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A pointed 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.
Rotten Tomatoes® Score
Critics Consensus: Fueled by inspired silliness and blessed with some of the Marx brothers' most brilliant work, Duck Soup is one of its -- or any -- era's finest comedies.
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Common Sense Media
Common Sense Says
Classic comedy film with lots of mayhem, slapstick humor.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the Marx Brothers are the epitome of anarchy in Duck Soup. They're rude, insulting, pranksterish, and loyal to nobody. Later, tamer features usually would cast them in some good-guy roles, their destructive mayhem having a secret agenda to help out a pretty girl in distress or the like, but not in this movie. There is some dated and tame sexual innuendo. There are explosions, gunfire, and mortar shells during a comical battle sequence. There is slapstick roughhousing throughout by Chico and Harpo -- characters are often kicked in the rear end. Parents who think the Three Stooges are a bad influence may feel the same applies here. Also, the opening-credit image of live ducks floating in a pot with a fire under it is a little disturbing.
A Lot or A Little?
The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Role Models
Violence & Scariness
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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- Genre:Comedy, Family
- Release Date:November 17, 1933
- Audio Format:Stereo
- Screen Pass Eligible:Yes
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