A Night at the Opera

Synopsis: The Marx Brothers take on high society. Two lovers who are both in opera are prevented from being together by the man's lack of acceptance as an operatic tenor. Pulling several typical Marx Brothers' stunts, they arrange for the normal tenor to be absent so that the young lover can get his chance.
Genre: Comedy, Music, Musical
Production: MGM
  1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
96 min

- The gentleman has not arrived?

- No, he has not.

I'm afraid the dinner will be spoiled.

What difference does it make?

It's too late to dine now.

Boy, will you page

Mr. Otis B. Driftwood, please?

Paging Mr. Driftwood!

Mr. Driftwood!

Do me a favor and stop yelling my name

all over this restaurant.

- Do I go around yelling your name?

- Mr. Driftwood!

Is your voice changing,

or is somebody else paging me?

- Mr. Driftwood!

- Why, Mrs. Claypool, hello!

You invited me to dine with you at 7:00.

It is now 8:
00, and no dinner.

No dinner? I just had

one of the biggest meals of my life...

and no thanks to you, either.

- I've been sitting right here since 7:00.

- With your back to me.

When I dine with a woman,

I expect her to look at my face.

- That's the price she has to pay.

- Your check, sir.

$9.40? This is an outrage!

If I were you, I wouldn't pay it.

- What are we gonna have for dinner?

- You've had your dinner.

All right, we'll have breakfast.

- Waiter!

- Yes, sir.

- Have you got any milk-fed chicken?

- Yes, sir.

Squeeze the milk out of one

and bring me a glass.

Yes, sir.

Mr. Driftwood, three months ago,

you promised to put me into society.

In all that time, you've done nothing

but draw a very handsome salary.

You think that's nothing? How many men

do you think draw a handsome salary?

You can count them on the fingers

of one hand, my good woman.

- I'm not your good woman!

- Don't say that, Mrs. Claypool.

I don't care what your past has been.

To me, you'll always be my good woman,

because I love you.

There. I didn't mean to tell you

but you dragged it out of me.

I love you.

That's hard to believe when I find you

dining with another woman.

That woman?

Do you know why I sat with her?

Because she reminded me of you.

- Really?

- Of course.

That's why I'm here with you,

because you remind me of you.

Your eyes, your throat, your lips...

Everything about you reminds me of you...

except you.

How do you account for that?

She figures that out, she's good.

Mr. Driftwood, I think we'd better

keep everything on a business basis.

Every time I get romantic with you,

you want to talk business.

I don't know. There's something about me

that brings out the business in all women.

All right, we'll talk business.

You see that man eating spaghetti?

- No.

- You see the spaghetti, don't you?

Behind that spaghetti

is none other than Herman Gottlieb...

director of the New York Opera Company.

- Do you follow me?

- Yes.

Stop following me,

or I'll have you arrested!

I've arranged for you to invest $200,000

in the New York Opera Company.

I don't understand.

Don't you see?

You'll be a patron of the opera.

You'll get into society.

You can marry me,

and they'll kick you out of society...

and all you've lost is $200,000.

Gottlieb. Allow me.

Mrs. Claypool, Mr. Gottlieb.

I could go on all night,

but it's tough on my suspenders.

Where was I?

What are you doing?

If you four people want to play bridge,

don't mind me, go right ahead.

Mrs. Claypool, I'm so happy.

I just wanted to see

if your rings were still there.

You're as charming as you are beautiful.

I'm afraid you've used

that speech before, Mr. Gottlieb.

Now listen here, Gottlieb,

making love to Mrs. Claypool is my racket.

What you're after is $200,000.

Make it sound plausible,

because incredible as it may seem...

Mrs. Claypool isn't as big a sap

as she looks.

How's that for lovemaking?

I think the Europeans do it better.

All right, Gottlieb, it's your turn.

You take a whack at her...

and keep it clean.

Mrs. Claypool, it is most generous

of you to help us.

Now, you have, of course,

heard of Rodolfo Lassparri.

- Of course.

- He is the greatest tenor since Caruso.

Tonight, with the money

you so generously provide...

I sign Lassparri for the Opera Company.

He will be a sensation.

All New York will be at your feet.

There's plenty of room.

And now, the opera awaits us.

If you both will honor me

by occupying my box.

I should be charmed.

- And you, Mr. Driftwood?

- I'll join up with you later.

Listen, Gottlieb, nix on the lovemaking,

because I saw Mrs. Claypool first.

Of course, her mother really saw her first,

but why bring the Civil War into this?

What are you doing in my costume?

Take it off at once, do you hear?


Why, you...

Take that off.

Take off that dress, do you hear me?

You dumb idiot.

You do what I say, or I'll break your neck!

Do you hear me? Take off that dress.

If I get my hands on you,

you'll never hear the end of this!

You're no longer my dresser,

you're fired! Get out!

Get out, do you hear me? Out you go.

And don't come back in here again.

Don't you care.

You're lucky to be rid of him.

- Good evening, Rosa.

- Good evening, signore.

Tomasso, why don't you come in?

I've been waiting for you.

Are they not beautiful, signorina?

From Signor Lassparri.

I wouldn't wear them

if they were the only flowers in the world.

- Come in!

- Not if you use that tone.

Let's try the whole thing all over again.

Only this time, try to be more cordial.

- Come in.

- That's better. Let's try it once more.

No, Ricky. You're such a fool.

- What was it you wanted to see me about?

- I suppose I sent for you?

You meant to. Didn't she, Marie?

It's the last night of the season,

and I'm more in love with you than ever.

- What will you do about it?

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George S. Kaufman

George Simon Kaufman (November 16, 1889 – June 2, 1961) was an American playwright, theatre director and producer, humorist, and drama critic. In addition to comedies and political satire, he wrote several musicals, notably for the Marx Brothers. One play and one musical that he wrote won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama: You Can't Take It with You (1937, with Moss Hart), and Of Thee I Sing (1932, with Morrie Ryskind and Ira Gershwin). He also won the Tony Award as a Director, for the musical Guys and Dolls. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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