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Duck Soup (1933)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Musical, War  |  17 November 1933 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 44,393 users  
Reviews: 240 user | 74 critic

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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Title: Duck Soup (1933)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
(as The Four Marx Brothers)
...
...
...
Zeppo Marx ...
...
Raquel Torres ...
...
Edmund Breese ...
Leonid Kinskey ...
Agitator (as Leonid Kinsky)
...
Prosecutor (as Charles B. Middleton)
Edgar Kennedy ...
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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

Genres:

Comedy | Musical | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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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

According to The Marx Brothers biographer Joe Adamson, the elaborate "All God's Chillun Got Guns" musical number was mostly improvised on the set, as there is no reference to it in the movie's final script. It's likely Groucho Marx was referring to the old Negro spiritual "I got Shoes", which repeats the line "All of God's children got..." filling "a song", "a robe", "a harp", etc. Groucho just added "Guns". See more »

Goofs

During the fight with the lemonade vendor, the vendor gets squirted with lemonade and his shirt gets soaked. Seconds after, while the vendor is tussling with Chicolini again, we see that the vendor's shirt is completely dry. See more »

Quotes

Rufus T. Firefly: His Excellency's car!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Harley-Davidson: The American Motorcycle (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf
(1933) (uncredited)
Written by Frank Churchill and Ted Sears
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Yes, it lives up to its reputation
1 November 2005 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

Probably the Marx Brothers' most famous comedy, "Duck Soup" is a hilarious and wacky slapstick comedy that even manages to take a stab at politics. Groucho plays Rufus Firefly, who is appointed the new president of Freedonia. He has a dubious stance on work ethic and attempts to cut work hours by reducing the length of employee lunch breaks.

Mrs. Teasdale, who has donated twenty million dollars to the failing country, becomes the object of affection for Rufus, who has to battle for her hand against Ambassador Trentino of the neighboring country Sylvania. Soon their tumult escalates and war is declared between the two countries.

Most people who comment on this film seem to indicate that they saw it at a very young age and have grown up with it. I can honestly say I wasn't given the opportunity to ever see it until recently, when I finally managed to watch it on Turner Classic Movies, completely uninterrupted.

Although it is not consistently laugh-out-loud, tears-in-your-eyes hilarious, "Duck Soup" is very funny - and not quite as outrageous as I had expected. There's a lot going on here, aside from silly physical humor.

The Marx Brothers are great as usual and as usual Groucho steals the show.

Ultimately if you've never seen this, you need to go rent it out right now. If you have seen it, you already know how great it is and why it deserves its reputation as one of the most beloved comedies ever made.


26 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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