A Day at the Races

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Theatrical poster for A Day at the Races

A Day at the Races is a 1937 comedy film, starring the Marx Brothers, about a veterinarian posing as a doctor, a race-horse owner and his friends who struggle to help keep a sanitarium open with the help of a misfit race-horse.

Directed by Sam Wood.  Written by Robert Pirosh, George Seaton, and George Oppenheimer.
America's Joy-Friends are back again in the grandest entertainment gallop of 1937!
More howls, more girls, more song hits than "A Night At The Opera"!  Oh boy!


Dr. Hackenbush[edit]

  • [giving a pill to a horse] Take one of those every half mile and call me if there's any change.
  • [after examining Stuffy] Either he's dead or my watch has stopped!
  • [to Stuffy] Don't drink that poison! That's four dollars an ounce.
  • Will you have the bellhop hop up with some hop scotch?
  • It's the old, old story. Boy meets girl - Romeo and Juliet - Minneapolis and St. Paul!
  • Emily, I have a little confession to make. I really am a horse doctor. But marry me, and I'll never look at any other horse.
  • [the racetrack trumpet sounds] So it's WAR! I'm off to the battlefield!


  • I dunno, but she wants a Hackenapuss, she gonna get a Hackenapuss.

Mrs. Upjohn[edit]

  • I'm going to someone who understands me, I'm going to Dr. Hackenbush!…Why, I didn't know there was a thing the matter with me until I met him.


Hackenbush: Here boy. Take these bags up to my room, and here's a dime for yourself.
Mrs. Upjohn: Oh, no, no, no. This is Mr. Whitmore, our business manager.
Hackenbush: Oh, I'm terribly sorry. Here's a quarter!

Judy Standish: I'm satisfied with Mrs. Upjohn's recommendations. If you'll excuse me, I'll go out and bring in the rest of the staff. [leaves]
Hackenbush: [to Whitmore] Why don't you go out and bring in something? Preferably, your resignation.

[Mrs. Upjohn puts a restraining hand on his arm]

Whitmore: [sharply] Tell me, Dr. Hackenbush... just what was your medical background?
Hackenbush: Medically?
Whitmore: Yes.
Hackenbush: Oh, well, at the age of fifteen, I got a job in a drugstore filling prescriptions.
Whitmore: Don't you have to be twenty-one to fill prescriptions?
Hackenbush: Well, uh, that's for grown-ups. I just fill them for children.
Whitmore: No, no, Doctor. I mean, where did you get your training as a physician?
Hackenbush: Oh, well, uh, to begin with I took four years at Vassar.
Mrs. Upjohn: Vassar? But that's a girls' college.
Hackenbush: I found that out the third year. I'd've been there yet, but I went out for the swimming team. [smirks]
Whitmore: The doctor seems reluctant to discuss his medical experiences.
Hackenbush: Well, medically, my experiences have been most unexciting. Except during the flu epidemic-
Whitmore: Ah, and what happened?
Hackenbush: I got the flu.

[Dr. Hackenbush hands a large pill to Mrs. Upjohn]
Whitmore: Just a minute, Mrs Upjohn. That looks like a horse pill to me.
Hackenbush: Oh, you've taken them before.
Mrs. Upjohn: Are you sure, Doctor, you haven't made a mistake?
Hackenbush: You have nothing to worry about. The last patient I gave one of those to won the Kentucky Derby.
Whitmore: May I examine this, please? Do you actually give those to your patients? Isn't it awfully large for a pill?
Hackenbush: Well, it was too small for a basketball, and I didn't know what to do with it. Say, you're awfully large for a pill yourself.

Tony: Stuffy! [He and Stuffy rush towards each other, as if in greeting, only for Stuffy to make a beeline for Tony's ice-cream cart; Tony slams the lid, forcing him away] Ey, that was-a some ride you put up! I had fifteen bucks, right on the nose... I won-a sixty cents. [Stuffy whistles] Yeah, who you ridin' tomorrow? [Stuffy frowns and shakes his head] What'samatta? [Stuffy lights a match] You're fired? Oh, Morgan fired you, eh? He wanted you to throw the race? [Stuffy nods]
Gil Stewart: He wanted Stuffy to be crooked, eh?
Tony: Yeah, you know he's honest! [He sees Stuffy going for the cart again and slams it shut] He's honest, but you gotta watch him a little.

Tony: Hey, boss! C'mere! Sun-Up is the worst horse on the track!
Hackenbush: I notice he wins all the time.
Tony: Aw, just because he comes in first.
Hackenbush: Well, I don't want 'em any better than first.
Tony: Here your ice cream. [offering a hint book for betting on the horses] One dollar and you'll remember me all your life.
Hackenbush: That's the most nauseating proposition I ever had. [buys code book]
Tony: Here your ice cream. Tootsie-frootsie ice cream. [code book says that horse Z-V-B-X-R-P-L will win the next race; Tony offers a free code book to decode the letters] …just a one dollar printing charge.
Hackenbush: Well, uh, give me one without printing. I'm sick of printing.
Tony: …just a two dollar delivery charge.
Hackenbush: What do you mean delivery charge? I'm standing right next to you.
Tony: Well, for such a short distance, I make it a dollar.
Hackenbush: Couldn't I move over here and make it uh - fifty cents?
Tony: Yes, but I'd move over here and make it a dollar just the same.
Hackenbush: [after buying many guidebooks] All I wanted was a horse, not a public library.
Hackenbush: [after realising he was swindled by Tony] Get your Tootsie-Frootsie. Nice ice cream. Nice Tootsie-Frootsie ice cream.

