The Marx Brothers
A Night in Casablanca (1946)

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A Night in Casablanca

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Chico, Groucho, and Harpo in a scene from the film

Several plot elements come together here to create quite an enjoyable picture. Nazi war criminal Heinrich Stubel, alias Count Pfefferman (Sig Ruman), is offing hotel managers at an alarming rate in the hope that he will be appointed manager himself (he has ulterior motives). Unfortunately, when he is finally offered the job he is indisposed because Stubel's valet Rusty (Harpo) has sucked his hairpiece into a vacuum cleaner, thus exposing an incriminating scar on Stubel's head.

Instead, the position is offered to the unsuspecting Ronald Kornblow (Groucho), who takes to it with gusto and gleefully insults staff and guests alike. Rusty overhears of a plot to assassinate Kornblow, and he enlists the aid of itinerant camel jockey Corbaccio (Chico) to help protect Groucho from Stubel. Meanwhile, American flyboy Pierre Delmar (Charles Drake) is trying to get information on Stubel to clear his own name over an incident that happened during the war. Ever the altruists, Corbaccio and Rusty try to help Pierre as well, with disastrous results.

Time is telling on the Marxes in this picture, but it is an enjoyable romp nonetheless. Groucho even manages to capture some of the zest of his earlier times as a hotel manager in "The Cocoanuts." Harpo's employment of Frank Tashlin (cartoon director/writer being among his hats) as a gag writer prompts some wonderful sight gags.

It was during the final days of filming that Groucho realized he'd finally had enough. While hanging upside-down outside of an aeroplane during innumerable takes of one of the final scenes, Groucho decided once and for all that he was ready to retire. The others were ready as well.

The three brothers would appear once more together, three years later, but really only as an afterthought. "A Night In Casablanca" was the last true Marx Brothers film.

This movies obviously alludes to Warner Brothers movie Casablanca. This lead to an exchange of letters between Groucho and Warner Brothers, because they allegedly were threatening to sue the Marx Brothers, which is not completely true.

"Who's Sorry Now?", though it is performed in "Night in Casablanca," actually was written quite a few years before that, in the 1920's by Kalmar and Ruby, some time before their later association with the Marxes. According to Adamson, Kalmar and Ruby originally wrote the song as a joke, not wanting it released, but it got released without their permission and turned into a tremendous hit, more or less making their reputation and songwriters.

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Groucho Marx   Ronald Kornblow
Harpo Marx   Rusty
Chico Marx   Corbaccio
Sig Ruman   Count Pfferman aka Heinrich Stubel
Lisette Verea   Beatrice Rheiner
Charles Drake   Lt. Pierre Delmar
Lois Collier   Annette
Dan Seymour   Prefect of Police Capt. Brizzard
Lewis L. Russell   Governor Galoux
Frederick Giermann   Kurt
Harro Mellor   Emile
David Hoffman   Spy
Paul Harvey   Mr. Smythe
Philip van Zandt   Maître d'
Arthur Torey   Military man in restaurant
Ruth Roman   Bit Part

Director  Archie Mayo
Written by  Joseph Fields
  Roland Kibbee
  Frank Tashlin (additional material, uncredited)
Cinematography  James Van Trees
Production design  Duncan Cramer
Set decorator  Edward G. Boyle
Editorial Supervisor  Gregg C. Tallas
Film Cutter  Grace Baughman
Music  Werner Janssen
Song "Who's Sorry Now"  Ted Snyder (music)
  Bert Kalmar (lyrics)
  Harry Ruby (lyrics)
Sound  Frank Webster
Make-up  Otis Malcolm
Hair Stylist  Scotty Rackin
Exectutive Production Manager  Joe C. Gilpin
Assistant director  Jack Sullivan
Producer  David L. Loew
Production company / Distribution  Loma Vista Productions / United Artists
Runtime  85 min.
Release date  10 May 1946
New York opening  11 Aug 1946
Spanish title  Una Noche En Casablanca
French title  Une nuit à Casablanca
German title  Eine Nacht in Casablanca
German/Austrian title  Eine Nacht mit Beatrice
Swedish title  En Natt i Casablanca
Italian title  Una notte a Casablanca

Posters and Lobby Cards for this movie. Click to enlarge.
Poster Poster Poster Poster Poster Poster

Musical numbers

Performed byComments
 Main Title 
Music and lyrics by: Werner Janssen
Who's Sorry Now
Who's Sorry Now 
Music by: Ted Snyder
Lyrics by: Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby
 Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 
Music and lyrics by: Franz Liszt
Harpo played when Harpo finds the room with all the treasure 

This site uses material originally created by Frank Bland for his website Why A Duck?. Frank did kindly give me permission to use this material.

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