Go West (1940 film)

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Go West
Go West.jpg
Theatrical release poster.
Directed by Edward Buzzell
Produced by Jack Cummings
Written by Irving Brecher
Starring Groucho Marx
Harpo Marx
Chico Marx
John Carroll
Diana Lewis
Music by George Bassman
(orchestrations)
Georgie Stoll
(music direction)
Cinematography Leonard Smith
Edited by Blanche Sewell
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • December 6, 1940 (1940-12-06)
Running time 80 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Go West (a.k.a. The Marx Brothers Go West) is the 10th Marx Brothers comedy film, in which brothers Groucho, Chico, and Harpo head to the American West and attempt to unite a couple by ensuring that an evil railroad baron is thwarted. It was directed by Edward Buzzell and written by Irving Brecher, who receives the original screenplay credit.

Plot[edit]

Confidence man S. Quentin Quale (Groucho) heads west to find his fortune. En route, he meets the crafty but simple brothers Joseph (Chico) and Rusty Panello (Harpo) in a train station, where they manage to steal his money. Quale soon learns the Panellos are also heading west because they have been told one can just pick the gold off the ground. Once there, they befriend an old miner named Dan Wilson (Tully Marshall) whose property, Dead Man's Gulch, has no gold. They loan him their last ten dollars so he can go start life anew, and he gives them the deed to the Gulch as collateral. Unbeknownst to Wilson, the son of his longtime rival, Terry Turner (John Carroll) has contacted the railway to arrange for them to build through the land, making the deed holder rich.

Cast[edit]

Like most Marx Brothers films, comedy sequences alternated with light romantic scenes featuring two lovers. In Go West, the lovers are John Carroll and Diana Lewis.

Production[edit]

Like other Marx Brothers films, Go West has several musical numbers, including "As if I Didn't Know" and "You Can't Argue with Love" both by Bronislau Kaper and Gus Kahn, "Ridin' the Range" by Roger Edens and Gus Kahn, "From the Land of the Sky-Blue Water" by Charles Wakefield Cadman and "The Woodpecker Song" by Harold Adamson and Eldo di Lazzaro. (In this song, Chico, playing the piano, rolls an orange on the keys in sync with the melody.)

Groucho was aged 50 during the filming of Go West, and his hairline had begun receding. As such, he took to wearing a toupee throughout the film, as he did the previous film, At the Circus.

Go West Screenwriter Irving Brecher impersonated an ailing Groucho when publicity stills for the film were first taken. Brecher bore a remarkable resemblance to Groucho and is all but unrecognizable in the photos, sporting Groucho's glasses, greasepaint mustache and eyebrows.

Musical numbers[edit]

External links[edit]