Ducksoup (1933, USA)

I have never seen a Marx Brothers movie so it was time. I had very little preconception of them. I was expecting a slapstick comedy and was happy to get much more. Yes there, were about 5-10 of the predictable slapstick kind of jokes going back and forth between two or more characters. But there was a lot of verbal comedy as well. They surprised me by their non sequitur nature. Hearing inappropriate answers, seeing reactions that have nothing to do with the original questions was refreshingly shocking. It reminded me that we often hear what we want and are driven on to accomplish their goals no matter how the circumstances change. Ducksoup is a great parody of this kind of behavior.

The movie’s main plot centered on a war, how it broke out and what came out of it. As the movie was made in 1933 I could not avoid thinking of World War II. Unlike Chaplin’s Great Dictator 7 years later, this film treated the topic with innocent charm. Nobody really got heart, the whole affair was really rather silly and depicted as such. They also tried to show warring as stupid Old World habits of kings and monarchs.  If there is any message in this movie than it is that war is futile and unnecessary. The movie ended so abruptly after 68 minutes that I am inclined to end my review in a similar manne…

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