Saturday, August 15, 2015
Marx Bros. Watch: Duck Soup (1933)
If you want to see Patient 0 for a goodly portion of American comedy, you really need look no further than The Marx Bros. I can't even say the Marx Bros. are an acquired taste, because you either like them or you're dead inside.
I've written before, at some point, that few things in this world please me more than Margaret Dumont, and she is very much in the middle of this movie. Here's our introduction to Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho) as he's introduced as the new Regent of the nation of Freedonia, thanks to Dumont, who has a crush on Firefly, getting him placed in office.
Harpo and Chico play spies from the neighboring nation of Sylvania, and, eventually, there's a war between the two countries. Because.
Anyway, this is one of my favorite of the Marx Bros. movies.
Sure, the set-up mostly seems like an excuse for the Marx Bros. to recycle bits from their vaudeville act, and that's okay. As Jamie rightfully pointed out - the thing about the Marx Bros. is that they don't rely on the sitcom formula of set-up, punchline, set-up, punchline that creates a sort of rhythm to the show (see: The Big Bang Theory). They just go for punchline, punchline, punchline, and you just need to keep up.
If you've never seen it, well, it's a bit too late to catch it last night on TCM, but it'll be on again at some point.