Duck Soup Though this 1933 Marx Brothers farce the last they made for Paramount and Zeppos final film with his older siblings was a critical and commercial disappointment, the frenetic slapstick comedy is considered one of the teams best. Directed by Leo McCarey and penned by Bert Kalmer, Harry Ruby, Arthur Sheekman and Nat Perrins, the anarchic comedy is set in the fictional Freedonia, a small, bankrupt kingdom, which is getting financial assistant from the wealthy Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont). She insists that the only way shell continue giving to the kingdom is if Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) is made ruler. Not only is Freedonia cash poor, the neighboring country, Sylvania, is in the midst of taking it over. War is eventually declared in the musical number This Countrys Going to War and the ensuing battle is surreally hysterical. Harpo plays Pinky, a Sylvanian spy who never talks, while Chico is Chicolini, a spy who wont shut up. And Zeppo, who later became an agent, is Fireflys secret. Duck Soup also features the famous mirror scene between Groucho and Harpo, which Harpo would reenact some 20 years later with Lucille Ball on I Love Lucy. The film was released just as fascism was rearing its head in Germany and Italy. Italian dictator Benito Mussolini felt Duck Soup was a personal insult and ended up banning the comedy in his country.
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