Talk:Duck Soup (1933 film)

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Former good article nominee Duck Soup (1933 film) was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
January 6, 2008 Peer review Reviewed
April 29, 2008 Good article nominee Not listed
Current status: Former good article nominee


This article does not cite its references or sources. Although I believe that some of the statements are true, this article still needs sources. Back up statements made in the article with proof of facts. (Sugar Bear 00:15, 23 April 2006 (UTC))

  • Aside from the assertion about its ranking in gross receipts, what questions do you have? Wahkeenah 05:19, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm about to remove this item from the Trivia section:

  • Kaufmann usually did not allow actors to adlib lines for his scripts, but made an exception for Groucho.

because, as far as I know, Kaufman was not involved with this particular movie. It should be on the page for The Cocoanuts, Animal Crackers, and/or A Night at the Opera, if it isn't already. Richard K. Carson 02:37, 17 June 2006 (UTC)


Maybe that usage is incorrect, maybe not, but the a-none who tried to change it is employing a little "Marxism" in trying to unilaterally tell us what to do. Wahkeenah 23:34, 28 July 2006 (UTC)


The article at Freedonia is largely about Duck Soup anyway, so I'm suggesting that we merge the two. (FWIW, it also shares the lack of sourcing problem that this article faces.) | Mr. Darcy talk 05:52, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

  • A sizable portion, though not all, of the article appears to be based on the film itself. The references in the Freedonia article, aside from restatement, could be summarized in the trivia section for Duck Soup. I am inclined to agree that a separate article about Freedonia is not needed. Wahkeenah 06:45, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Taking another look at it, it seems like the Freedonia page needs to be retained as a disambiguation page, as there is extra info not pertaining to the film. Wahkeenah 06:51, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it's necessary to have an individual article over the ficitional city of Freedonia. Some people, for some reason, might mistake the article for the actual city of Fredonia, which by the way complained about the picture possibly having a negative impact upon the city. The information in the Freedonia article should be somehow inserted into the Duck Soup article, preferabbly in the Trivia section or the Synopsis section. --- JS. 20:18, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

I disagree. I think Freedonia merits an insertion on its own - mainly because it is well-known as a fictional country, like Ruritania, Erewhon, etc. C.M.

Chico doffing his hat...[edit]

Chico also doffed his hat briefly in ''Monkey Business''; while he was imitating Maurice Chevalier, he took his hat off and waved it around for a few seconds before Otto Fries pushed him aside. --- JS. 20:26, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

cart scenes[edit]

Harpo doesn't get into the lemonade tank as "revenge" for the peanut cart being tipped over. The peanut cart it tipped over in the second cart scene, after Harpo has done that already. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 02:49, August 20, 2007 (UTC)

Wait a MINUTE! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:03, 1 July 2010 (UTC) First Cart Scene starts at about 00:20:00 [hh:mm:ss] Second Cart Scene starts at about 00:32:00 [hh:mm:ss] Now, in the end of the first Cart scene I see Harpo burning Kennedy's hat in their Cart.

Now, in the end of the SECOND Cart scene (after Kennedy repeatedly took some peanuts with out paying) Harpo burns Kennedy's new Straw Hat. Then Kennedy trips over Harpo+Chico's Cart. Then, as Kennedy wants to serve some customers, Harpo jumps in the tank and the customers run off, leaving Kennedy puzzled until he see's Harpo and get's shocked. So: you're wrong, it happens in the second scene. Exactly, it is the time of 00:33:01 - 00:33:07 where he [Kennedy] tips the cart over. I know this coz I'm looking at it right now. And it is 00:33:20 where Harpo jumps in the lemonade-tank. PS: Timecodes may vary due to diff's in the length of the movie, I got a total playing time of 01:08:30 hh:mm:ss on my DVD, which sez it [the movie] is about 70mins long.

Temporary(?) deletion[edit]

I'm not sure where to place the following, but it doesn't belong in the Reception section:

Although the love story would work well in A Night at the Opera, in general the love stories included in the MGM Marx Brothers films are often seen as an intrusion, and the early films are seen as being "pure" comedy.[1] Clarityfiend (talk) 04:00, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

No, most critcs agree with this, including Leonard Maltin. :) — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 05:20, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Peer Review[edit]

First up, some props. The plot is not too long. Usually this is my main complaint on film articles. People make the plot section like a transcript. This one is good. However, the famous scenes section seems bloated. The first paragraph is fine, as it uses citations and proves that it is indeed famous by using the also famous I Love Lucy scene. The second through fifth paragraphs of that section don't really establish why they are famous. They may be great and funny, but why are they famous? This section really needs citations to establish famousness.

