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January 05, 2009

Duck Soup — CLASSIC FILM PICK

Duck Soup Leo Macarey's 1933 Marx Brothers movie was overlooked by audiences during its depression-era release but received a much-deserved re-release in the '60s that found a welcoming young audience. The tiny republic of Freedonia is in economic collapse and turns rich widow Mrs. Gloria Teasdale (Margaret Dumont) who promptly replaces the its President with one insanely irreverent Rufus T. Firefly (hilariously played by Groucho Marx). Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo (in his last appearance) deliver their anarchic slapstick satire with a vengeance. Groucho's famously sung line, "If you think this country's bad off now, just wait 'till I get through with it" promises a kind of comic uproar that Hollywood can only dream of. Watch for the famous "mirror scene" in which Harpo--dressed as Groucho--matches Groucho's every movement in a non-existent mirror--pure comic genius.



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