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Duck Soup
Die Marx Brothers im Krieg

USA 1933
produced by
Paramount
directed by Leo McCarey
starring Marx Brothers (Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Zeppo Marx), Margaret Dumont, Raquel Torres, Louis Calhern, Charles Middleton, Edmund Breese, Edgar Kennedy, Leonid Kinsky

Marx Brothers

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Miss Teasdale (Margaret Dumont) offers the country 20 million dollars, but only if they appoint Rufus T.Firefly their new president, which is good news since Freedonia would need the money, but bad news since Firefly is Groucho Marx (his motto "If you think the country's bad off now, just wait till I get through with it"). Meanwhile, ambassador Trentino (Louis Calhern) of the neighbouring Sylvania wants to get his hands on both Teasdale's fortune & the rule ofer Freedonia, sees his evil schemes seriously spoiled by Firefly, who has long conquered Miss Teasdale's heart (for whatever reason). So he schemes some more & plants 2 spies (Chico & Harpo Marx) in Firefly's employ (Chico actually becomes minister of war) as well as trying to heve Firefly seduced by dancer Vera Marqual (Raquel Torres). But Firefly of course goes one step further, picking a fight with Trentino until that man calls him an upstart, an insult which no Firefly can accept, thus declaring war on Sylvania. That same night, Chico & Harpo try to steal the plans of war which are hidden at Miss Teasdale's place, but instead turn this place into chaos (this sequence features the famous mirror scene, in which Harpo, dressed as Groucho, tries to convince Groucho he's his mirror image - to hilarious results). As a result of this, Chico is arrested & court-martrialed, until Groucho - rather unexpectredly I would think - takes up his defense ... But the war breaks out. But chaos prevails at the battlefield, too, so even though the battle is lost the war is won, ending in a big foodfight, with first Trentino, then Miss Teasdale (!) at the recieving end.

 

Thuis was both Zeppo's last film with his brothers (although in a very minor supporting role) as well as the Marx Brothers' last film for Paramount before a very successful but artistically disappointing stay at MGM. Duck Soup however is not only considered their best film but one of the greatest comedies ever - & I happen to agree with that. This movie proves to be the ultimate blend of out-of-bounds comedy (consisting of both slapstick and spitfire sophisticated dialogue to the hilt), silly musical numbers, even fight scenes and utter stupidity, that still hasn't been surpassed to this day !

To go along with the martial topic of the movie, a titlecard - even before the Paramount logo - says NRA presents.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD