8.0/10
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253 user 85 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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(as The Four Marx Brothers)
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Sylvanian Agitator (as Leonid Kinsky)
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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

Leo McCarey reportedly came up with the title for the film, having previously used it for an earlier directorial effort with Laurel & Hardy. 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: [locked in a bathroom] Let me out of here! Hey, let me out of here or throw me a magazine!
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Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Werewolf (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Military Polonaise in C minor, Op. 40, No. 2
(1838) (uncredited)
Music by Frédéric Chopin
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Dialog Highlights This Marx Bros. Gem
5 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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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