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The Big Store

The Big Store(1941)

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Working titles of the film were Step This Way, Murder with Music, Bargain Basement and The Bargain Basement. The opening title card reads: "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents Groucho Chico Harpo Marx Bros. with Tony Martin in The Big Store." Screen credits, reviews and the CBCS list the character played by William Tannen as "Fred Sutton," but he is called "Chris Sutton" within the film. Christian Rub, Joe Yule and Etta McDaniel are listed in the CBCS, but they did not appear in the released film, although Rub's character, the "Professor," is mentioned. Charles Holland is listed as a cast member on a Hollywood Reporter production chart, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Hollywood Reporter news items and M-G-M departmental memos add the following information about the production: Shortly before production began, John M. Nicholaus of the M-G-M special effects department was developing some "3-D" effects to be included in one of the film's musical numbers. There were no 3-D effects in the released film. An additional musical number, entitled "I Want My Mama" was to be performed as a piano duet, but it was not in the film.
       The Big Store was the final film that the Marx Brothers made at M-G-M. A Hollywood Reporter news item and some reviews indicated that it was to have been the brothers' last film together, but they appeared jointly in one additional film, the 1946 United Artists release, A Night in Casablanca (see below). The Big Store also marked the last feature film of actress Enid Bennett, who began her motion picture career in 1917 and appeared in numerous silent films, including the 1922 Douglas Fairbanks picture Robin Hood (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.4663).