Duck Soup

Overview

In this 1933 Marx Brothers film, the mythical country of Freedonia is broke and on the verge of revolution. Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont), Freedonia's principal benefactress, will lend the country 20 million dollars if the president withdraws and places the government in the hands of the "fearless, progressive" Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx). At his inauguration, Firefly shows up late, insults everyone in sight, and sings a song about how he intends to abuse his power. Naturally, the crowd cheers wildly. ...
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Leonid Kinskey, Edmund Breese, Louis Calhern, Raquel Torres, Margaret Dumont, The Marx Brothers, Zeppo Marx, Chico Marx,... 01/21/1998 DVD Fine 1933 Run time: 68. Books, CDs, ... DVDs, Videogames, LPs & more! Fast shipping! All items guaranteed! Read more Show Less

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Overview

In this 1933 Marx Brothers film, the mythical country of Freedonia is broke and on the verge of revolution. Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont), Freedonia's principal benefactress, will lend the country 20 million dollars if the president withdraws and places the government in the hands of the "fearless, progressive" Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx). At his inauguration, Firefly shows up late, insults everyone in sight, and sings a song about how he intends to abuse his power. Naturally, the crowd cheers wildly. Meanwhile, Ambassador Trentino (Louis Calhern) of neighboring Sylvania schemes to oust Firefly and take over Freedonia himself. To gather enough evidence to discredit Firefly, he sends his most trusted spies, Chicolini (Chico Marx) and Pinky (Harpo Marx). Five minutes after they show up in Freedonia, both spies become important members of Firefly's cabinet, though Chicolini keeps his day job as a peanut vendor. Firefly eventually declares war on Sylvania, an absurd farrago with Firefly changing uniforms from scene to scene, Chicolini going to the other side because the food is better, and Pinky parading around the battlefield with a sandwich board reading "Join the army and see the navy."
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Along with A Night at the Opera, Duck Soup is often regarded as the definitive Marx Brothers movie, the picture in which every shot, every line, and every gag worked. Modern audiences are often surprised to learn that it was a notorious flop that killed the Brothers' contract at Paramount Pictures in the mid-1930s. Audiences harried by the Great Depression seemed unable to connect with the Marx Brothers in their Paramount movies, at least not in the way that Broadway theatergoers and Paramount executives who'd seen them in The Cocoanuts or Animal Crackers did. Part of the problem may have been their piercing topicality and ethnic humor, whether Groucho's Jewish conniver or Chico's fake Italian. And no movie was more piercing in its topicality in 1933 than Duck Soup, a satire of nationalism, diplomacy, and international intrigue that seemed all too real as Hitler's rise to power in Germany dominated world news. When the Marxes then moved to MGM, the company's chief of production, Irving Thalberg, convinced them to tone down their image and give themselves sympathetic personae, and audiences then devoured their work. But Duck Soup, a failure in its time, remains the brothers' definitive film in their classic original style.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/21/1998
  • UPC: 014381422320
  • Original Release: 1933
  • Rating:

  • Source: Image Entertainment
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White / Pan & Scan / Mono
  • Sound: monaural
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:08:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Groucho Marx Rufus T. Firefly
Chico Marx Chicolini
Harpo Marx Pinkie
Zeppo Marx Bob Rolland
Margaret Dumont Mrs. Teasdale
Raquel Torres Vera Marcal
Louis Calhern Ambassador Trentino
Verna Hillie Trentino's Secretary
Leonid Kinskey Agitator
Edmund Breese Zander
Edwin Maxwell Secretary of War
Edgar Kennedy Lemonade Seller
E.H. Calvert
Davison Clark Second Minister of Finance
George MacQuarrie First Judge
Marx Brothers
Eric Mayne Third Judge
Charles B. Middleton Prosecutor
Frederick Sullivan Second Judge
William Worthington First Minister of Finance
Technical Credits
Leo McCarey Director
Hans Dreier Art Director
Wiard Ihnen Art Director
Arthur Johnston Musical Direction/Supervision
Bert Kalmar Screenwriter
Herman Mankiewicz Producer
Nat Perrin Screenwriter
Harry Ruby Songwriter, Screenwriter
Henry Sharp Cinematographer
Arthur Sheekman Screenwriter
LeRoy Stone Editor
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Scene Index

Side #1
0. Menu Group #1 with 16 chapter(s) covering 01:08:26
1. Main Title; The New Leader of Freedonia. [4:11]
2. "When the Clock on the Wall Strikes Ten." [5:42]
3. "Freedonia Hymn." [2:51]
4. Sylvania. [4:57]
5. Chamber of Deputies. [1:43]
6. Peanuts. [4:14]
7. Secretary of War. [5:25]
8. Insulting Ambassador Trentino. [2:49]
9. Peanuts and Lemonade. [1:35]
10. The Plans of War. [4:28]
11. Weekend Guests. [11:08]
12. Charged with Treason. [4:42]
13. "The Country's Going to War." [6:07]
14. Facing Defeat. [5:30]
15. Help Is on the Way. [2:29]
16. Cast of Characters. [:29]
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2001

    It's still funny!

    I don't know how many times I've watched Duck Soup, but it just keeps getting funnier. The same joke is funny every time that you hear it. I can't even look at a motorcycle sidecar with out doubling over with laughter.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the Teams Best

    This is possibly the best of the Marx Brothers films.There is a gurantee you will love this movie.There is only one flaw.There are no piano or harp sequences.This could be your faorite Marx film if you watch it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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