8.0/10
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259 user 88 critic

Duck Soup (1933)

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

Breaking with their usual pattern, neither Harpo's harp nor Chico's piano is used in the film, although Harpo briefly pretends to play harp on the strings of a piano, strumming chords in accompaniment to a music box that is playing the unlikely chime tune, "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" from rival studio Disney's Three Little Pigs (1933). See more »

Goofs

During the "To War, To War" number, when The Marx Brothers quartet are playing banjos and singing as they walk toward the camera, it is clear that Chicolini is only holding his banjo, not playing it. See more »

Quotes

Rufus T. Firefly: Oh, uh, I suppose you would think me a sentimental old fluff, but, uh, would you mind giving me lock of your hair?
Mrs. Teasdale: A lock of my hair? Wh-why, I had no idea.
Rufus T. Firefly: I'm letting you off easy: I was going to ask for the whole wig.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Good Night, Sweetheart
(1930) (uncredited)
Written by Ray Noble, Jimmy Campbell, and Reginald Connelly (as Reg Connelly)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The Best Comedy of All Time
15 August 1998 | by JReneeSee all my reviews

Many will say that Airplane or anything by Woody Allen rates this summary but I strongly disagree. There are very few pleasures on earth as hearing Groucho insult people, Chico's murder of the English language, or seeing Harpo's physical comedy. In this movie you have it all. From Groucho's entrance in the first scene to the bombing of the shelter while defending Margaret Dumont's "honor", there is not one slow moment. Like the great screwball comedies of the 1930s and 1940s, this movie does not require special effects or offensive dialogue to make it watchable over and over again. The only thing that this movie does require is your attention and a quick finger on the rewind button. (For when you miss something, and on the first viewing you will) All in all, this is the all time best comedy, political or otherwise.


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