Rent The Marx Brothers: Duck Soup (1933)

3.6 of 5 from 164 ratings
1h 5min
Rent The Marx Brothers: Duck Soup Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
Apointed political satire, 'Duck Soup' is the Marx Brothers' funniest and most insane film. Groucho is Rufus T. Firefly, the hilarious dictator of mythical Freedonia. Harpo and Chico are commissioned as spies by Groucho's political rival, the calculating Trentino (Louis Calhern). The film contains many of the Brothers' famous sequences: the lemonade stand, a masterpiece of slow burn: the Paul Revere parody; the "We're Going to War" number, a beautiful spoof of '30s' musicals; the hilarious mirror scene; and a final battle episode that has been copied by everyone from Woody Allen to Mad Magazine.
Actors:
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Directors:
Producers:
Herman J. Mankiewicz
Writers:
Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, Arthur Sheekman, Nat Perrin
Studio:
Universal Pictures
Genres:
Classics, Comedy, Music & Musicals
BBFC:
Release Date:
10/11/2003
Run Time:
65 minutes
Languages:
English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, French Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, German Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
Subtitles:
Arabic, Danish, Dutch, English Hard of Hearing, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
Colour:
B & W
BBFC:
Release Date:
01/04/2019
Run Time:
69 minutes
Languages:
English Dolby Digital 1.0
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.37:1
Colour:
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Commentary by Marx Brothers historian Robert S. Bader and film critic Leonard Maltin
  • Sibling Revelry, an introduction to the Marx Brothers by critic David Cairns MonkeyNutcrackerDuckFeathers, a new video essay by David Cairns

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Reviews (2) of The Marx Brothers: Duck Soup

Fanspankingly brilliant - The Marx Brothers: Duck Soup review by JD

Spoiler Alert
26/11/2009

This is the golden era of one line gags and puerile slapstick comedy. This has to be watched with unsophisticated receptivity. If it is there are rich rewards. Watch this with a grandchild.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Classic Comedy. - The Marx Brothers: Duck Soup review by Steve

Spoiler Alert
Updated 20/11/2021

When comic acts from the stage got to make Hollywood films they were usually stiffed with B directors and budgets. The Marx Brothers fared better than most and here rated multiple Oscar winner Leo McCarey. Harpo, Groucho and Chico (and Zeppo in his last film) worked their act for years, and finessed their strong visual image and contrasting comic styles.

There's Groucho's fast talking wordplay, Chico's garbled malapropisms, and Harpo's destructive, primal mime. Groucho takes over the corrupt oligarchy of Freedonia which is slipping into war with neighbours Sylvania for whom Harpo and Chico are operating as spies. With populist governments emerging in 1930s Europe probably this was intended as satire.

But it's mainly an opportunity for the trio to unleash their trademark anti-establishment anarchy. There's a great visual joke with Groucho playing both sides of a mirror. Margaret Dupont again scores as their uncomprehending straight woman.  I like Marx Brothers films when Groucho is reeling off sardonic, convoluted, rapid-fire gags and not so much for the musical interludes of the other two.

Which makes Duck Soup their best film, dense with immaculate Grouchoisms.  It's the pick of their early Paramount films and it bombed, badly. The remaining three brothers left Paramount for MGM thinking that they were finished. But over the years Duck Soup has become an influential comedy (there's plenty of Monty Python here) and rated their masterpiece. 

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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