Saturday, April 13, 2013

Duck Soup (1933)

The bankrupt nation of Freedonia wants to borrow more money from the wealthy Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont), but she will only agree if they make the dashing Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho) President. When the nation of Sylvania takes steps to invade, hilarity ensues.

The fifth of the eight Marx Brothers movies, this is possibly their best. As always, it's little more than an excuse for the boys to clown around. Here you will find the famous mirror scene, where Chico (or was it Harpo?) disguised as Groucho mirrored his movements pretending to be his image. Real vaudeville stuff.

This is also the last appearance of Zeppo who played, ummm ... Bob. He went on to be an agent and to make pulse rate monitors. Seems his roles weren't terribly memorable. Can't argue that.

So, why 'Duck Soup'? Groucho had a funny line about that, but apparently the studio was simply working the animal theme the previous movies had. No ducks were harmed in the making of this film. Hey, and Charles Middleton, Ming the Mercifullnessless himself, has a small role. Not in makeup, thankfully.

Not much more to say. Just four jews trying to get a laugh. There was the energy and charisma that was lacking in A Night in Casablanca. Made my boys laugh, occasionally. I wanted to see them in sequence, but they aren't readily available, so I'll take them as they come. Not like there is any continuity. AMRU 3.5.
"Rufus T. Firefly: Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot. I implore you, send him back to his father and brothers, who are waiting for him with open arms in the penitentiary. I suggest that we give him ten years in Leavenworth, or eleven years in Twelveworth.
Chicolini: I'll tell you what I'll do: I'll take five and ten in Woolworth."

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