Clay and I watched the Marx Brothers' "Duck Soup" last night and every time I watch a Marx Bros. film I just feel compelled to share their pure awesomeness. And Duck Soup isn't even one of my all-time favorites...
"More than simply a slick, slapstick comedy team, The Marx Brothers, led by Groucho, brilliantly laced their dialogue with witty puns, malapropism and sneaky double entendres that were based on a keen observation of people, and which always gave them the upper hand with the high society stuffed shirts and pompous aristocrats they encountered in their films. Indeed, the Marx Brothers' incredible lasting appeal can be attributed to not only their high-energy hijinks, but to the superior berbal sparring and wordplay that not only continue to amuse audiences of all ages, but contains social relevance that resonates loudly and clearly today." ~Booklet in The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection
Not to mention their phenomenal musical abilities and Harpo's side-splitting facial expressions. But it's true - if you ever want some witty, often insulting or cynical, off-the-wall and hilarious one-liners you don't have to look any further than Groucho Marx:
I'm not sure I'm seeing you now. Must be something I ate.
Don't look now, but there's one man too many in this room and I think it's you.
You've got to take up the tax before you can take up the carpet.
You do suggest something. To me you suggest a baboon. I'm sorry I said that. It isn't fair to the rest of the baboons.
I've got a good mind to go out and join a club and beat you over the head with it.
I'm going back and clean the crackers out of my bed. I'm expecting company.
I'll dance with you til the cows come home. On second thought I'll dance with the cows til you come home.
Go, and never darken my towels again!
According to the description of Duck Soup in this same booklet: "The Marx Brothers were reportedly ecstatic to learn that Italian dictator Benito Mussolini banned the film from Italy because he thought it was a direct attack on him. Many critics and fans have tried to guess what the political significance of this film was. Groucho reportedly said, 'What significance? We were just four Jews trying to get a laugh.'
Groucho's laws for running the nation of Freedonia (as explained to the country through typical Marx Brotherian song):
No one's allowed to smoke. Or tell a dirty joke. And whistling is forbidden. If chewing gum is chewed, the chewer is pursued, and in the hoosegow hidden. If any form of pleasure is exhibited, report to me and it will be prohibited. I'll put my foot down. So shall it be, this is the land of the free! The last man nearly ruined this place, he didn't know what to do with it. If you think this country's bad off now, just wait til I get through with it! The country's taxes must be fixed, and I know what to do with it. If you think you're paying too much now, just wait til I get through with it!
I will not stand for anything that's crooked or unfair. I'm strictly on the up and up so everyone beware. If anyone's caught taking graft and I don't get my share we stand 'em up against the wall and pop goes the weasel!
Between Groucho's wit and Chico & Harpo's slapstick acts it's no wonder that the Marx Brothers have been an indisputable staple for our family's entertainment. And a source for countless skits that me and my siblings and cousins prepared throughout the years.