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Duck Soup

War Is Swell… when the Marx Brothers are in it. They'll be out of the trenches by Christmas… if the food doesn't improve 

Year: 1933 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1 (Academy) 
Certificate: BBFC U Cert – Universal 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Leo McCarey 
Starring: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx  
An image from Duck Soup

Surviving 85 years of changing audience tastes and one world war, this gem looks set to stay in the annals of history as one of the funniest films of all time!

Even if you’ve never seen the Marx Brothers before, you’ve no doubt seen them parodied hundreds of times across pop culture… After ‘Animal Crackers’, ‘Horse Feathers’, and ‘Monkey Business’, this is the film where they really find their feet. This film has one of the most iconic scenes in comedy - Harpo (disguised as Groucho) shatters a mirror and, to avoid detection, hides in the mirror frame exacting mimicking everything Groucho does, while a suspicious Groucho does everything he can think of to catch his ‘reflection’ out…

Rufus T Firefly (Groucho Marx) is made dictator of Freedonia by a rich sponsor, Mrs Teasdale (Margaret Dupont), while a neighbouring country, Sylvania, has its eye on Freedonia, so sends in spies (Harpo and Chico Marx). Though the ‘plot’ is little more than a convenience that allows Groucho to deliver an impressive number of double entendres, and sequence after sequence of anarchic zaniness, plenty of slapstick, and a splash of screwball comedy thrown in for good measure. There’s so many reasons this film has stood the test of time...

Natalie Tyldesley-Marshall

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Screenings of this film:

1975/1976 Autumn Term (16mm)
1975/1976 Autumn Term (16mm)
2017/2018 Spring Term (digital)