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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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(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

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

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 <col@imdb.com>

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

Early drafts of the script included scenes in an opera house and aboard a zeppelin. See more »

Goofs

When Firefly takes the Thompson sub-machine gun from the violin case it has a straight magazine, but when he is firing it through the hole in the wall it has a drum magazine. See more »

Quotes

Rufus T. Firefly: [to Vera Marcal] Here's one I picked up in a dance hall.
[Does a dance step]
Rufus T. Firefly: [Designating Mrs. Teasdale] Here's another one I picked up in a dance hall.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Everyone Says I Love You (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

William Tell Overture
(1829) (uncredited)
Music by Gioachino Rossini
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Firefly of Freedonia
3 April 2006 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

All the comedies in which the Marx Brothers appeared were extensions of their vaudeville days. In "Duck Soup", the visual gags that worked so well on the stage are incorporated into the film. Director Leo McCarey directed this zany movie in which the Marx Brothers do their best to entertain their public.

There are many interesting moments in the film, but the best sequence has to be the mirror scene in which Groucho, Harpo and Chico, dressed in the same costume are seen on either side of the looking glass following the other person's movements. The other asset in the film is the final conflict with Sylvania in which Groucho is seen dressed in many uniforms while leading the war against the enemy.

We had seen this film before, but took another look when it was shown on cable recently. The great Margaret Dumont is simply one of the best actresses that ever worked with the Marx Brothers in their comedies. She is amazing in playing the straight part against Groucho's antics. A young Louis Calhern cuts quite a figure as the Trentino, the Sylvanian ambassador to Freedonia. Raquel Torres is a nice addition to the film playing the exotic Vera Marcal.

The Marx Brothers do what they do best in "Duck Soup" guided by a director who knew what to do with them, Leo McCarey.


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