70. Duck Soup
My original interest in Duck Soup came from my Junior year of high school when my film teacher showed us the AFI - 100 Greatest Comedies TV special to show us a wide variety of comedy films. This film seemed absolutely brilliant. Then my first semester of college my film teacher shows us the closing war sequence of the film and it absolutely killed me.
I had just signed up for Netflix and this was the second film I got through it (between Tromeo and Juliet and Pink Flamingos). It’s a short film but it’s a masterpiece, it’s been long considered the Marx Brothers’ best film (which I agree or at least would rank it along with Horse Feathers).
It’s difficult to explain a Marx Brothers’ plotline as the films typically play like sketch comedy. The films are always more about slapstick/vaudeville sketches than a cohesive plotline. Groucho plays Rufus T Firefly the new leader of Freedonia, within a few days of being leader immediately launches the country into a revolutionary war with the neighboring Sylvania.
The film is herald for its final war sequence which ends in a pie fight sequence and my favorite gag the now infamous Mirror gag seen below.
This is the film the lead me into the wonderful world of the Marx Brothers. They are my favorite of the golden age of comedy, most people my age don’t give them the chance they truly deserve.
Matt Kelly can also be found hosting The Saint Mort Show, Co-hosting the Reddit Horror Club Podcast, Writing for Geekscape,Tweeting and running Dollar Monday Promotions.