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A review of Marx brothers' Duck Soup (1933)

Set in the fictional country of Freedonia, at war with its neighbours Sylvania, this movie has the Marx brothers at their zany best, and contains some of the funniest one liners in movie history. This article is a review of Duck Soup, widely thought to be the finest of the Marx brothers films.

Marx brothers' finest

If you have ever seen only one of the Marx brothers movies, then that movie should be Duck Soup. This classic comedy - despite performing badly at the box office upon its initial release which in turn led to Paramount terminating the brothers’ contract - is consistently voted as one of the funniest comedies of all time and in 2007, it was ranked as number 60 of the greatest movies of all time, by the American Film Institute.


The plot The mythical kingdom of Freedonia is on the brink of financial ruin and to get themselves back up and running, the small state borrows a huge sum of money from the wealthy widower Mrs Teasdale (Margaret Dumont) on the proviso that they replace the current president with the hopelessly inept Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) war and chaos soon erupt. At the same time as the crazy goings on in Freedonia, its neighbouring state Sylvania sends the equally inept spies Chicolini and Pinky (Harpo and Chico Marx) to gather top secret information from their enemies.
Comedy However, as with most Marx brothers movies, the plot is almost irrelevant. It exists only as a means of delivering the really important part of a Marx brothers movie - the laughs, and it delivers them at a startling rate.

Still makes its audience laugh

The theme Made way back in 1933, the film is obviously dated in some respects but it still retains its power to make its audience laugh, may be because the themes of the film are still relevant - war never goes out of fashion. Controversies This satire on politics, war and also on war movies was so much on money stuffs that the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini had the film banned, since he thought that it was a direct attack on him and his country. The Marx brothers were ecstatic. The film has some of the best one-liners ever committed to screen, and anyone who sees this film will undoubtedly find themselves quoting lines from the film. Duck Soup is a true classic of Hollywood's golden era and a must-see for anyone who enjoys comedies.

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