- Rated: PG
- Video: Color
- Released: April 8, 2014
- Originally Released: 1992
- Label: Warner Bros.
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
Performers, Cast and Crew:
New York Times - 04/18/1992
"...[A] reasonably snappy attempt at notihing less than a present-day Marx Brothers comedy, with a cigar-waving John Turturro mugging furiously in the main role....Charming abandon..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
High society meets high hilarity when rich widow Lillian Oglethorpe (Nancy Marchand) hires fast-talking, ambulance-chasing lawyer Roland T. Flakfizer (John Turturro) as her legal advisor. His first assignment: to fulfill Mr. Oglethorpe's dream of founding a ballet company. Flakfizer recruits two unable assistants: Jacques (Bob Nelson), a Harpo-like jack- of-all-trades and master of none; and Rocco Melonchek (Mel Smith), a cab driver moonlighting as a pool cleaner, liposuctioner and toupee salesman. What ensues is an outrageous assault on culture and good taste.
An outrageous comedy from the Zucker Brothers in the tradition of Abbott and Costello, the Three stooges, and the Reagan administration, about a wealthy dowager who hires an attorney to help her fulfill her late husband's dream of founding a ballet company.
A lunatic lawyer and his two addled sidekicks hatch a harebrained scheme to take control of a fledgling ballet company run by a wealthy widow. The zany trio figure they'll be on easy street if they can land cushy jobs running the company, but there are a few obstacles in their way -- namely a greedy, ambulance-chasing lawyer who has other plans for the dowager's money and a snooty, egotistical dancer who fancies himself a "living legend" in the ballet world.
- Color by Technicolor.
- Will Vinton Productions created the Claymation title sequence at the beginning of the film.
- Very loosely based on the Marx Brothers' classic "A Night at the Opera" (1935), "Brain Donors" is an homage to the work of that legendary comedy team, with Turturro playing the Groucho part, Nelson as Harpo, and Smith in the Chico role. Nancy Marchand also does a comic turn as a sort of modern-day Margaret Dumont.
- Part of "Brain Donors" was shot at the Morton Estate in Pasadena; the Marx Brothers' "Duck Soup" (1933) was also filmed there.
- George De La Pena, who plays the film's egotistical "danseur," was formerly a principal dancer in American Ballet Theater.