As part of its film series Seriously Funny: The Films of Leo McCarey, MoMA is screening Duck Soup featuring Chico, Groucho, Harpo and Zeppo Marx. It was the last film in which all four brothers appeared together.
In a review of the film (2000), Roger Ebert wrote, “Movies gave them a mass audience, and they were the instrument that translated what was once essentially a Jewish style of humor into the dominant note of American comedy.”
He also wrote that to describe the plot would be an exercise in futility, which is true – but to create the setting: the story takes place in the fictitious town of Freedonia, amidst politics, money and greed.
“These are the laws of my administration: No one’s allowed to smoke or tell a dirty joke … And, whistling is forbidden.”
Duck Soup. 1933. USA. Directed by Leo McCarey. Screenplay by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, Arthur Sheekman, Nat Perrin. With The Marx Brothers, Margaret Dumont. 68 min.
July 19, 2016, 7:00 p.m.
July 29, 2016, 4:00 p.m.
Featured image: “Record Groucho Marx (Drawing) Somewhere In United States Of America, [Envelope] , Groucho Marx Collection · SOVA”. 2016. Sova.Si.Edu., Smithsonian Institution Groucho Marx Collection.