AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Duck Soup
Director: Leo McCarey (Dir)
Release Date:   17 Nov 1933
Duration (in mins):  70 or 80
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Cast: Groucho Marx  (Rufus T. Firefly)
  Harpo Marx  (Pinky)
  Chico Marx  (Chicolini)
 

Summary: Wealthy widow Gloria Teasdale forces the government of Freedonia to accept Rufus T. Firefly as its leader. Firefly's outrageous public behavior offends Ambassador Trentino of Sylvania, who with the help of his confederate, dancer Vera Marcal, intends to take control of Freedonia by marrying Mrs. Teasdale. Firefly, who also makes occasional love to Mrs. Teasdale after learning of her fortune, has in his employ two of Trentino's spies, Chicolini and Pinky, whose battles with a street vendor of lemonade are more effective than their espionage. Firefly's secretary, Bob Roland, decides that Firefly must insult Trentino so that the latter may be deported, and Firefly handles the job with enthusiasm, bringing the two countries to the brink of war. Chicolini and Pinky attempt to steal Freedonia's war plans by impersonating Firefly, and though Firefly is temporarily persuaded that Pinky is his own reflection in a mirror, the job results in Chicolini's capture and trial for treason. Several efforts by Mrs. Teasdale, Trentino and Marcal to effect a reconciliation between Firefly and Trentino only result in Firefly repeating his offensive behavior, and war is finally declared. Chicolini begins the war on the side of Sylvania but soon joins Pinky on Freedonia's side, and Freedonia's soldiers under Firefly's unorthodox command, eventually capture Trentino and emerge victorious. 

Distribution Company: Paramount Productions, Inc.
Production Company: Paramount Productions, Inc.
Director: Leo McCarey (Dir)
Writer: Bert Kalmar (Story)
  Harry Ruby (Story)
  Arthur Sheekman (Addl dial)
  Nat Perrin (Addl dial)

Subject Major: Dictators
  Imaginary lands
  Impersonation and imposture
  Spies
  Widows
 
Subject Minor: Ambassadors
  Dancers
  Fortune hunters
  Romance
  Street vendors
  Treason
  Trials
  War
  Wealth

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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