Since today is May Day, how about a little Marx for today’s scene of the day?
Believe it or not, when Duck Soup was initially released in 1933, it was considered to be something of a failure. Especially when compared to previous Marx Brothers films, it was seen as being a box office disappointment. The critics didn’t care much for it, either. They felt that the film’s political satire was preposterous and tasteless. Much as how today’s critics attacked the Death Wish remake for being released at a time when gun control was trending on twitter, critics in 1933 attacked Duck Soup for being a cynical, anti-government satire released during the Great Depression.
(To be honest, you would think that the Great Depression would have made people better appreciate anything that made fun of the incompetence of government but maybe people were in too bad of a mood to see the joke. Who knows? 1933 was a strange year.)
Of course, today, Duck Soup is justifiably viewed as being a classic comedy. It’s certainly my favorite Marx Brothers film. In the classic scene below, Harpo pretends to be Groucho’s reflection in a shattered mirror. It’s a marvelous piece of physical humor so enjoy it!
(And the next time you see a film bragging about their Rotten Tomatoes score, consider that if Rotten Tomatoes had existed in 1933, it would have gotten a “rotten” rating. The truth of the matter is that most critics are as clueless as Rufus T. Firefly looking into a broken mirror.)