Duck Soup (1933)

 ●  English ● 1 hr 8 mins

Where did you watch this movie?

The small state of Freedonia is in a financial mess, borrowing a huge sum of cash from wealthy widow Mrs. Teasdale. She insists on replacing the current president with crazy Rufus T. Firefly and mayhem erupts. To make matters worse, the neighboring state sends inept spies Chicolini and Pinky to obtain top secret information, creating even more chaos!
Movie Rating
Based on 0 rating
0 user 0 critic
Music Rating
Based on 0 rating
0 user 0 critic
Did you know? Groucho Marx offered the following explanation for the movie's title: "Take two turkeys, one goose, four cabbages, but no duck, and mix them together. After one taste, you'll duck soup the rest of your life." Read More
No reviews available. Click here to add a review.
as Chicolini
as Rufus T Firefly
as Pinky
as Mrs Teasdale
as Bob Roland
as Reception Guest
as Prosecutor
as A Palace Guard
as Minister of Finance
as Bridegroom at Firefly's Reception
as Officer in Battle Sequence
as Street Vendor
as Zander
as Minister
as Politician
as Secretary of Labor
as Freedonia's Secretary
as Third Judge
as Reception Guest
as Second Judge
as First Judge
as Agitator
as Agitator
as Trentino
as Reception Guest
as Minister
as Reception Guest
as Vera Marcal
as Teasdale's Butler
as Trentino's Blonde Secretary
as Officer at Battle Headquarters
as First Minister of Finance




Production Company


Story Writer
Dialogue Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Music Director


Art Director




Stunt Director
Film Type:
Colour Info:
Black & White
Sound Mix:
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
Revealing Mistakes
When Pinky runs into the mirror, it doesn't actually shatter until he's fallen onto the floor.

Revealing Mistakes
When Pinky's motorcycle pulls away from its cart, you can clearly see a string pull it along.

Revealing Mistakes
The second time a big artillery shell flies through the room, you can see the wire it's on.

Revealing Mistakes
The removed horseshoes that we see lying on the floor (from the horse that Pinky was riding) are not actual horseshoes but the type that are used in the game of horseshoes. They are much larger than regular horseshoes.

During the "Going to War" sequence, the four Marx Brothers are shown kneeling down. In the wider angle shot showing the entire chamber, Zeppo is shown standing up while the other three brothers are still kneeling down. In the next shot facing the brothers from a lower angle, Zeppo is kneeling down again.

In the beginning of Chicolini's judgment, Firefly changes his right arm position from one shot to another.

When Chicolini and Pinky get in Trentino's office, Trentino puts the lit cigar on the desk, near the twin phones. Thereafter he picks it up next the cigar box.

After Mrs. Teasdale picks up a card, Firefly puts the deck in his left trouser pocket. However, when she introduces him to Trentino, he takes out the deck from the right pocket.

When they meet, Mrs. Teasdale holds Firefly's right hand while he holds the cigar with his left hand. The subsequent shot shows him holding the cigar with the right hand and the deck with the left one.

When Mrs. Teasdale introduces Bob to Trentino and Vera, only those four are on the top of the stairs. But the next long shot shows a couple just behind Mrs. Teasdale.

Firefly's standing position while he's singing with his trousers up.

After Firefly pours the milk in court he hands the milk bottle away showing a full glass of milk on the table. When they cut back on the next shot after showing Chicolini, the glass of milk in gone.

When Firefly offers Chicolini a job, Chicolini's dog goes from biting its lower half, to laying down, and finally, sitting next to him in three consecutive shots.

When Firefly arrives at his reception, he is wearing a dark swallowtail coat. Then after Mrs. Teasdale greets him, we go to a two shot, and Firefly is now wearing a lighter shade jacket with dark piping and a glove in the breast pocket. When Ambassador Trentino enters, Firefly is again wearing the swallowtail coat, which he retains until the very last shot of that scene, when he is again wearing the lighter jacket, without the glove in the pocket.

When Firefly takes the Thompson sub-machine gun from the violin case it has a straight magazine, but when he is firing it through the hole in the wall it has a drum magazine.

