%)
3. Animal Crackers (89%)
2. A Night at the Opera (90%)
1. Duck Soup (91%)
Best Marx Brothers movies ranked by earnings
These earning totals are adjusted to today’s standards, so they do not reflect the amount earned when the movie premiered. Due to inflation and other changes in our society, it is interesting to see where these movies stack up against recent releases. For instance, The Whale which came out in 2022 had a total earnings of $54.9 million. Let’s take a look at the Marx Brothers earnings.
13. Love Happy ($47.3 mil)
12. The Big Store ($83.3 mil)
11. Go West ($83.7 mil)
10. Duck Soup ($84.9 mil)
9. A Night in Casablanca ($84.9 mil)
8. Room Service ($90.2 mil)
7. At the Circus ($111.6 mil)
6. Monkey Business ($121.3 mil)
5. A Night at the Opera ($126.9 mil)
4. The Cocoanuts ($ 150.5 mil)
3. Animal Crackers ($ 155.0 mil)
2. Horse Feathers ($178.4 mil)
1. A Day at the Races ($225.8 mil)
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Marx Brothers movies in order of release
Probably the best way to watch all of the Marx Brothers movies, see if your favorite movie came out in the earlier or later parts of the Marx Brother’s history on film.
13. The Cocoanuts (1929)
12. Animal Crackers (1930)
11. Monkey Business (1931)
10. Horse Feathers (1932)
9. Duck Soup (1933)
8. A Night at the Opera (1935)
7. A Day at the Races (1937)
6. Room Service (1938)
5. At the Circus (1939)
4. Go West (1940)
3. The Big Store (1941)
2. A Night in Casablanca (1946)
1. Love Happy (1949)
What is the best Marx Brothers movie?
The best Marx Brothers movie is A Night at the Opera. In the movie the Marx Brothers are let loose on the world of opera when Otis B. Driftwood (Groucho Marx) meets aspiring singer Ricardo who wants to win the love of fellow performer Rosa. Aided by Fiorello (Chico Marx) and Tomasso (Harpo Marx), Otis attempts to break up the couple but faces opposition from star Lassparri who also has sights on Rosa. Traveling from Italy to New York, Otis and his friends try to save the day.
What is the worst Marx Brothers movie?
Love Happy is the worst Marx Brothers movie, and the last one the group made. The last feature film of the Marx Brothers has Harpo as the mascot of a group of aspiring actors, who commits a little light larceny to ensure they have enough food to eat. When he steals a tin of sardines that are a cover for a stash of stolen diamonds though, he must evade the heavies who are now after him to get back their jewels.
What is the funniest Marx Brothers movie?
The funniest Marx Brothers movie is Duck Soup, premiering in 1933. Filled with silliness and named as one of the Marx Brother’s best works, Duck Soup is one of the best comedies in the era it was created, and even for all time according to some critics. Duck Soup is about the tiny nation of Freedonia that goes bankrupt, and its wealthy benefactor Mrs. Teasdale insists that the wacky Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) should become the country’s president. Sensing weakness the bordering nation of Sylvania sends in spies Pinky (Harpo Marx) and Chicolini (Chico Marx) to set the stage for a revolution, and plenty mayhem ensues.
What is the lost Marx Brothers movie?
Humor Risk, also known by the name of Humorisk, is an unreleased 1921 silent comedy short film that was later lost. It was the first film to star the Marx Brothers, until their “actual” first film in 1929, The Cocoanuts.
Was Marilyn Monroe in a Marx Brothers movie?
Marilyn Monroe did appear in a Marx Brothers movie, Love Happy, as a walk-on when she was relatively unknown as an actor. This was the Marx Brothers final feature film in 1949.
Which Marx brother never appeared in the movies?
Gummo was never in any of the Marx Brothers films. One of the other brothers, Zeppo, appeared in the first five films in relatively non-comedic roles until he stopped filming with his brothers.
Where to watch Marx Brothers movies?
Most of the Marx Brothers films are available to watch on Prime Video, Apple TV, or Youtube. Two of these services require a subscription, while Youtube may have only pieces and parts of the movies, or are available to rent.
The Marx Brothers created comedic cinema for twenty years, producing thirteen movies over the years. Not all of the brothers participated in the films, but those who did really made the movies great. Check out these movies on your favorite streaming services, or watch some clips on Youtube and see if this comedic family is for you.