Parents' Guide to

Monkey Business

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Marx Bros. classic is zany slapstick done right.

Movie NR 1931 77 minutes
Monkey Business Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 1 parent review

age 7+

Zany, hilarity for the whole family

This is, IMHO, the best movie to introduce kids to the Marx Brothers. It is fast-paced, extremely silly, and full of laughs. My 8 and 11 year-olds loved this, as did my wife and I.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Nearly as loosely plotted as you can get, MONKEY BUSINESS is a rambunctious outing for the Marx Brothers in their prime. It was the first Marx Brothers comedy to be written directly for the screen -- not an adapted stage show like Animal Crackers -- that looks like it could have been shot in one long take through a security camera. This is fluid and fun, with some bits that could only have worked due to cinematography and editing (the mute Harpo "singing" like Maurice Chevalier thanks to a full-size record player secretly strapped to his back), even if the storyline is nothing but a weak bridge from one Marx bit to another.

This is zany stuff, with only a few slow spots during the musical numbers (a chronic ailment in Marx movies). Monkey Business and its follow-up Horse Feathers are probably the most a lot of young viewers will get to see of Thelma Todd, a sexy and funny comedic actress (the "vamping Venus") of the 1930s, who holds her own against Groucho -- not an easy feat -- in her role as the gangster's restless wife (Todd died mysteriously at age 29, in what may have been suicide or a mob-connected murder, still one of Hollywood's most tantalizing unsolved mysteries).

Movie Details

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