Horse Feathers

Friday, April 13 - Sunday, April 15, 2018

DCP Projection of New 4K Restoration!

“The institution of higher education is held up for ridicule and satirized mercilessly in Horse Feathers (1932), a madcap burlesque of university life starring The Marx Brothers. In it, Groucho Marx is Professor Wagstaff, the president of Huxley College, Chico plays an ice salesman/bootlegger, Harpo stars as the local dogcatcher and girl chaser, and Zeppo, cast as Wagstaff’s son, provides the love interest. The central premise – Wagstaff plots to increase the college’s enrollment and boost its reputation by staging a winning football game – is really just an excuse to include pot shots at everything from pompous professors to dull-witted students to sports fanatics. Along the way, there is a parody of the boating accident from Theodore Dreiser’s novel, An American Tragedy, wild sight gags like Harpo posing as a human coffee dispenser, and such signature songs as “Whatever It Is, I’m Against It” and “Everyone Says I Love You” (Woody Allen would pay homage to this six decades later when he chose it for the title of his 1996 musical comedy). The film continually flaunts its ramshackle structure and at one point during Chico’s piano solo, Groucho breaks the wall between actor and viewer to remark candidly, “I’ve got to stay here but there’s no reason you folks shouldn’t go out into the lobby till this thing blows over.”” – Jeff Stafford, Turner Classic Movies

“The Four Marx Brothers score again in “Horse-Feathers,” a picture which came to the Rialto last night. Groucho’s characteristic corkscrew humor, Chico’s distortions of English and Harpo’s pantomime aroused riotous laughter from those who packed the theatre for this first performance.” – Mordaunt Hall, The New York Times (1932)

Screening as part of our Weekend Classics series on breaking the fourth wall, The Audience is Present.

  • Country USA
  • Year 1932
  • Running Time 67 minutes
  • Director Norman Z. McLeod
  • Writer Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, S.J. Perelman, Will B. Johnstone
  • Cinematographer Ray June
  • Cast Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Zeppo Marx

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and as well as through general internet searches.