Bert Kalmar

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Duck Soup Review


Excellent
Widely considered the best Marx brothers film ever (and landing at #5 on the AFI's list of top comedies), Duck Soup presents Groucho at his best, playing a dictator (of a country called Freedonia, natch) who starts a war over a girl who lives in a neighboring country (and who has saved Freedonia from bankruptcy). The other brothers Marx play the dictator's henchmen and spies. It's a farce about politics and war that, in my opinion, has lost some of its topicality. While the puns here are exquisitie and Groucho sparring with himself in a mirror (actually a stand-in) is a priceless moment of the cinema, the send-up of Mussolini-types doesn't quite pan out. Take the comedy, leave the story.

Horse Feathers Review


Good
Not a personal Marx brothers favorite but a decent film nonetheless, Horse Feathers offers Groucho's take on college -- and particularly college football -- as the man with the mustache is installed as president of Huxley College. But the comedy here is heavy on slapstick in lieu of those famous Marx brothers one-liners, fine for some, but a bit overkill in the end. In fact, Horse Feathers is probably the silliest of the brothers' films -- ultimately even resorting to banana peels for cheap laughs.

Continue reading: Horse Feathers Review

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