I saw in the reception section that several refs do not use citation templates. They attempt to duplicate the output, but they should really use a template.

There are a lot of uncited statements that I have tagged with {{fact}}.

I also saw that several places use parenthesis. In some of them, the parenthesis could simply be removed. My general criteria for parenthesis is this: Are the parenthesis even necessary? If they are necessary to put in a statement, does the statement really belong there or is it just stuck in?

You should try to convert the lists in Music into prose.

The "Works Referencing Duck Soup" section may be combined with famous scenes. Other works referencing the scene establishes that the scene is famous and may take care of the problems I cited in my first paragraph. On a quick read through, that's all I see. ColdFusion650 (talk) 23:12, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

The lists of songs should not be converted to prose, i.e. in a long paragraph instead of a list. That will make it much more tedious to try to read. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 23:24, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
The "Original Songs" section, apart from the first bullet, is just a list of names. It won't be that long. ColdFusion650 (talk) 23:26, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Lists are much easier to read when presented as lists. Put the interests of the reader first. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 23:37, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
To avoid appearing too negative, I should point out that most of your changes and suggestions are good. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 23:40, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

You assume I'm doing something other than acting in the users best interest. I disagree that a list is easier to read in this context. It creates the appearance of more length, making me want to completely skip it. Also, converting lists to prose is basically what everyone brings up on a GA or FA review. You can ignore it for now, but you can't forever. ColdFusion650 (talk) 23:44, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Lists are easier to read as lists than as a paragraph with semicolons embedded in it. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 00:04, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Ok, well, as a final thought on this issue, it requires no semicolons, and this will be brought up again at GA or FA time. So, it's just a postponement. ColdFusion650 (talk) 00:13, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
In any case, I'll copy-edit all the previous said information under this heading at the actual peer review project page (with no changes whatsoever). I hope nobody minds. :) — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 00:18, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Cinemaniac replies, to ColdFusion650's and Baseball Bugs's comments above: The major concern I have with lists is that they can, upon expansion, easily become too large. For example, see how this short entry of trivia became this rambling juggernaut, and you'll see my point. However, I don't think such things apply to the list of musical numbers in the Duck Soup article, simply because those are the only musical numbers in the film, and so adding others would almost certainly be vandalism and be reverted. But I hope we can eventually turn the list into prose, as some other editors might see the list as "trivia" and delete it without even really looking at it. — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 18:50, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Good point. The only additions to such a list would either be factual additions that had been overlooked previously, or bogus additions subject to deletion. But what about other lists of songs, such as on movie soundtracks and other albums? Surely he wouldn't be arguing for converting those into prose. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 18:54, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
The one difference is that soundtracks usually have numbered tracks. Maybe if the items in the list were numbered instead of being bullet points, would that please everyone? Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 20:08, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

I think that the intro is good, not over or under detailed but just right, containing the sort of info I would want to read straight off.

Personally, I think that the plot is too bare; I have never seen this movie and when reading it I felt as if it assumed you had some knowledge of what happens, e.g. why does Teasdale want Firefly as Freedonia's leader?

I also agree with ColdFusion650 about the famous scenes section; it doesn't really establish why they are 'famous'. I would suggest that, while it isn't quite trivia, it is a bit bloated as it is and could stand to be slimmed down and possibly renamed - 'Cultural references' perhaps? - or maybe merged somehow with 'Works referencing Duck Soup'.

The reception section is excellent in my opinion; interesting to read, well written, informative and well sourced. No complaints about that. Pretty much the same for 'Pre-production and development'.

As for the songs, I think that first we could stand to lose the info about when each song is played in the film. Trivial, IMHO. However, I agree with Baseball Bugs about converting the list to prose; personally, if I just saw a paragraph that contained nothing but a list of names, I would be very tempted to gloss it over. It just wouldn't make for easy reading. Also, I think a source is needed for saying that the into to Groucho's character is similar to Animal Crackers and Horse Feathers. Bit OR-ish without a source.

Finally, I think that 'Works referencing Duck Soup' could be viewed as trivia without sources, especially the Futurama one. asyndeton talk 00:53, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

FWIW, the film never gives a reason why Mrs. Teasdale wants Firefly to become Fredonia's leader -- she simply insists on it at the very beginning of the film. It's part of the film's premise, and isn't explained -- it's that kind of comedy. (This is true of most of the Marx Brothers' films. You either accept what's happening and go with the flow, to hilarious effect, or you don't. If the films spent any time trying to make sense or rationalize the characters behaviors, they wouldn't be nearly as funny as they are -- in fact, they might not be funny at all.)

