Cracking the (Pre) Code: Duck Soup
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For the love (and money) of wealthy widow Margaret Dumont, Groucho Marx’s Rufus T. Firefly, president of Freedonia, wages war on neighboring Sylvania – with battlefield “assistance” provided by “Chicolini and Pinky” (Chico and Harpo).
A kind of anti-war movie (and one of the greatest comedies ever made), Duck Soup is irreverent in its satire that mocks militarism, politicians, and patriotism. Made when fascism and Nazism were gaining ground in Europe, the film’s contempt for warmongering still has relevance. Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont).
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