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
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 »
When we first see Edgar Kennedy (the lemonade vendor), a cord is visibly hanging from the back of his derby. The cord then disappears and reappears when Pinky switches hats with him. See more »
Rufus T. Firefly:
I'll see you at the opera tonight. I'll hold your seat till you get there. After you get there you're on your own.
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All the comedies in which the Marx Brothers appeared were extensions of their vaudeville days. In "Duck Soup", the visual gags that worked so well on the stage are incorporated into the film. Director Leo McCarey directed this zany movie in which the Marx Brothers do their best to entertain their public.
There are many interesting moments in the film, but the best sequence has to be the mirror scene in which Groucho, Harpo and Chico, dressed in the same costume are seen on either side of the looking glass following the other person's movements. The other asset in the film is the final conflict with Sylvania in which Groucho is seen dressed in many uniforms while leading the war against the enemy.
We had seen this film before, but took another look when it was shown on cable recently. The great Margaret Dumont is simply one of the best actresses that ever worked with the Marx Brothers in their comedies. She is amazing in playing the straight part against Groucho's antics. A young Louis Calhern cuts quite a figure as the Trentino, the Sylvanian ambassador to Freedonia. Raquel Torres is a nice addition to the film playing the exotic Vera Marcal.
The Marx Brothers do what they do best in "Duck Soup" guided by a director who knew what to do with them, Leo McCarey.
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