11/23/2014  
Field Of Lost Shoes on DVD Dec 2What If on DVD & Blu-ray Nov 25Hart To Hart: Season 3 on DVD Dec 9The Simpsons: Season 17 on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 2Robin Williams Remembered - Pioneers of Television on DVD Dec 2Kung Fu Girl / Whiplash on DVD Dec 2Broad City: Season 1 on DVD Dec 2

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Field Of Lost Shoes on DVD Dec 2...
'SNL's' Michael Che talks Bill Cosby: 'I forgave Kramer...
What If on DVD & Blu-ray Nov 25...
Hart To Hart: Season 3 on DVD Dec 9...
Beyonce Debuts Music Video ... Suck It Iggy, J.Lo and K...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
CRYSTAL FAIRY & THE MAGICAL CACTUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE (BLU-RAY)...
AIN'T IN IT FOR MY HEALTH: A FILM ABOUT LEVON HELM (BLU...
THE LADY (BLU-RAY)...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN...
DARK SHADOWS: THE GREATEST EPISODES COLLECTION - FAN FA...
JACK KEROUAC - KING OF THE BEATS...

MZ Mark Zimmer

Take Part in a Film Restoration...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...
LOST KEATON...
BLACK NARCISSUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY (BLU-...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...
BASEBALL'S GREATEST GAMES: 1986 WORLD SERIES GAME 6...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...
THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY...
HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS...
ANATOMY OF A MURDER...
BASIL DEARDEN'S LONDON UNDERGROUND (ECLIPSE SERIES 25)...

RR Rich Rosell

LONDON TO BRIGHTON...
AFTER.LIFE...
MYSTERY TRAIN (BLU-RAY)...
THE NATURAL (BLU-RAY)...
PANDORUM...

JC Joel Cunningham

WINGS OF DESIRE...
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS...
MONSOON WEDDING...
PIERROT LE FOU...
SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

DH Dan Heaton

NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

JU Jeff Ulmer

THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Warner Home Video presents
A Night in Casablanca (1946)

Ronald: You know, I think you're the most beautiful woman in the whole world.
Beatrice: Do you really?!
Ronald: No, but I don't mind lying if it'll get me somewhere.

- Ronald Kornblower (Groucho Marx), Beatrice Rheiner (Lisette Verea)

Review By: Jeff Rosado  
Published: May 05, 2004

Stars: The Marx Brothers (Groucho, Chico, Harpo), Charles Drake, Lois Collier
Other Stars: Lisette Verea, Sig Ruman, Dan Seymour, Lewis Russell
Director: Archie Mayo

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:24m:40s
Release Date: May 04, 2004
UPC: 085393384920
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ B+BB+ B-

DVD Review

Upon first laying eyes upon the Marx Brothers in A Night in Casablanca, the effect is eerily akin to running into old friends at a class reunion. Initially, you're shell shocked: thicker bodies, increased complexion lines, thinning hair. Once the "signs of age" uneasiness passes and timeless chemistry kicks in, you have a wonderful time (at least, that's been my experience)... and that's exactly the mood conveyed in what would be the legendary comedy trio's last film together.

Tension in North Africa is high as local law enforcement investigates the death of a hotel manager, the latest in a series of similar incidents to take place in a matter of weeks. Enter unperturbed American and latest replacement Ronald Kornblower (Groucho) who wastes no time in putting his own spin on the gig ("Never mind the staff! Assemble the guests; I'll tell them what I expect of them!".) Sharp though he is, Kornblower hasn't a clue that he's next on the ongoing hit list of Nazi war criminal Heinrich Stubel (Sig Ruman), the man responsible for all the previous offings. Hiding out under the alias of Count Pfefferman, the chief villain rounds up the usual assets: right-hand man Kurt (Frederick Giermann), and lounge singer-temptress Beatrice Rheiner (Lisette Verea) who soon gets Ronald a-purrin' like a lascivious kitty.

Luckily, Kornblower survives a foiled attempt on his life and soon takes up the offer of local entrepreneur Corbaccio (Chico) to play bodyguard. His new acquaintance goes him one better by enlisting the aid of pal Rusty (Harpo), whose mischievous demeanor hides an intelligence that soon comes in handy.

