Duck Soup

November's installment of Nothing to Watch on Netflix is the 1933 Marx Brothers classic Duck Soup.

I have to preface this by saying that I normally have no patience for black and white movies. Ever since I was a little boy, there was something about black and white movies that filled me with boredom. In spite of its lack of colorization, I say with no hyperbole that Duck Soup is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen.

What makes it so funny? Well, let's start with the fact that all 68 minutes of this movie are jam packed with one liners, visual gags, social satire, crazy musical numbers, political satire, and even some solid physical comedy. The only thing this movie was missing was a fart joke, but then it would be so funny that nobody would even bother making any comedy movies at all.

It's truly amazing how a movie that's nearly 100 years old could still be so accessible to modern audiences. Let's just think about a few things that were still going on in 1933: Alcohol Prohibition, Jim Crow laws, The Great Depression...it was basically the stone age. However, the four Marx Brothers (Zeppo was getting billing at this point in time) have managed to put together a comedy that literally anyone can enjoy. 

The thing that's crazy is as you watch this movie, you can see echos of some of your favorite comedies. The Marx Brothers were the progenitors of some of the most important comedic tropes. I could especially see where Mel Brooks got a lot of influence after watching this movie, as there were many absurd jokes that seemed like something that should be in Space Balls or Men in Tights.

While it doesn't really matter what this movie is about because it's fucking hilarious and the Marx Brothers are basically all playing themselves, I feel I need to at least touch upon the movie's plot: 

The country of Freedonia is going broke. Mrs. Teasdale, a wealthy widow, agrees to bankroll the country on the condition that Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho) is made president with Zeppo playing his assistant. The ambassador of Sylvania, a neighboring country, employs two spies (Chico and Harpo) to undermine Firefly's leadership. Hilarity fucking ensues.  

Definitely check this one out.