January 12, 2019 - 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM

DUCK SOUP (1933)

Directed by Leo McCarey

The Marx Brothers: Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo

Hailed as a masterpiece, Duck Soup, for all its wild comic abandon, strikes darker notes than the usual Marx Brothers comedy. Its satire  sharper and still pertinent, takes merciless aim at blundering dictatorial leaders, authoritarian government , and pointless warfare.  Released in 1933, this outrageous film was a critical and commercial failure. Depression-era audiences took offense at such  blatant political disrespect, buffoonery and cynicism even as  Roosevelt battled economic disaster in the US and Hitler came to power in Germany. The Italian dictator Mussolini was so insulted he banned the film in his country. Fortunately, Duck Soup was rediscovered by a generation of 1960s activists and college students, and in museum and film festival showings. As a result it has attained legendary status, and its influence can be seen in the works of such filmmakers as Woody Allen and Sasha Baron Cohen.

“Genius just about covers it” — Time Out