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  • Duck Soup [Chico Marx and Zeppo Marx]
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Duck Soup [Chico Marx and Zeppo Marx]


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Product Details

  • Region: All Regions
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EWJP64
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #343,705 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

DVD Format.

Customer Reviews

Very silly and funny.
TuckerVC
With so many one-liners and sight gags coming at you so fast, this wallow in pure Marx Brothers is sure to make you laugh and laugh.
J.D. Guinness
This is one of the funniest films I have ever seen.
Andrew McCaffrey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"Duck Soup" is as absurd, nonsensical and hilarious as a film can be and still make sense! A satire of dictatorships, war and politics, Groucho, Harpo and Zeppo are at their artfully outlandish best here. Running 68 minutes, the movie is a short one, but chock-full of laughs and lampoons. Released in 1933, during the crisis period of the Depression, the movie was to provide comic relief for the weary American public. It was a flop. Audiences were taken aback by such political disrespect. This is high praise, indeed in the 21st century.

Rufus T. Firefly, played by Groucho, becomes dictator of the mythical kingdom of Freedonia, a tiny country badly in need of additional finances to alleviate their bankrupt status. In other words, the place is a disaster - or why else would they select the man who would "never belong to a club that would have someone like him as a member?" The citizens agree to make Firefly their leader hoping, in return, to gain the financial patronage of the wealthy Mrs. Teasdale, (Margaret Dumont), whose deceased husband was their former president. Firefly is touted for "possessing the statesmanship of Gladstone, the humility of Lincoln, and the wisdom of Pericles." Ha! His primary idea for improving the country involves bilking Mrs Teasdale of her fortune for his own use, forget about Freedonia! He rejoices in making arbitrary decrees, and his appointments are blatantly nepotistic. The other Marx brothers play the dictator's spies and henchmen.

Firefly declares war on its neighboring country, Sylvania, when its Ambassador Trentino, (Louis Calhern), competes with him for Mrs. Teasdale's affections. Trentino's ultimate goal is to annex Freedonia to Sylvania. Poor Mrs. Teasdale.
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Format: DVD
The wacky "Duck Soup" is often viewed as the ultimate Marx Brothers movie and it's certainly their most outrageous in terms of the humor of the film and a great political satire as well. Directed by Leo McCarey "Duck Soup" has substanially more visual flair than any other Marx Brothers feature until "A Day at the Opera". The last film that the Marx Brothers made for Paramount (although this is a Universal release Paramount originally released this along with all the other early Marx Brothers movies but sold the rights to the films to Universal in the 1950's for distribution) "Duck Soup" remains the Marx Brothers crowning jewel of all their films; certainly later MGM films like "A Night at the Opera" and "A Day at the Races" had bigger budgets and were more ambitious but those films diluted the anarchic humor that was at the heart of EVERY Marx Brothers movie.

A horrible flop released to nasty reviews "Duck Soup" was ahead of its time as a comedy and satire. It made (deservedly) AFI's Top 100 Comedies of All Time. This is, like the previous version, the original theatrical version. It hasn't been edited (although rumors have been floating around for years that one of the production numbers was edited it was never true and isn't true of this version either).

Universal used the most readily available best film source at the time when they first released this in 2004. This is the exact same transfer from that 2004 boxed set. There are plenty of specks, scartches and a fair amount of dirt/debris visible in the transfer here which, if Universal had done their due diligence and done a digital restoration of the film, could have been eliminated.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 15, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
My favorite Marx Brothers movie is "A Night at the Opera," but this political satire, which was banned in Italy by Mussolini, is a very close second. It is definitely the best (and last) Marx Brothers movie with Zeppo, for what that is worth. As Groucho later pointed out, Zeppo's roles as the group's straight man were thankless. It was not that Zeppo lacked talent, but rather that he had three older brothers.
"In Duck Soup," the mythical nation of Freedonia is in trouble and Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont) insists that the reigns of power be turned over to Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho). Ambassador Trentino (Louis Calhern) of the neighboring country of Sylvania employs a couple of spies, Chicolini (Chico) and Pinky (Harpo), to shadow Firefly. Oh, and Firefly has a secretary, Bob Rolland (Zeppo). Many of the most famous sequences by the Brothers Marx are found in this film: (1) The mirror sequence between Groucho and Harpo (if it had been Groucho and Chico instead Groucho would have asked "Are you my reflection" and Chico would have answered "Sure"); (2) Harpo's encounter with street vendor Edgar Kennedy, master of the slow-burn (" "); (3) The "We're Going to War" take off on 1930s musicals ("They've got guns, we've got guns, all God's chil'en got guns"); (4) Groucho offering Chico the position of Secretary of War ("Sold!"); (5) Harpo offering Grouch a ride in the sidecar of his motorcyle ("This is the third trip I've taken today and I still haven't gone anywhere"); (6) Zeppo introducing the new leader of Freedonia, Rufus T. Fireflay ("Whatever it is, I'm against it."); and much, much more, including the lovely Rachel Torres as the lovely Vera Marcal!
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Duck Soup
My family's aged VHS is also only about 70 minutes, so I suspect the 97 minute figure is in error.
Nov 24, 2008 by Lee Gaiteri |  See all 3 posts
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