Shown at the opening show of the first FeckenOdeon Season on 29th September, 2001
Arguably the funniest of the Marx Brothers’ films, “Duck Soup” (1933) is a fast moving anarchic satire. It lampoons the posturing of blundering dictators, fascism and authoritarian government. It proved a hot political potato for Paramount in the nervous period before WW2 - Mussolini banned it outright in Italy. The plot sees Groucho as Rufus T. Firefly ingratiating himself with Margaret Dumont’s bewildered Mrs Teasdale - and into the Presidency of Freedonia. Chico, Harpo and (in his last film) Zeppo do their best to make the wheels of diplomacy run erratically and Raquel Torres vamps it as a sultry Mata Hari. That governments could be provoked to fury by the later part of the film where the brothers point up the futility of war just goes to prove their point!
“I could dance with you ‘til the cows come home....
On second thoughts, I could dance with the cows ‘til you get home”