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 »
The lemonade vendor's straw hat which Pinky throws in the fire changes position from one shot to another. See more »
"Duck Soup" is so funny that you can watch it with the sound off and you will still laugh hysterically. Of course, then you would miss some of the best dialog in comedy history, especially from Groucho Marx, who may be the funniest human being ever. How many other comedians or comics can you name that have excelled at both physical comedy and at telling jokes? The sight gags are brilliant and perfectly timed; a big influence on other comedies that reaches all the way to "A Hard Day's Night," as well as the "Monty Python's Flying Circus" TV series. Some of the jokes in this movie fly by very fast, so each repeated viewing reveals something new. I believe this movie bombed when originally released, but then again so did "It's A Wonderful Life."
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