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Go West

(1940 b 81')

En: 6 Ed: 5

The Marx brothers can't find gold in the west and so try to get rich by selling land to the railroad, but others have the same desire.

At a train station San Quentin Quale (Grouch Marx) needs $10 more for a ticket west and sells a hat and coat to Joseph Panello (Chico Marx) for his brother Rusty Panello (Harpo Marx), who keeps picking Quale's pocket, finally cutting it with scissors. Terry Turner (John Carroll) tells railroad men to use Dead Man's Gulch so that he can end his feud with Wilson, who owns the land, and marry his daughter. Joseph and Rusty dig for gold and get the deed to the gulch from Dan Wilson for a $10 loan. Eve Wilson (Diana Lewis) welcomes Terry, who kisses her and says her grandfather will get $50,000 from the railroad.

In town Joseph and Rusty see men shot. Saloon owner Red Baxter (Robert Barrat) gets a message to get the gulch. Rusty drinks a beer, and Joseph gives Red the deed as an I.O.U. John Beecher (Walter Woolf King) arrives to buy the deed for the railroad. On a bumpy stage Rusty and Joseph become familiar with Lulubelle (June MacCloy). Beecher offers them $500, but Quale has joined the stage and offers them more, getting Beecher up to $10,000. In the saloon Quale greets Lulu and arouses the jealousy of Red, who is told that Quale has the deed. Lulubelle sings "You Can't Argue with Love." Rusty takes the I.O.U. back, and Joseph gives Quale the deed. Joseph plays the piano. Beecher and Red put the deed in Red's safe but refuse to pay Quale. After he tells Joseph, Rusty challenges Red with a brush instead of a gun.

Quale, Joseph, and Rusty call on Eve, give her a doll, and tell her that Red got her grandfather's deed. The three go to Red's safe, and Lulubelle with two sisters distracts Quale and Joseph; but Rusty blows open the safe and gets the deed. Beecher and Red come in with guns, followed by Eve and Terry, who frees the others. As they ride, Terry sings with Quale and Joseph. They stay in an Indian village and try to communicate, which Rusty does with music. Red has men keep Terry off the train; but Joseph and Rusty fire the engineers and drive the train as Quale reads the manual. They can't stop the train for Terry. On the train Red and Beecher chase Quale, Joseph, and Rusty, who dumps the wood with Red and Beecher. The three take the train off the tracks and on again. Rusty chops up cars for fuel. In the final scene instead of driving the golden spike, Rusty bops the railroad president with the hammer.

The usual Marx brothers' mayhem satirizes westerns in this farce. Groucho's name implies jail bait. Joseph says he does not love his brother, but he is used to him. In my view their zany humor is preferable to the usual violence of western tough guys.

Copyright © 2002 by Sanderson Beck

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