Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Marx Bros mock fascist Europe
in 'Duck Soup'

Duck Soup (1933)
Starring: The Marx Brothers, Margaret Dumont, Louis Calhern, and Raquel Torres
Director: Leo McCarey
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

Zany dictator Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) leads his country to war against its neighbor, Sylvania, for the fortune of the wealthy Mrs. Teasdale (Dumont).

"Duck Soup" is possibly the craziest of comedies made in the 1930s, and during its breakneck pace of non-stop gags, comedy routines, and rampant silliness, it manages to spoof the fascist states of Europe, musical comedies, war movies, and aspects of every day life at the time, such as street vendors. The film is full of scenes and gags that are imitated and copied to this very day, such as the mirror image sequence and Groucho's many rants.

A mark of a true classic is its timelessness. "Duck Soup" is as funny as it was in 1933, with a story that even speaks to modern-day politics and world events.

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