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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.

Director:

Leo McCarey

Writers:

Bert Kalmar (story), Harry Ruby (story) | 2 more credits »
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
The Marx Brothers ... (as The Four Marx Brothers)
Groucho Marx ... Rufus T. Firefly
Harpo Marx ... Pinky
Chico Marx ... Chicolini
Zeppo Marx ... Bob Roland
Margaret Dumont ... Mrs. Gloria Teasdale
Raquel Torres ... Vera Marcal
Louis Calhern ... Ambassador Trentino
Edmund Breese ... Zander
Leonid Kinskey ... Sylvanian Agitator (as Leonid Kinsky)
Charles Middleton ... Prosecutor (as Charles B. Middleton)
Edgar Kennedy ... Lemonade Vendor
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 November 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cracked Ice See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Comparing the original scripts with the finished film, most of the characters' initial scripted names were later changed. Only the names of Chicolini and Mrs. Teasdale were kept. Groucho's character-originally named "Rufus T. Firestone"-eventually became Rufus T. Firefly, while the name of Harpo's character-named Pinky in the final product-was given in the pressbook as "Brownie". See more »

Goofs

When Mrs. Teasdale introduces Bob to Trentino and Vera, only those four are on the top of the stairs. But the next long shot shows a couple just behind Mrs. Teasdale. See more »

Quotes

Ambassador Trentino: I didn't come here to be insulted!
Rufus T. Firefly: That's what you think!
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Animaniacs: King Yakko (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

The Marx Brothers At Their Very Best
1 June 2001 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

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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