What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the Marx Brothers are the epitome of anarchy in this movie. They're rude, insulting, pranksterish, and loyal to nobody. Later, tamer features would usually cast them in some good-guy role, their destructive mayhem having a secret agenda to help out a pretty girl in distress or the like, but not in this movie. There is some dated and tame sexual innuendo. There are explosions, gunfire, and mortar shells during a comical battle sequence. There is slapstick roughhousing throughout by Chico and Harpo -- characters are often kicked in the rear end. Parents who think the Three Stooges are a bad influence may feel the same applies here. Also, the opening-credit image of live ducks floating in a pot with a fire under it is a little disturbing.
- Families can talk about how a movie this hilarious could have failed at the box office when it opened in the '30s. Other, more popular Marx Brothers movies had boring musical numbers and straight-faced romantic subplots to interrupt the comedy. Should that have been done here? What kinds of comedies that you see today are like Duck Soup, or is this brand of comedy unique?
- Where does the comedy of the Marx Brothers seem timeless, and where does it seem dated?
- If Duck Soup were to be remade today, how do you think it would be different, and who would star in it? Do you think Duck Soup could even be remade?