The Cocoanuts (1929, directed by Robert Florey and Joseph Santley) is the Marx Brothers‘ first feature-length film. Produced by Paramount Pictures, the movie is a screen adaptation by Morrie Ryskind from the George S. Kaufman Broadway musical play (1925, music and lyrics by Irving Berlin).
The film is set in the Hotel de Cocoanut, a resort hotel, during the Florida land boom of the 1920s. The manager, Mr. Hammer (Groucho Marx) runs the place, assisted by Jamison (Zeppo Marx), who would rather sleep at the front desk than actually help him run it. Chico and Harpo arrive with empty luggage, which they plan to fill by robbing and conning the guests. Mrs. Potter (Margaret Dumont) is one of the few paying customers. Her daughter Polly (Mary Eaton) is in love with struggling young architect Bob Adams (Oscar Shaw). He works to support himself as a clerk at the hotel, but has plans for the development of the entire area. Mrs. Potter wants her daughter to marry Harvey Yates (Cyril Ring), whom she believes to be of higher social standing than the clerk. This suitor is actually a con man out to steal the dowager’s diamond necklace with the help of his conniving partner Penelope (Kay Francis)…
Groucho Marx as Mr. Hammer, Harpo Marx as Harpo, Chico Marx as Chico, Zeppo Marx as Jamison, Margaret Dumont as Mrs. Potter, Mary Eaton as Polly Potter, Oscar Shaw as Robert ‘Bob’ Adams, Kay Francis as Penelope, Cyril Ring as Harvey Yates and Basil Ruysdael as Detective Hennessey.