BTW, you should really see it. A true classic. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk/cont) 02:27, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Well, you could say that Mrs. Teasdale wants Firefly because he is, in her words, "the most able statesman in all Freedonia." I could go on, but that's a lead-in to a series of Groucho's insults, which reveal that she is, at best, naive about Firefly's value as a statesman. Which is also part of the humor. And Vera Marquel says she has heard that Mrs. Teasdale is "sweet on this Firefly." So she might be letting emotion get in the way of judgment. But as you indicate, it doesn't pay to over-analyze the plot. One word, often used to describe the Marxes themselves: "Zany". Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 02:48, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your review of the Duck Soup article. While I await your opinion of the Princess Leia article, I strongly recommend you see Duck Soup. If you have a soft spot for surreal humour and biting satire of society, you will enjoy it quite a bit! :) — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 03:10, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
The pre-production section could be trimmed down & possibly the famous scenes section (not sure wich one's to omit). Other then that, the article looks great to me. GoodDay (talk) 16:21, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

"Footnotes" vs "Notes"[edit]

I'm not sure why you made this change -- I think "Notes" is more general, and more apppropriate in this case.

The new section is good, though. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk/cont) 06:41, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

And thank you for tightening that section up. The article might not yet meet the good article criteria, but we're certainly getting there!
And I'll go ahead and revert "footnotes" back to "notes".  :) — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 16:17, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Code and 2 pair of plans[edit]

I'm not going to revert again, because I don't want to start an edit war, but this is really not worthy of inclusion. I fuilly understand that it is a recycled joke, but that is not enough to merit inclusion -- lots of lots of jokes are recycled, it's a standard part of comedy writing. Not only that, but there's nothing really outstanding about the joke. Yes, it's certainly funny, especially in the context of the scene, but it's a pretty standard piece of Chico's mangling of the language. It's not anywhere near as notable as, say, the "Why a duck" routine, nor is it extended enough to actually *be* a routine -- it's just a joke, there and off again. I really don't understand why it should be includeed, or why you want to fight over it -- what's the big deal? It's just one of a thousand jokes in a very funny movie. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk/cont) 07:36, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

It's because it connects with the "Co-ed and two pairs o' pants" joke in Horse Feathers, which makes reference (purposely or coincidentally) to Chico's real-life lifestyle. Otherwise I would agree. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 13:33, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but I'm not sure if it's exactly "famous". If we were to keep that in the famous scenes section, we'd have to find a source who thinks that's noteworthy enough. I've recently been able to get my hands on Leonard Maltin's The Great Movie Comedians (1982), so perhaps he'll have something to say about it. — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 14:02, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
And the scene in which Harpo is seen in bed with a horse is not really famous, either. I'm still not sure if that warrants inclusion. — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 14:07, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Bugs:Gee, that seems like a mighty slender thread to significance. Could you at least put in some mention of that in the item, so there would be some justification for its inclusion? Otherwise it's going to continue to look odd.

Maniac: Except that Bugs has eliminated the "Famous Scenes" sub-section and replaced it with "Mirror scene" and "Other scenes and jokes". Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk/cont) 14:09, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

