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Duck Soup (1933)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical, War | 17 November 1933 (USA)
Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale.

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A sly business manager and two wacky friends of two opera singers help them achieve success while humiliating their stuffy and snobbish enemies.

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Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Western
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Director: Charles Reisner
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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(as The Four Marx Brothers)
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...
...
...
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...
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...
...
Sylvanian Agitator (as Leonid Kinsky)
...
Prosecutor (as Charles B. Middleton)
...
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Storyline

The country of Freedonia is in the middle of a financial crisis and on the brink of revolution. In order to gain a bail-out from the wealthy Mrs Teasdale, the government appoints Rufus T Firefly as its president. However, Mr Firefly shuns the pomp and pretentiousness of government; along with the prudence and rationality of it too. Meanwhile, the neighbouring country of Sylvania is plotting to overthrow Freedonia and sends Pinky and Chicolini to spy on Firefly. War seems inevitable. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

War Is Swell ...when the Marx Brothers are in it. They'll be out of the trenches by Christmas...if the food doesn't improve

Genres:

Comedy | Musical | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 November 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cracked Ice  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Groucho Marx attributed the film's strong satire on war to director Leo McCarey. See more »

Goofs

While this may not be a "goof" but only an example of the general zaniness of the film, the scene in which Firefly is first presented as the new head of state is supposed to take place in the morning (the gag of Groucho being woken at just the right moment by his alarm clock and having to slide down a fire pole to arrive -- late -- at the reception, the call for "His Excellency's car" with Harpo driving off and leaving Groucho stranded in the sidecar, taking place in broad daylight, etc.). Yet all of the attendees at the presentation reception are clearly in formal evening dress (the women are wearing floor-length evening gowns, the non-military men, including Ambassador Trentino, are in black tie and "tails", etc.). Perhaps ironically, only Groucho himself is -- appropriately -- wearing a swallow-tailed morning coat (albeit one that looks like it hasn't seen the dry cleaner's for some time). See more »

Quotes

Rufus T. Firefly: I'll see my lawyer about this as soon as he graduates from law school!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Duck Soup to Nuts (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

The Old Grey Mare
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
I Wouldn't Join Any Country that Would Have Me.
28 November 2004 | by (LI) – See all my reviews

I'm shocked, shocked at all the negative comments covering this comedy classic. The puns, the insults, are all now comedy classics. The Lemonade Stand & the Mirror Scenes also memorable. I hadn't seen the movie in around 15 years but bought the DVD so my 15 year old son could experience the Marxes. He loved it too.

What I noticed for the first time was the satire of society, manners, government, the military, the bureaucracy (including Roberts Rules of Order). I can't recall any other comedy I've seen that satirizes on such a grand scale.

For Marx Brothers fans this is a must see. It's the boys with no love story or musical interludes in the way.

One word for those who disagree- "Upstart". :-)


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