"Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot. I implore you, send him back to his father and brothers, who are waiting for him with open arms in the penitentiary. I suggest that we give him 10 years in Levenworth or 11 years in Twelveworth."
- Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx)
"I'll tell you what I'll do--I'll take five and 10 in Woolworth."
- Chicolini (Chico Marx)
"I wanted to get rid of habeas corpus, but I should have gotten rid of you instead."
Chicago Sun-Times - 07/09/2000
"...The Marx Brothers created a body of work in which individual films are like slices from the whole, but DUCK SOUP is probably the best..."
Total Film - 02/01/2001
"...It's a merciless satire on patriotism, politics and the establishment which has lost little of its bite or ability to tickle the ribs....Proof that the brothers are as relevant now as they ever were..."
Premiere - 12/01/2003
"...[A] brilliant melange of gags....Harpo's physical clowning has the grace and sleight of hand of a true magician..."
DUCK SOUP captures some of the Marx Brothers' zaniest routines and funniest quips, creating a laugh-out-loud spectacle of politics gone haywire. Backed by wealthy widow Mrs. Teasdale (regular Marx straightwoman Margaret Dumont), Groucho becomes the leader of Freedonia, quickly frustrating his cabinet and offending the aggressive neighboring country to the point of war. Chico and Harpo, sent by the rival country, spy on Groucho and try to steal his battle plans, but when war does come, loyalties become muddled all around.
Director Leo McCarey gets the most out of the brothers, letting them be their wackiest best in what many critics consider to be the funniest Marx Brothers movie. Groucho plays Rufus T. Firefly, one of his best characters. The one-liners fly through the air like the bombs exploding in the hysterical battle scene. DUCK SOUP is a must-see comedy spectacular; don't blink or you'll miss yet another stinger....
Big Battles |
Essential Cinema |
DUCK SOUP was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1990.
DUCK SOUP is number 5 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Funniest Movies and number 85 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Greatest Movies.
DUCK SOUP was Zeppo Marx's last film role with his brothers.
DUCK SOUP was considered a flop when it first came out.