100th Anniversary Edition
DVD + Digital
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Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo Marx are at their very best in the political satire Duck Soup which is often regarded as the comedy legends’ funniest and most popular film. After being appointed dictator of Freedonia, Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho) proceeds to bring the mythical nation to a halt by showing up late and insulting everyone at his inauguration. Hoping to oust the unfit new leader, two spies (Harpo and Chico) are sent from the neighboring Sylvania. Soon enough, war is declared between the two nations with outrageous results. Recognized on the AFI’s 100 Years…100 Laughs list and selected for the National Film Registry, this comedy classic features some of the most hilarious sequences every filmed, including the famous mirror sequence and final battle scene, and remains as entertaining and relevant today as it did when it was first released in 1933.
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It takes place in Freedonia, a small hilly country with an old castle, somewhat like Liechtenstein. The country is in trouble and Groucho is called upon to save it as its new leader. Its enemy is neighboring Sylvania, a similar country. Harpo and Chico are Sylvanian spies sent to spy on Groucho but after a while it is hard to tell what side they are on. Groucho then manages to start a war between the two countries.
This movie contains the famous mirror scene, probably the most memorable comedy scene of all time. It also contains Chico's one-liner about taxes and Texas, dollars and Dallas, probably the most memorable comedy line of all time. A surprise is the provocatively revealing dress worn by Raquel Torres, much better than anything worn by Lady Gaga today.
If you really want to watch Groucho exercise his hilarious unscripted wit, head over to YouTube and watch old episodes of "You Bet Your Life."
The physical comedy of this crew together with biting and sometimes irreverent one-liners make this movie a top pick. It's all the more fun when I learned that the leading lady, the target of most of Groucho's jokes, was completely oblivious to them at the time.
There is singing, there is dancing, there are spies, intrigue, romance (sort of), and something for everyone willing to be dragged through the manic-Marx Bros' antics.
I think Jack Handey said it best when he quipped, "Can't the Marx Brothers be arrested and maybe even tortured for all the confusion and problems they've caused? -- Deep Thoughts
5 stars all the way.