Hackenbush: Record department. Col. Hawkins talkin'.
Whitmore: Col. Hawkins, did you get a wire for me regarding Dr. Hackenbush?
Hackenbush: [turns on a fan and blows a paper against it] I'm sorry sir. There's a hurricane blowin' down here, and you have to talk a little louder. Woo! It's certainly the windiest day we ever had! WOO! Certainly is windy!
Whitmore: I want to find out about Dr. HACKENBUSH! (Hackenbush calls him on the intercom, pulling him away from the phone) Yes?
Hackenbush: Whitmore you'll have to cut out that squawking! The patients are all complaining! [on the phone, posing as Colonel Hawkins]...I hope, sir, that's the information that you require.
Whitmore: I'm sorry, Colonel. I didn't hear it. I was called to the dictagraph.
Hackenbush: What was that you said sir?
Whitmore: [loudly] I was called to the dictagraph!

[Hackenbush turns on the intercom again]

Hackenbush:: Whitmore, one more yelp outta you and I'll have you bounced out of here! (on the phone)...And I trust, sir, that that answers your question.
Whitmore: I'm sorry, Colonel, I didn't hear you!
Hackenbush: I can't hear you, you will have to talk a little louder.
Whitmore: I want to find out something about Hackenbush! (Hackenbush calls him on the intercom again) Well, what is it now?!
Hackenbush: Whitmore, that's the last time I'm gonna warn you about that yowling! (on the phone) And in conclusion, let me say…
Whitmore: I'm sorry Colonel. What was that you said about Hackenbush?
Hackenbush: Hack- you mean, Dr. Hackenbush? Oh, no, he's not here.
Whitmore: (with mounting impatience) I know he's not there. He's here!
Hackenbush: Then what are you botherin' me for, Yankee?
Whitmore: But I want to know something about his Florida record-
Hackenbush: (in a female telephone operator's voice) Here's your Florida call, Mr. Whitmore-
Whitmmore: Operator, will you get off the line?! Hello, hello, Colonel?
Hackenbush: Yes?
Whitmore: Are you sure you're speaking about Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush?
Hackenbush: Who?
Whitmore: Hugo Z. Hackenbush!
Hackenbush: Who's calling him?
Whitmore: (barely controlling his temper)...The Standish Sanitarium.
Hackenbush: Yeah! That's where he works! Say, I understand he's doing a mighty fine job up there.
Whitmore: I... I want to get some information regarding his qualifications for the job.
Hackenbush: What job?
Whitmore: As head of the sanitarium!
Hackenbush: Who?
Whitmore: Hackenbush!
Hackenbush: [on the intercom] Whitmore, are you calling me?
Whitmore: NO, YOU SAP! (picks up the phone)... Hello.
Hackenbush: Yes, now, uh, now what was that name?
Whitmore: Hackenbush. HACK-EN-BUSH!
Hackenbush: Uh-huh. Well, as soon as he comes in, I'll have him get in touch with you.
Whitmore: [slamming down the phone] No!

Hackenbush: [examining Stuffy with an auriscope] I haven't seen anything like this in years. The last time I saw a head like that was in a bottle of formaldehyde.
Tony: Told you he was sick.
Hackenbush: [pointing to Stuffy's neck] That's all pure desecration along there. He's got about a 15% metabolism, with an overactive thyroid and a glandular affectation of about 3%.
Tony: That's bad.
Hackenbush: With a 1% mentality. [Stuffy grins] He's what we designate as the crummy moronic type. All in all, this is the most gruesome looking piece of blubber I've ever peered at.
Tony: Hey doc. Hey doc!
Hackenbush: Huh?
Tony: You gotta the looking glass turned around, you're looking at yourself.
Hackenbush: I knew it all the time. That was a good joke on all of us, wasn't it?

Flo: Why, I've never been so insulted in my life!
Hackenbush: [after looking at his watch] Well, it's early yet.

[Tony enters, wearing a pitiful disguise]

Tony: I'm O'Reilly, the house-detective.
Hackenbush: Don't talk so loud, your mustache will drop off.
Tony: Have you got a woman in here?
Hackenbush: If I haven't, I've wasted thirty minutes of valuable time.
Tony: Well, ya better get her out. This is the last time I'm goin' to tell ya.
Hackenbush: The last time? Can I depend on that?
Tony: Yes, because this time I'm goin' to stay here all night.

Flo: I want you to hold me. Oh, hold me closer! Closer! Closer!
Hackenbush: If I hold you any closer, I'll be in back of ya!

Whitmore: May I present to you, Dr. Leoplod X. Steinberg of Vienna. And this is Dr. Hackenbush.
Steinberg: Ah, doctor. I have a few questions I would like to ask you.
Hackenbush: I would have a few questions I would like to ask you. Steinberg, what do you do with your old razorblades?
Steinberg: HUH!!?
Whitmore: I've been telling Dr. Steinberg about your unusual case.
Steinberg: Yes, and I would like to hear more about this ailment, "double blood pressure?" [looks scornfully at Hackenbush.]
Mrs. Upjohn: Dr. Hackenbush tells me I'm the only case in history. I have high blood pressure on my right side and low blood pressure on my left side.
Steinberg: Hah! There is no such thing. She looks as healthy as any woman I ever met.
Hackenbush: You don't look like as though you ever met a healthy woman.
Steinberg: WHAT?!!

Gil: Are you a man or a mouse?
Hackenbush: You put a piece of cheese♧ down there, and you'll find out.

Judy: Doctor, may I have one of your photographs?
Hackenbush: Why I haven't one. I could let you have my footprints, but they're upstairs in my socks!



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