The elimination of "famous" is helpful there -- the horse scene is significant because of its commentary on the Hays Code, even if its not well known to the general public. I'd say it should stay in. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk/cont) 14:11, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
The "famous" heading is POV-pushing anyway. Arguably, the only truly "famous" scene, if any, would be the mirror scene, as it has spawned imitations. The others are "noteworthy" in some way or another. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 16:40, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
"Famous" is in no way POV any more than "Noteworthy" is. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk/cont) 17:41, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
That kind of gets into the "notable" debate. In any case, probably the mirror scene would be the most "famous" as evidenced by its being imitated. The other stuff, then is "noteworthy", or maybe just "worth mentioning", because of referencing a topical theme of some kind (such as the Hays Office). Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 19:25, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree with that division. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk/cont) 19:30, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Bugs: The final musical ensemble ("All God's Chillun Got Guns!") would also be famous (or infamous, depending on how you look at it), because that specific sequence was opted for deletion when the film was going to be released on DVD, in order to not "offend" African Americans. Funny, it didn't offend me at all! — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 20:48, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
You should include that fact in the article, if only as a footnote to that entry in "Other scenes..." Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk/cont) 21:14, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, if verifiable, that would be an interesting addition. And of course it completely misses the point of that scene, which is to equate war to gospel singing. That whole scene was a significant part of the reason the film saw such revived interest in it, during the 60s. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 01:51, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
In any case, the article is coming along very nicely. Thank you, Ed Fitzgerald and Baseball Bugs, for everything. 20:53, 7 January 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cinemaniac (talkcontribs)
You guys have done most of the recent work on it. :) Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 01:51, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
As a final note on this: I was watching Tyler Perry's House of Payne the other day, and I heard one of the character's say: "Bloo got a gun, I got a gun, all God's children got guns!" Now, whether or not that was a direct allusion to Duck Soup or the All God's Chillun Got Wings spiritual, I wouldn't know. But it does make you wonder why people were worried about that line, especially if an African American can say it and not arise ire. — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 19:47, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Keep in mind that people obsessed with political matters typically have no sense of humor, and either willfully or ignorantly pay no attention to the context. For someone to cut "All Got's Chillun Got Guns" because they think it was mocking a "Negro spiritual" is totally missing the point of that scene. They aren't making fun of Negro spirituals, they're making fun of people equating warfare with a religious cause. This blatant mockery of the causes of war, so unpopular in the 30s, resonated in the 60s, which is part of the reason the Marxes found a new audience then. But as I say, satire is lost on people who take everything seriously or see everything through only their one narcissistic lens. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 20:11, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Also, the final battle scenes are also "famous" because snippets of that final act appear towards the end of Woody Allen's film Hannah and Her Sisters. In fact, I think, after Woody Allen's character watched that scene, he decided not to kill himself. I guess that's the whole point: Is life really so miserable as long as we have the Marx Brothers? ;) — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 20:43, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
That raises the question, in general, of how to define something as "famous". Several of us had a discussion with somebody about whether Yankee Stadium is "famous" beyond U.S. borders. Someone finally demonstrated it. But how to define that a movie scene is "famous"? Only in relative terms, by somehow citing how often it is isolated and played by itself and/or is referred to by other media... as with the scenes you've cited. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 23:06, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

James Agee and Zeppo Marx[edit]

By the way, can anyone cite James Agee's comment about Zeppo being "a peerlessly cheesy improvement on the straightman"? I think that would be a great way to add commentary and defence on Zeppo's importance to the act. — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 03:19, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

No. In fact, I just consulted 7 volumes from my library of quotation reference books, the ones most likely to have it, and none of them did -- and this included the Guiness Book of Poisonous Quotes and The Portable Curmudgeon. A Google search looks like it turns up a lot of hits, but when you control for the sites which are just copying the Wikipedia entries for the Marx Brothers and for Zeppo, you get basically nothing: 16 hits and none on point.

I'm of a mind to remove the quote from the other articles until someone comes up with a citation for it. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk/cont) 03:54, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Even more telling, a Google Books search turns up nothing, with or without Agee included as a search term. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk/cont) 04:06, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Maybe you could find out who originally posted it, and ask them where they got it... though five'll-getcha-ten it's an IP address. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 05:12, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Give that man a cigar! [1]

