Duck Soup | Chicago Reader

Duck Soup

The Marx Brothers' best movie (1933) and, not coincidentally, the one with the strongest director—Leo McCarey, who had the flexibility to give the boys their head and the discipline to make some formal sense of it. Groucho is Rufus T. Firefly, brought in by Margaret Dumont to restore order to the crumbling country of Freedonia; his competition consists of two bumbling spies, Chico and Harpo, sent in by the failed Shakespearean actor (Louis Calhern) who runs the country next door. The antiwar satire is dark, trenchant, and typical of Paramount's liberal orientation at the time.



  • Leo McCarey


  • Groucho Marx
  • Harpo Marx
  • Chico Marx
  • Zeppo Marx
  • Margaret Dumont
  • Raquel Torres
  • Louis Calhern
  • Leonid Kinskey
  • Charles Middleton
  • Edgar Kennedy


  • Herman J. Mankiewicz

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