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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.

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(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

After Mrs. Teasdale picks up a card, Firefly puts the deck in his left trouser pocket. However, when she introduces him to Trentino, he takes out the deck from the right pocket. See more »

Quotes

Rufus T. Firefly: [to Trentino] Now, how about lending this country twenty million dollars, you old skinflint?
Ambassador Trentino: Twenty million dollars is a lot of money. I'd have to take that up with my Minister of Finance.
Rufus T. Firefly: Well, in the meantime, could you let me have twelve dollars until payday?
Ambassador Trentino: Twelve dollars?
Rufus T. Firefly: Don't be scared, you'll get it back. I'll give you my personal note for ninety days. If it isn't paid by then, you can... keep the note.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jessie: Star Wars (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Light Cavalry Overture
(1866) (uncredited)
Music by Franz von Suppé
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Yes, it lives up to its reputation
1 November 2005 | by 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.


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