AFI #60: Duck Soup

If you don’t laugh while watching a Marx Brothers movie you are not a member of the human race. It’s just not possible to not laugh. If I ever end up on death row my last wish is going to be to watch a Marx Brothers marathon. I guarantee I’ll go out smiling.

Duck Soup is the second Marx Brothers feature on the AFI top 100, following A Night at the Opera at No. 85. I have to admit that if given the choice I preferred A Night at the Opera, but they are both hysterically funny films. In Duck Soup, Groucho plays Rufus T. Firefly, the newly selected president of Freedonia and while he’s running around enjoying his time in the spotlight he is unaware of a secret plot my neighboring Sylvania which has designs on taking over Freedonia. Harpo and Chico play a pair of spies who have been asked to monitor the activities of Rufus T. Firefly. Hilarity ensues.

Like a lot of Marx Brothers features, the individual bits are more recognizable than the films. You may not have ever seen Duck Soup, but surely you have seen this famous scene:

Of course, the scene has been spoofed by tons of comedians including the famous spoof with Lucille Ball and Harpo Marx reenacting the scene in 1955 on an episode of I Love Lucy:

Trust me, if you’re ever feeling down go on YouTube and watch some Marx Brothers bits. They won’t solve your problems, but you’ll surely forget about them for a while.

Next Up: Nashville

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