A Day at the Races

1937 NR 1h 50m DVD

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A Day at the Races

1937 NR 1h 50m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
In this madcap escapade, the Marx Brothers aid Judy Standish (Maureen O'Sullivan), who runs a private sanitarium that's facing foreclosure. Groucho plays (horse doctor!) Hugo Hackenbush, and the one-liners fly, providing hearty laughs all around. Harpo mimes and Chico obliterates the English language in the guise of a racing tipster with a suspicious Italian accent. Perennial foil Margaret Dumont is on hand as a rich, fussy sanitarium patient.
Full Screen 1.37:1
English, Spanish (Neutral), French
English: Dolby Digital Mono
NR - Not rated. This movie has not been rated by the MPAA.
age 7+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 7+
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age 7+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this movie isn't nonstop comedy. It's got a plethora of musical numbers that bring the action to a halt (if you're lucky, a Marx Brother or two will join the instrumentalizing). Don't be surprised if kids lose interest, or just watch in between careful fast-forwards. One of the livelier musical numbers, with an overwhelmingly black cast of performers, has the reputation of pandering to negative racial stereotypes. The plot glorifies gambling and horse racing.

Sexual Content

Mild innuendo from Groucho.


Some slapstick roughhousing, and a horse who likes to kick things over.


Not applicable

Social Behavior

The Marx Brothers are the anti-authoritarian underdogs while police and other authorities look like gangster henchmen. The threesome pulls off a number of scams and tricks, but in the interest of helping a virtuous pretty girl keep her clinic open. In one scene, they don blackface to hide from police. One musical number includes many African-American performers, but also includes some negative racial stereotypes.


References to a few 1930s products and sensations (like big-game hunter Frank Buck) don't mean much today.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Social drinking and smoking.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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