A Night at the Opera is a 1935 American comedy film starring Groucho Marx, Chico Marx and Harpo Marx, and featuring Kitty Carlisle, Allan Jones, Margaret Dumont, Sig Ruman, and Walter Woolf King. It was the first film the Marx Brothers made for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer after their departure from Paramount Pictures, and the first after Zeppo left the act. The film was adapted by George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, and Al Boasberg (uncredited) from a story by James Kevin McGuinness. It was directed by Sam Wood. A smash hit at the box office, A Night at the Opera was selected in 1993 for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". It is also included in the 2007 update of AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies, at number 85; and previously in AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs 2000 showing, at number 12. In A Night At the Opera, the Marx brothers help two young lovers to succeed in love as well as in the opera world. Otis B. Driftwood (Groucho Marx) is hired by widowed socialite hopeful Mrs. Claypool (Margaret Dumont) to help her break into high society, but he instead alternately woos and insults her.
One of the Marx brothers’ greatest films (along with Duck Soup), A Night at the Opera has awfully little opera for a film that purports to be just that. No matter, it’s still hysterically funny — the highlight being when the boys try to pack into a cruise ship stateroom, including their enormous footlockers. And the verbal gags come so fast and furious it’s actually hard to keep up. Oh yeah, there’s a story about an opera singer, too: Kitty Carlisle is memorable as Groucho’s charge, who he futilely tries to turn into a star.