Duck Soup was suprisingly good. I'd never seen a Marx Brothers movie before. I'd often heard people say "Harpo Marx was a comic genius!" which puzzled me having only the vague idea that he was the guy with the horn, but I have to say, "Harpo Marx was a comic genius". There really aren't physical comedians like that any more, despite what Jim Carrey fans would tell you. I found the movie strangely topical too -- a wealthy dowager agrees to loan the bankrup country of Freedonia twenty million dollars on the condition that her friend, Rufus T. Firefly, a local buffoon, is appointed president. Immediately after his appointment, President Firefly inexplicably plunges the country into war with a neighboring country. Sending Chico out onto the bloody front lines he quips: "And remember while you're out there risking life and limb through shot and shell, we'll be in here thinking what a sucker you are."
Certianly a dangrous and flippant film to make in 1934 with Hitler beginning a rise to power in europe, but something i found resonating last night sitting on the wide lawn in 2004 with the future yawning before me.
Oh, and the hat scene is just grand.