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Room Service

Released Sep 21, 1938 1h 19m Comedy List
64% Tomatometer 14 Reviews 56% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings Broadway producer Gordon Miller (Groucho Marx) has sunk every dime into his latest project but still lacks the money to get the play out of rehearsals. While dodging hotel manager Gribble (Cliff Dunstan) and his henchman, Wagner (Donald MacBride), over his unpaid bills, Gordon, director Harry Binelli (Chico Marx) and manager Faker Englund (Harpo Marx) try to soothe the jangled nerves of their playwright (Frank Albertson) and convince a wealthy backer (Philip Loeb) to invest heavily in the show. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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Critics Reviews

View All (14) Critics Reviews
Danielle Solzman Solzy at the Movies Room Service features some shenanigans that are fitting for a Marx Brothers vehicle but it is not enough for their standards. Rated: 2.5/5 Jan 3, 2024 Full Review James T. Hamada The Nippu Jiji (Honolulu) William A. Selter directed with excellent results. Aug 18, 2021 Full Review Ann Ross Maclean's Magazine The original was outrageous enough even for the Marx boys, so it ought to be outrageous enough for anybody. Jul 22, 2019 Full Review Gabe Leibowitz Film and Felt With far too many drawn-out chats lacking in any wit or humor, Room Service is close to a total Marx Brothers dud. Rated: 35/100 Jun 29, 2011 Full Review Fernando F. Croce CinePassion Seiter's direction keeps the brothers at half speed, stuck to static material Mar 21, 2010 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 5/5 Jun 16, 2005 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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christopher c. m Most of the movie happens in one room, just redressed to look like a better room later in the movie. That hurts the pacing a little. Also, this is one Marx brothers movie that isn't a musical. No real long musical numbers that normally really drag. But it's the normal Marx brother genius and all fans of the Marx brothers need to check it out. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Jumping Butterballs! This one was great. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/27/23 Full Review Audience Member Really lacking in Marx gags and schtick, but at least it followed the story and didn't meander every 10 minutes with a side scene about nothing or some musical number that goes on too long. Not great, not as funny, but decent. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Audience Member It's not a very good movie, but it's got just enough genuine laughs to keep you watching through the whole thing. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/05/23 Full Review Audience Member Is it just me, or do they play con-men in every movie? Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/14/23 Full Review jack c It might not look it considering the star rating I give this, but compared to so many of their other films this was a rather soggy disappointment. This is the first time the Marx brothers were really saddled with a "plot", and it's so stage-bound it makes The Cocoanuts look like a John Ford Monument Valley western. They actually have to have (gulp) story functions here, and for all of the zaniness that they try to inject something feels... off here. In what is basically a movie where a highlight is a flying turkey (where you can see the wire, and I did laugh quite a lot during these turkey bits as it's silly enough to get by), the brothers play theater hustlers trying to get a play produced and they try to keep their actors set up at the hotel - trouble is a stuffy and blustery hotel manager wants them out so they have to concoct a series of schemes (usually with the playwright) to keep their rooms. I couldn't stand the actor playing the hotel manager, Wagner played by Donald MacBride, who is completely one note and yells most of his dialog just in case we don't see he's trying to be funny (he's even saddled with a catch phrase, "JUMPIN BUTTERBALLS!" which according to IMDb was some "softened" language from the play to screen). And Frank Albertson as Leo Davis (the playwright) is unconvincing and seems to whine through much of his performance - he's technically supposed to be the "normal" character we get in a lot of Marx movies, but it doesn't work here since, with the exception of Harpo who can't help but he who/what/when/why/how he is, everyone is fairly normal and caught in the wheel-grinder of the plot. I don't know if this would work better on stage, and seemingly at the time since it was successful I'd venture a guess that it was. But it doesn't gfit the sensibilities of the three brothers who thrive off of fast-peppy dialog and zingers. Now, this isn't to say if you decide to watch this there's nothing there for you period; lines do stick out that, I imagine, were written for the Marx brothers (i.e. Harpo first appears, takes off his jacket and is without a shirt, Chico says, "He don't believe in wearing a shirt," to which Groucho responds, "Oh, an atheist, eh?"), and Harpo's moments and perfectly times weirdness get one through. But make no mistake this is not a good use of these men's time, and unlike the best of their work this hasn't aged well (I wasn't even sure how this hotel stuff even works in this time and place). In short: it's not enough to just have these three guys on screen - there's got to be good things for them to say and interactions that WORK for their sensibilities. You can't fit a Marx peg in a round hole. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Room Service

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Movie Info

Synopsis Broadway producer Gordon Miller (Groucho Marx) has sunk every dime into his latest project but still lacks the money to get the play out of rehearsals. While dodging hotel manager Gribble (Cliff Dunstan) and his henchman, Wagner (Donald MacBride), over his unpaid bills, Gordon, director Harry Binelli (Chico Marx) and manager Faker Englund (Harpo Marx) try to soothe the jangled nerves of their playwright (Frank Albertson) and convince a wealthy backer (Philip Loeb) to invest heavily in the show.
Director
William A. Seiter
Screenwriter
Morrie Ryskind
Production Co
RKO Pictures
Genre
Comedy
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Sep 21, 1938, Limited
Release Date (Streaming)
Nov 21, 2016
Runtime
1h 19m
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