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A Night In Casablanca Blu-ray Review

“A Night In Casablanca” offers up plenty of laughs. 

In 1946’s “A Night In Casablanca,” the story revolves around a Hotel which has had 3 managers die in mysterious circumstances over the course of six months. It seems someone wants access to the Hotel as there is treasure within it. As you might have guessed, the new manager is none other than Groucho Marx who plays Ronald Kornblow. Naturally, Ronald becomes a target, but can he be saved by some allies?

Directed by Archie L. Mato, “A Night In Casablanca” is not on the level of some of the best Marx Brothers movies such as “Duck Soup” and “A Night At The Opera,” but it’s still far better than its reputation. Even the bottom tier Marx Bros. movies are as funny as anything you’ll ever see in cinema. 

The script by Joseph Fields and Roland Kibbee is the weak link here and lets the movie down to a degree. It felt like a lot was left on the table in terms of it being a parody of wartime dramas or even “Casablanca.” Sure, there’s plenty of hilarious gags to be had here such as the packing sequence, the fencing scene, and Harpo’s giant cigarette, but that’s more a testament to the talents of the Marx Bros. themselves.

Speaking of the Marx Bros., Harpo, Groucho and Chico (no Zeppo here) are all in top form here as usual. Groucho spouts one-liners as fast and furious as always. He was a master of joke deliveries. Chico’s unique schtick is as lovable as ever and his piano playing is nothing short of stunning as per usual. Of course, it’s Harpo who steals the show here. From his charade sequence to the fencing bit, he was simply one of the best physical cinema comedians of all time (and he played a mean harp!).

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? The B&W film gets a nice hi-def upgrade.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? I can tell you the audio gets a significant upgrade here. The DVD release had a tinny echoey sound to parts of the film that I did not detect here.


Extras:
* Image gallery
* “A Night In Casablanca” trailer along with trailers for “Zenobia,” “Africa Screams,” “Merrily We Live,” “The Noose Hangs High.” A clip from “Out of the Blue” is also included.
* Radio commercials and an audio on stage performance clip from 1945 where they tested material for “A Night In Casablanca.” The audio clip from the stage show is the most entertaining extra here.

January 12, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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