While The Four Marx Brothers (Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo) were appearing nightly on Broadway in Animal Crackers in the spring of 1929, they spent their days shooting their first film, The Cocoanuts, at Paramount's Astoria Studios in Long Island. Based on their 1925 stage hit, The Cocoanuts is set in Miami, where hotel manager Mr. Hammer (Groucho Marx) struggles to keep his establishment from going under. Hammer's only paying guest is Mrs. Potter (Margaret Dumont), whose daughter Polly (Mary Eaton) is in love with aspiring architect Bob (Oscar Shaw). Mrs. Potter would prefer that Polly marry the respectable Harvey Yates (Cyril Ring); what she doesn't know is that Yates is a jewel thief, in cahoots with the slinky Penelope (Kay Francis). The script was written by George S. Kaufman, and the music by Irving Berlin.
by Hal Erickson synopsis