Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Duck Soup (1933)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Duck Soup (1933)

In this classic Marx Brothers anti-war, anti-government comedy film (their last film for Paramount Pictures) about the financially-ruined, politically-unstable country of Freedonia, so irreverent that it was banned in Italy by dictator Benito Mussolini:

  • the many satirical, anarchic scenes that ridiculed pomp, government, and authority
  • the many pricelessly funny lines: (Firefly: "I suggest that we give him ten years in Leavenworth, or eleven years in Twelveworth." Chicolini (Chico): "I'll tell you what I'll do: I'll take five and ten in Woolworth")
  • the opening coronation scene and Freedonian inauguration (and late arrival) of fast-talking, swindling, impertinent, and indecorous behavior of Freedonia's new cigar-chomping President Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx)
  • Firefly's familiar teasing of wide and widowed millionaire benefactress Mrs. Gloria Teasdale (Margaret Dumont)
  • the lampooning Cabinet meeting scene
  • the scenes of the two confrontations with the lemonade stand vendor (Edgar Kennedy) including a classic three-headed, hat-switching sequence, the burning of the vendor's bowler hat on the flaming hot dog cooker, and the barefooted Pinkie (Harpo) paddling around in the lemonade tank
Classic Marx. Bros. Bits
Hat-Switching and Lemonade Tank Sequence
Mirror Pantomime
  • the classic, inventive perfectly-timed scene of the inspired, celebrated mirror pantomime - a superlative, lyrical, artistic example of mute physical comedy (a revival of a classic vaudeville routine) with two (actually three) of the Marx Brothers identically dressed in nightshirt and cap and duplicating each other's movements
  • Pinkie's sight-gags and the revelation of his tattoos (especially the one of a doghouse on his stomach - complete with the head of a real live, barking dog that peeped out)
  • the parody of the Paul Revere ride
  • Groucho's retort to Ambassador Trentino (Louis Calhern) about war: ("Go, and never darken my towels again!")
  • the final battle-war sequence (with Firefly walking around blindly with a flower vase on his head paint-decorated with features of his 'Groucho' face) (Firefly: "I've already paid a month's rent on the battlefield")

Coronation Scene of Rufus T. Firefly

Firefly Flirting With Mrs. Teasdale

Ending Battle Sequence


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z