When we first see Edgar Kennedy (the lemonade vendor), a cord is visibly hanging from the back of his derby. The cord then disappears and reappears when Pinky switches hats with him.

When Firefly was pulling up his trousers, his arms were behind his back, next shot, his hands were on his hips, next shot, they were at the back of him again.

The gloves that Firefly slaps Trentino with, appear in Firefly's pocket in between shots.

During the fight with the lemonade vendor, the vendor gets squirted with lemonade and his shirt gets soaked. Seconds after, while the vendor is tussling with Chicolini again, we see that the vendor's shirt is completely dry.

In Mrs. Teasdale's house, when Firefly sits down, everybody (Trentino, Vera and Mrs. Teasdale) change positions around him.

The lemonade vendor's straw hat which Pinky throws in the fire changes position from one shot to another.

In the balcony, Firefly holds the cigar with his left hand. But after he calls Chicolini to come up, he puts the cigar in the mouth with his right hand.

Character Error
During the "To War, To War" number, when The Marx Brothers quartet are playing banjos and singing as they walk toward the camera, it is clear that Chicolini is only holding his banjo, not playing it.

When Firefly sings with his trousers up, he puts his left hand behind him holding the cigar. In the following shot, when he yells "My car!", the cigar has disappeared.

When Pinky runs into the mirror, it naturally shatters. But the broken glass immediately disappears.

After Ambassador Trentino has announced, he steps down the stairs followed by two gentlemen and crosses two ladies before he kisses Mrs. Teasdale's hand. Next shot the two ladies are just behind him yet and the last man after him is already on Mrs. Teasdale right hand-hand side, giving his back to the wall.

After Firefly plays the flute, it disappears and a bugle appears in his hand, though the guard behind him keeps his bugle.
Shortly before this film premiered, the city of Fredonia, New York, complained about the use of its name with an additional "e". The Marx Brothers' response was, "Change the name of your town, it's hurting our picture."

Italian dictator Benito Mussolini banned the film from Italy because he thought it was a direct attack on him. When news of this reached The Marx Brothers, they were reportedly ecstatic.

When asked what the political significance of this film was, Groucho Marx reportedly said, "What significance? We were just four Jews trying to get a laugh."

Groucho Marx offered the following explanation for the movie's title: "Take two turkeys, one goose, four cabbages, but no duck, and mix them together. After one taste, you'll duck soup the rest of your life."

Firefly (Groucho Marx) says, "The Headstrongs married the Armstrongs, and that's why darkies were born," a reference to a 1931 popular song "That's Why Darkies Were Born", written by Ray Henderson and Lew Brown and originally sung by Kate Smith (and later by Paul Robeson).

One of the very few films featuring Harpo Marx in which he does not perform a harp solo.

Harpo Marx's character Pinky went through several name changes in pre-production. In a 1933 Paramount press-book ad, he's known as Snoopy. For a radio trailer, his character's name was changed to Skippy.

Vera was Trentino's niece in early drafts

The hat-swapping routine performed by Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, and Edgar Kennedy, was reportedly the inspiration for a similar scene in the French stage play Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett.

According to The Marx Brothers biographer Joe Adamson, the elaborate "All God's Chillun Got Guns" musical number was mostly improvised on the set, as there is no reference to it in the movie's final script. It's likely Groucho Marx was referring to the old Negro spiritual "I got Shoes", which repeats the line "All of God's children got..." filling "a song", "a robe", "a harp", etc. Groucho just added "Guns".

An early draft of the script introduces Freedonia's new dictator Rufus T. Firefly as an agent for an ammunition company, which led to lots of ammunition-salesman jokes and intertwined with the movie's war theme.

Harpo Marx's character was originally called Skippy, but this was changed to Pinky after his role in Horse Feathers (1932), making him one of only two of The Marx Brothers to reuse a character name in their films (not counting when they used their own names).

Early drafts of the script included scenes in an opera house and aboard a zeppelin.

In the original script, Chicolini and Pinky were cousins and Bob was Firefly's son.

The fictitious country of Sylvania was called "Amnesia" in early drafts.