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
To help sell the film to theatre exhibitors and the public, the Paramount press department featured a number of contests to get the word out about the newest The Marx Brothers laugh fest. In addition to "Name the Four Marx Sisters," there was also a proposed duck-hunting contest, in which hunters across the fruited plain would bring back their catch to be cooked in one big duck dinner, beginning with duck soup, of course. And then there was the duck parade. Just imagine, to paraphrase the Paramount press materials, after you round up four ducks (preferably from a poultry market or a farmer), dress them as the Brothers, and let them lead the parade, you, the faithful theater manager, could then create more nonstop hilarity by tying the ducks together with a long string. "The ducks will not stay in line but that will only add to the confusion and the excitement," the press materials helpfully added. See more »
When Firefly offers Chicolini a job, Chicolini's dog goes from biting its lower half, to laying down, and finally, sitting next to him in three consecutive shots. See more »
There are a lot of reasons why so many different reviewers suggest that "Duck Soup" is a genuine candidate for the funniest movie ever made. It has the Marx brothers at their very best, with rapid-fire laughs combining with a satirical "plot" that is very funny in itself, without getting in the way of the individual comedy sequences that are the real highlight of the film. Their timing and material are as good here as they ever have been.
The Marx brothers are still beloved today because when at their best, they treated their audience to a lot of riotous slapstick that cannot be watched without laughing, while at the same time rewarding their viewers for paying attention with a steady stream of puns, deadpan one-liners, brief sight gags, and other subtler humor. The more you watch, the more you notice.
"Duck Soup" has a lot of their very best material, and everyone has their own favorite scenes, whether it is the mirror sequence, or Chico and Harpo giving their report to Louis Calhern, or the street vendor scenes, or ... . The variety of comic settings and comic material is amazing, and when you add in the entertaining musical sequences (which again are particularly good in this one), it is a feast that never stops.
Any Marx brothers fan has seen this one several times, and does not need to be reminded what great fun it is. If you have never watched one of their films, give this one a try.
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