Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Everything is played for humor, sometimes at someone's expense. For example, as the College Widow attempts to work her wiles, Groucho says that he will "kick all her teeth right down her throat" -- definitely a quip from another age.
Positive Role Models
Reflecting the time in which the movie was made, African Americans are portrayed only as servants. Women are portrayed as dolls or act like silly school girls to get what they want.
Violence & Scariness
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
This is pre-code 1930s Hollywood, and there's a fair bit of sexual double entendre. Much of it will go over the head of younger children.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that kids will be exposed to a fair bit of sexual double entendre. Much of it will go over the heads of younger children. African Americans in the movie are all servants and women are scheming and sexually manipulative. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Be forewarned, this stuff may be a hard sell for contemporary kids; they either get the Marx Brothers or they don't. At least that was the case with two young viewers, a 13-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy. The 13-year-old was unimpressed by the pandemonium and thought Groucho "just smirked all the time." Meanwhile, the 10-year-old laughed repeatedly at the verbal gymnastics -- even when he wasn't quite sure why they were funny. Neither really got that the Brothers were poking fun at authority, and they both wanted to fast forward through Harpo's physical comedy routines.
The musical numbers are definite highlights. "I'm Against It" is Groucho at his best, irreverent and wacky, leading the whole school in the mayhem. His later "I Love You" is also charming. Some find the Marx Brothers to be anarchic comic geniuses, others find them unbearably smug. And it seems to be true that boys find this type of humor more appealing than girls. But if parents want to introduce their kids to the Brothers' unique sense of humor, HORSE FEATHERS is a good choice.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.