Whether it was the dissatisfaction over their originally intended swan song, The Big Store, or the creative control under the friendlier confines of United Artists (not to mention a percentage of the box-office profits), A Night in Casablanca gives us a curtain call from the revitalized brothers Marx that recalls the youthful energy of early classics Animal Crackers and Monkey Business (the latter of which is my favorite); kind of an updated Paramount-era effort, you might say. It's also very endearing to see the brothers sharing more screen time as a team, particularly during a classic sequence when the threesome skillfully stay out of sight in Stubel's hotel room while he packs his belongings for a final getaway. But there's still plenty of leeway for each sibling to eke out solo highlights including two rousing piano numbers from Chico, Harpo's customarily beautiful harp solo (not to mention a wickedly funny swordfight) and about 117 brilliant one-liners from the clown prince of sarcasm, Groucho (some of which had me laughing so hard, my remote's rewind button was called upon with frequency).

Sid Ruman (who previously co-starred with the boys in A Day at the Races) assumes Margaret Dumont's usual role as a target for abuse here, and he heads up a mostly terrific cast, highlighted by the bee-yu-ti-licious Lisette Verea as the apple of Groucho's eye and perhaps the prettiest co-star the Marxes ever had (I do know she gives Thelma Todd a run for her money in the "hummina, hummina" department). In fact, the only weak link in the entire film has to be the innocuous romantic subplot pairing Charles Drake and Lois Collier; fortunately, their scenes are mercifully brief (and even better, they don't interrupt the plot with banal love songs).

Humorous historical footnote: When word got out about the film's title, Warner Bros. threatened to sue, claiming it was too close to one of the studio's crown jewels, Casablanca. Without missing a beat, Groucho fired off a legal note of his own:"I am sure that the average movie fan could learn in time to distinguish between Ingrid Bergman and Harpo."

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The transfer for A Night in Casablanca is a beauty, although there are a couple of minor problems to note. In the second half of the movie, there's a momentary problem with slightly jumpy video and a couple of instances where a piece of a scene was taken from a second-generation print, but I don't think they detract from an otherwise stellar presentation that has gorgeous blacks and sharp whites.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Like the video, this is a very clean, solid center-based soundtrack, which boasts nice presence for a mono presentation. It's distortion free, the dialogue is easily understandable and, depending on how you set up your audio for films of this type, has some impressive low end at times.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 22 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Bugs Bunny Looney Tunes Cartoon (Acrobatty Bunny)
  2. Vintage Joe McDoakes Short (So You Think You're A Nervous Wreck)
Extras Review: Nearly two hours in length when it was previewed in early 1946, it's a shame that deleted material from A Night in Casablanca didn't survive the ages. So instead, its back to the Warner vault to fill out the rest of the disc. There's a charming Bugs Bunny cartoon, Acrobatty Bunny, which wets our appetite for another box of Looney Tunes, and a silly but fun Joe McDoakes short called So You Think You're a Nervous Wreck.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

The digital versatile disc equivalent of a delicious cherry atop a sundae, A Night in Casablanca completes an amazing series of re-issues from Warner, preserving the memorable antics of Groucho, Chico, and Harpo from the latter half of their comic reign.

Give yourselves a hand, Warner; well done. As for you home video executives at Universal, it's time to get those Paramount-period Marx titles you own out of storage.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

drama, television, saturday night live, michael che, bill cosby, cameron diaz, comedy, music, beyonce, 7/11, american music awards, sunday, movie, hunger games: mockingjay-part 1, danny strong, christian toto, john nolte, sarah seltzer, documentary, action, foo fighters, beat the bots tour, 2015, sonic highways, fenway park in boston, wrigley field in chicago, citi field in new york, rfk stadium in washington d.c., chris pratt, guardians of the galaxy, dave chappelle, shailene woodley, ansel elgort, steve carell, michael sam, celebrity, judi dench, esio trot, bbc, philomena, dustin hoffman, richard curtis, horror, sci-fi, james bond, christoph waltz, daniel craig, ralph fiennes, ben whishaw, naomie harris, miley cyrus, patrick schwarzenegger, adore you, arnold schwarzenegger, maria schriver, family, the big bang theory, mrs. wolowitz, carol ann susi, breast cancer, jennifer actress, plunging neckline, movies, christopher nolan, big hero 6, interstellar, gone girl, st. vincent, andy dick, arrested, tmz, stolen necklace

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store