Posted by Larry Gleeson
Edgar Wright announces today’s AFI Movie Club selection: DUCK SOUP – an early sophisticated comedy that holds up well over time. The film appears on three of AFI’s lists of the greatest American films – including #5 on AFI’s 100 YEARS…100 LAUGHS. And the Marx Brothers – Groucho, Chico and Harpo – appear collectively at #20 on AFI’s list of the greatest screen legends!
The mayor of Fredonia, NY, complained to Paramount Pictures about the name of the mythical kingdom of Freedonia. There is now a film festival in celebration of the film – Freedonia Marxonia: Marx Brothers Film Festival and Symposium – held in Fredonia! In the meantime, watch Billy Crystal and Lily Tomlin talk about their love of the Marx Brothers in this exclusive AFI Archive clip.
Italian dictator Benito Mussolini banned the film from Italy because he thought it was a direct attack on him.
Groucho had a very unique explanation of 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.”
DUCK SOUP is the final Marx Brothers film to feature straight man Zeppo Marx?
Actress Margaret Dumont starred in half of all Marx Brothers movies. She was an experienced comedienne, who Groucho Marx referred to as “practically the fifth Marx Brother.”
DUCK SOUP doesn’t end at the credits. Engage with your family, friends and others like you who love the movies. Check out the AFI Movie Club Discussion Questions for this movie and post your responses in the comment section!
AFI Movie Club Discussion Questions
-DUCK SOUP is a satire – using humor to comment on the world. What elements of the movie do you think may have been happening in the world during the time it was made?
-What themes of the movie still resonate in today’s world?
-Many consider DUCK SOUP to be the best of the Marx Brothers movies. Do you have a favorite?
-The Marx Brothers are one of the funniest comedy groups in movie history – inspiring generations. What comedy groups and comedians rank as your favorites?
-How would you rate DUCK SOUP?
About AFI Movie Club
I hope the AFI Movie Club brings some inspiration and entertainment during this uncertain time. AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies where each day’s film – announced by a special guest – is accompanied by fun facts, family-friendly discussion points and material from the AFI Archive to bring the viewing experience to life. As a non-profit, AFI Movie Club is a member-powered organization, dependent upon the support of its movie fans. To support AFI Movie Club please consider becoming a member or donating.
AFI Movie Club is a newly launched free program to raise the nation’s spirits by bringing artists and audiences together – even while we are apart. AFI shines a spotlight on an iconic movie each day, with special guests announcing the Movie of the Day. Audiences can “gather” at AFI.com/MovieClub to find out how to watch the featured movie of the day with the use of their preexisting streaming service credentials. The daily film selections will be supported by fun facts, family discussion points and exclusive material from the AFI Archive to enrich the viewing experience.
(Sourced from AFI NEWS Release)