7.9/10
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261 user 68 critic

Duck Soup (1933)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical, War | 17 November 1933 (USA)
Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale.

Director:

Leo McCarey

Writers:

Bert Kalmar (story), Harry Ruby (story) | 2 more credits »

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
The Marx Brothers ... (as The Four Marx Brothers)
Groucho Marx ... Rufus T. Firefly
Harpo Marx ... Pinky
Chico Marx ... Chicolini
Zeppo Marx ... Bob Roland
Margaret Dumont ... Mrs. Gloria Teasdale
Raquel Torres ... Vera Marcal
Louis Calhern ... Ambassador Trentino
Edmund Breese ... Zander
Leonid Kinskey ... Sylvanian Agitator (as Leonid Kinsky)
Charles Middleton ... Prosecutor (as Charles B. Middleton)
Edgar Kennedy ... Lemonade Vendor
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Storyline

The country of Freedonia is in the middle of a financial crisis and on the brink of revolution. In order to gain a bail-out from the wealthy Mrs Teasdale, the government appoints Rufus T Firefly as its president. However, Mr Firefly shuns the pomp and pretentiousness of government; along with the prudence and rationality of it too. Meanwhile, the neighbouring country of Sylvania is plotting to overthrow Freedonia and sends Pinky and Chicolini to spy on Firefly. War seems inevitable. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

War Is Swell ...when the Marx Brothers are in it. They'll be out of the trenches by Christmas...if the food doesn't improve

Genres:

Comedy | Musical | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 November 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cracked Ice See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was influenced by two other projects that tangentially involved Marx Brothers alumni. Producer Herman J. Mankiewicz had just supervised the shooting of another Paramount comedy, Million Dollar Legs (1932), starring W.C. Fields. Herman's younger brother Joseph L. Mankiewicz had written that film's original story about a fictional country, Klopstokia, beset by chaotic foreign intrigue, nutty spies, and internal political strife. The cast even featured a young actress named Susan Fleming, playing the President's daughter, who was to become Harpo Marx's betrothed two years later. See more »

Goofs

During the "To War, To War" number, when The Marx Brothers quartet are playing banjos and singing as they walk toward the camera, it is clear that Chicolini is only holding his banjo, not playing it. See more »

Quotes

Secretary of Labor: The Department of Labor wishes to note that the workers of Freedonia are demanding shorter hours.
Rufus T. Firefly: Very well, we'll give them shorter hours. We'll start by cutting their lunch hour to 20 minutes.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Porky's Hare Hunt (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Good Night, Sweetheart
(1930) (uncredited)
Written by Ray Noble, Jimmy Campbell, and Reginald Connelly (as Reg Connelly)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Hail, Freedonia!!
12 March 2003 | by george.schmidtSee all my reviews

DUCK SOUP (1933) **** Arguably the greatest Marx Brothers film (yes even with Zeppo!) and the most consistently funny tailor-made to each sibling's talents with Groucho in his image-defining role as Rufus T. Firefly, the reluctant yet razor-tongued leader of mythical Freedonia leading his nation to war with Chico and Harpo lending a hand as literally hired help in propoganda. Best bits include the trial banter between Groucho and Chico and the climactic bunker sequence culminating in fruiting long-tormented straight woman Margaret Dumont. One for the film vaults: the three way mirror sequence with a trio of Grouchos. A true classic in every sense of the word.


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