The small state of Freedonia is in a financial mess, borrowing a huge sum of cash from wealthy widow Mrs. Teasdale. She insists on replacing the current president with crazy Rufus T. Firefly and mayhem erupts. To make matters worse, the neighboring state sends inept spies Chicolini and Pinky to obtain top secret information, creating even more chaos! Written by
Col Needham <email@example.com>
In the original script, Chicolini and Pinky were cousins and Bob was Firefly's son. See more »
The second time a big artillery shell flies through the room, you can see the wire it's on. See more »
Message from the front, sir.
Rufus T. Firefly:
Oh, I'm sick of messages from the front. Don't we ever get a message from the side? - What is it?
General Smith reports a gas attack. He wants to know what to do.
Rufus T. Firefly:
Tell him to take a teaspoonful of bicarbonate baking soda and a half a glass of water.
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It narrowly beats A Night at the Opera as the best all-round Marx Bros film, though I find the humour more bizarre in Monkey Business. At least the musical numbers in DS are actually worth sitting through.
The reasons it scores so highly are:
1) The mirror sequence. The finest comic sequence ever committed to film. Sure, it's old-hat vaudeville, but it's professional, beautifully timed and spirals into wonderful absurdity.
2) The one-liners, puns and other jokes. Pick of the crop are the peanut stall interchange, the telephone sequence, the riddles ('what has four pairs of pants, lives in Philadelphia, and it never rains but it pours?') and the final battle (especially the stock footage of monkeys and elephants running to save the army under siege - the kind of thing the Zucker Bros pinched for their comedies). Oh, yes, and the motorcycle routines.
3) The satire on politics and warmongering. The Brothers simply deflate the pomposity of the whole deal.
4) The fact that Zeppo is actually given something to do.
Anybody who thinks the Farrelly brothers are the last word in comedy should be strapped to a chair and shown Marx Bros films over and over again, until they concede.
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