Friday, July 16, 2010

Room Service

Davis: I’m weak. If I don’t get something to eat pretty soon I’m gonna collapse.
Binelli: Say, we’re just as hungry as you are.
Davis: Yeah, but you fellas are used to it. I’ve never gone without food for eighteen hours before.
Miller: It’s all a matter of willpower if you just make up your mind.
Davis: I can make up my mind alright, but I can’t do anything with my stomach.

Binelli: I’m so hungry I see spots before my eyes.
Davis: Me too.
Binelli: Mine are beginning to look like hamburgers.
Miller: If you see one with onions, save it for me.

Davis: You mean you promised him the part just to get a meal out of him?
Miller: No, that’s not quite true. When I made that offer I was prepared to go through with it. But now that I’ve eaten I see things in a little different light.

Another wonderful Marx Brothers farce, Room Service features some wonderful comedic performances by Groucho, Chico, and Harpo as well as Lucille Ball, Ann Miller, and Frank Albertson. The story centers on Miller (Groucho), a producer without backers, and his attempts to get out of paying the White Way Hotel for the rooms and meals of his twenty aspiring actors. Miller relies upon the loyalties of his brother-in-law, the hotel manager, until a corporate “suit,” Wagner (MacBride), shows up to investigate the hotel’s losses. To delay eviction, Miller has the playwright, Davis (Albertson), feign measles, a tapeworm, and suicide.
At one point, Wagner has the house detectives trap Miller, Davis, Binelli (Chico), and Faker (Harpo) in their room, without room service, for eighteen hours. Light-headed with hunger, Miller convinces the Russian waiter, Sasha (Asro), to bring “the right meal to the wrong room,” and the four men are finally able to ease their hunger pangs with a large breakfast, of which toast, coffee or tea, and bananas are the most prominent menu items.

Released 1938
Directed by William A. Seiter
Written by Allen Boretz and John Murray (play) and Morrie Ryskind
Starring: Groucho Marx as Gordon Miller, Chico Marx as Harry Binelli, Harpo Marx as Faker Englund, Lucille Ball as Christine Marlowe, Ann Miller as Hilda Manny, Frank Albertson as Leo Davis, Cliff Dunstan as Joseph Gribble, Donald MacBride as Gregory Wagner, Philip Loeb as Timothy Hogarth, Philip Wood as Simon Jenkins, Alexander Asro as Sasha Smirnoff, and Charles Halton as Dr. Glass

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