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>
Leo McCarey told Cahiers du cinema in 1967: "I don't like (Duck Soup) so much...I never chose to shoot this film. The Marx Brothers absolutely wanted me to direct them in a film. I refused. Then they got angry with the studio, broke their contract and left. Believing myself secure, I accepted the renewal of my own contract with the studio. Soon, the Marx Brothers were reconciled with (Paramount)...and I found myself in the process of directing the Marx Brothers. The most surprising thing about this film was that I succeeded in not going crazy, for I really did not want to work with them: they were completely mad." See more »
After Firefly pours the milk in court he hands the milk bottle away showing a full glass of milk on the table. When they cut back on the next shot after showing Chicolini, the glass of milk in gone. See more »
Rufus T. Firefly:
Lieutenant, why weren't the original indictment papers placed in my portfolio?
Why, uh, I didn't think those papers were important at this time, your excellency.
Rufus T. Firefly:
You didn't think they were important? Do you realize I had my dessert wrapped in those papers?
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Well, here we are with another wild and hilarious Marx Brothers farce, this time with Groucho taking over a small country and winding up in war with a neighboring one.
There really isn't much of a story but with the Marx Brothers that doesn't matter. Many times their movies were vehicles for their vaudeville acts of funny lines, slapstick gags and musical talent.
Two differences in this film than most others from the boys: 1 - Zeppo has a number of lines. Usually, he's the almost-forgotten brother in this foursome, either with little to say or not even in the film. 2 - Harpo doesn't play the harp, but he gets in on his share of the gags, which are always dominated by Groucho and Chico (my personal favorite).
Fantastic dialog makes this version one of the best of them all. There are just tons of funny (and, yes, very dated) lines in this movie and having Duck Soup out on DVD making the sound clearer helps, too. Lots of laughs.
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