For the first and last time, the Marxes went
back in time for a picture (unless you include Irwin Allen's 1957 picture,
The Story Of Mankind, where the three brothers all appeared, but in
different scenes). It's 1870 and the boys are trying (for various
reasons) to migrate west.
After a comical scene where the three are
trying to swindle each other for train fare, we find them in the west
without any logical explanation as to how they actually got there.
Terry Turner (John Carroll) is in a
bind. He wants to marry Eve Wilson (Diana Lewis), but her grandfather
won't allow it. It seems that Terry's granddad sold Eve's grandpappy a
worthless piece of land some forty years earlier, and he is unwilling to let it
slide. Terry tries to smooth things over by talking the New York and
Western Railroad into purchasing the land, known as "Dead Man's Gulch," to use
as part of the route for their line west.
Unfortunately, Wilson has given the
deed to brothers Joe (Chico) and Rusty (Harpo) Panello as security on a
10-dollar loan. Beecher (Robert Barrat) wants to get a hold of this land
himself, so he can force the railroad into buying his own land for the same
purpose, at his price. Enter S. Quentin Quale (Groucho), who would like to
swindle the Panello brothers, but winds up joining them in trying to thwart
Chico livens up the proceedings with
one of his most creative piano solos to date, and Harpo entertains us on a
makeshift harp, improvised from an Indian's loom.