November 23rd, 2013: Duck Soup (1933)

Duck Soup

Cast and Crew: Leo McCarey (Director); Herman J. Mankiewicz (Producer); Charles Middleton

What It’s About: In order to borrow money from Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont), the bankrupt state of Freedonia makes Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) its  president.  Neighboring Sylvania sends inept spies Pinky (Harpo Marx) and Chicolini (Chico Marx) in to Freedonia; chaos ensues.

Why watch it today?: Harpo Marx was born on this date in 1888 Duck Soup features the Marx Brothers at their most irreverent, and was their last film with Paramount before switching to MGM, where studio interference (and the departure of Zeppo Marx from the team) lead to films with more conventional plots and non-Marx Brother leads to act as love interests.

Other Choices: A Night at the Opera

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