A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.
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
By the time the film was in production, Harpo Marx was the critical darling of the intellectual community, particularly around the famed "Algonquin Round Table" in New York City, made up of several of the notable literati of the day, like Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley. Alexander Woollcott considered Harpo to be the greatest pantomime since Charles Chaplin. Always considered to be the most congenial Marx brother, Harpo nevertheless let the attention go to his head, just a bit. One day on the set, Harpo, in an unusually pretentious gesture, asked Herman J. Mankiewicz to explain the motivation of his character. (As if Harpo was playing anyone else but Harpo...) Mankiewicz replied, "You're a middle-aged Jew who goes around picking up sh**." See more »
After Firefly plays the flute, it disappears and a bugle appears in his hand, though the guard behind him keeps his bugle. See more »
Rufus T. Firefly:
Here are the plans of war. They're as valuable as your life. And that's putting them pretty cheap. Watch them like a cat watched her kittens. Have you ever had kittens? No, of course not, you're too busy running around playing bridge. Can't you see what I'm trying to tell you, I love you.
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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.
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