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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> August 2000 >> Duck Soup

Duck Soup

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
5 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
August 2000
IMDB Name:
Duck Soup (1933)
Leo McCarey
comedy, musical
MPAA Rating:
Unrated (predates MPAA ratings)

Serve with Crackers

There's an insistent madness to The Marx Brothers. If it isn't one, it's the other. When it's not him, it's the other one. I started wondering when the fourth would show up until I realized that he'd been right under my nose the whole time like a painted-on mustache. Duck Soup is a dish best served quickly, and can be eaten in a little over an hour.

Since Duck Soup consists almost entirely of set pieces, it's a miracle that there's time for a plot! The spectacular timing and execution of the physical humor are terrific. When Bugs Bunny does this kind of material, you know it's because the artists can cheat the number of frames at any point in the process. When Chico, Harpo, and Edgar Kennedy go at it, you've got three humans working with split-second precision in full view with few edits. When Groucho launches into another chain of insults, it's surprising that he has time to come up for air.

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Copyright 2000-2002 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.