BTW, as I was looking through some of the old revisions there seemed to be some interesting stuff that I don't believe is in the current article (which is rather sparse, actually). It might be worth looking at some of that stuff (someof which was direct quotations from sources, so legit) and reinstating it. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk/cont) 07:25, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Ya know, that's an interesting point. I wonder how much "good stuff" that was once in articles gets altered or zapped over time and then lost. I'm guessing the original quote on this one point, for example, was probably more useful. Then it was altered by an IP address who "quoted" the guy but gave no source. A constant exasperation with wikipedia. (And I'm not guiltless of it either, but at least I'm reachable.) Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 07:43, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Hmm...shame concerning the James Agee-Zeppo quote. The fact of the matter is, Zeppo was actually a very able comedian in his own right. He was always deemed the funniest of the Brothers, and even substitued for Groucho and Chico during their Broadway days when the latter two were ill. Although he generally played a limited, thankless role, Zeppo is probably the most important of the Four Marx Brothers in that he can 1) pass in society as a "normal person"; 2) open the window through which we viewers can peer and enter the Marx Brothers' world; and 3) subtly mock the wooden, juvenile leads of his era by successfully imitating them.
Zeppo being able to sub in for Groucho and Chico without being noticed also brings something to mind: The Marx Brothers actually look alike. In his bio of the Marx Brothers, Simon Louvish points out that Chico and Harpo were the most similar, while Groucho (without the mustache and glasses) was thought to look like Zeppo. This sort of thing was used to especially good comic effect in the classic mirror scene of Duck Soup; Groucho, Harpo, and Chico, when dressed alike, are basically indistinguishable. I sometime find myself wondering which one of the three is the real Groucho. — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 00:30, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
There's a story, very possibly true, that Chico came onto I've Got a Secret dressed as Harpo, and that he fooled all four panelists... including Groucho, who was a guest panelist on that episode. I suspect that Zeppo gets a bad rap simply because he was a "straight man" character, which is also a character, lest people forget. Think about the intro to Duck Soup, where's he introduced to Vera Marquel, and simply gives the bland line, "We've met." A very Zeppo-like, boring line. But is it? Vera Marquel seems to be a rather "loose" woman, let's say... and Zeppo's smile of recognition might be more than just knowledge in the casual sense. And keep in mind he was "dating" the "College Widow" in Horse Feathers. So his characters have little zaniness, but they do get around, and they have more depth than they are given credit for. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 20:06, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree that straight-men don't get no respect, but I think you're going a little too far in the other direction. There may be, upon deep reflection, "depth" in that line, but it's not very funny. That it isn't isn't Zeppo's fault -- straight men aren't supposed to get laughs -- but the comedy of the Marx Brothers is fast and furious and is primed by the absurdity of the characters, and a Marx without an absurd character is just going to fall into the background, no matter whatever his skills. I'm fully prepared to believe that when Zeppo subbed for one of the other Brothers he was funny, but a fourth brother without a strong identity was destined to eventually be jettisoned. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 21:35, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
I didn't say it was funny, just that it might have been more meaningful than it first appeared. It has been stated elsewhere, somewhere, that Zeppo's role basically had to be replaced once he left the group. However, maybe it was better to have a non-Marx play that role, since a Marx was "expected" to be funny, and on-screen, Zeppo generally wasn't. I suspect that he decided there was more money to be made working behind the scenes. The boys didn't do this work for the fun of it, ya know. However, viewpoints vary. I'm reminded of Richard Armour's characterization of Karl Marx as "the funniest of the Marx Brothers". Based on that theory, Zeppo must have been the second funniest. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 23:15, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
When Zeppo left, they replaced him with a Young Leading Man-type who could handle a love-interest storyline and sing a song or two, and was conventionally attractive. These characters are in some way connected to the Marx Brothers' characters, without being part of the Marx Brothers -- and, with these characters, Zeppo was never missed. The non-Zeppo movies aren't in some subtle way missing an element that he provided. Besides, who needs a straight-man when you've got Margaret Dumont? Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 23:40, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Good point. I guess you could say Allan Jones replaced Zeppo in A Night at the Opera, and he had a lot more screen presence than Zeppo did (and Kitty Carlisle wasn't so bad herself). Meanwhile, I always thought Maggie put up with a lot ("Say, you cover a lot of ground yourself..."), given that so many of the jokes were about her Rubinesque-ness (which I like, but that's another story). She was of the old school of acting, which is that you go with what you've got, and as long as it pays, it's good. She was built along the lines of Kate Smith, and could sing about as well as your typical horn-helmeted opera star. Maybe not quite up to the level of Kirsten Flagstad, but certainly in the neighborhood. Notice how she trills the "R" in both singing and speaking - very much old school stuff that might be lost on today's viewers, but that was standard practice in her youth. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 00:30, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually, the replacement of Zeppo by actual straight men is the fundamental flaw of the Marxes' MGM film. Without Zeppo, the archanic style of the Brothers's comedy is compromised by a conventional plot and love story. The MGM-Zeppo-replacements ask us to care—to be concerned. The three Marx Brothers are also concerned, and it simply doesn't really work. To quote one film critic—Roger Ebert, I think—"As a comedy, A Night at the Opera is very funny. As a Marx Brothers film, it is an absolute failure." — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 00:21, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Groucho seemed to thing ANATO was their best film, but maybe that's just because it probably made more money than the others did. Ebert is onto something, though. As a film, it's excellent. But Duck Soup and Horse Feathers are funnier. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 00:30, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Sorry. I just did some Web-surfing, and it wasn't Ebert who said that. It was online film critic Danel Griffin, who works for the University of Alaska Southeast. Ebert does admit, however, in his own review of Duck Soup, that, while he enjoys many of the routines in A Night at the Opera, he must "fast-forward through the sappy interludes with Allan Jones and Kitty Carlisle. In Duck Soup, though, there are no scenes I can skip; the film is funny from beginning to end."

Danel Griffin also has an excellent, critical website, called "Film as Art", which you should consider giving a look. I think you'll agree with his analyses of Marx Brothers films. — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 00:42, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Whoever said it, it's a fair cop. I have a vague recollection that Thalberg told the Marxes that their film would have half the jokes and make twice as much money. I've said this a few times already, but as much as we "critics" (and real critics) liked the early Marxes better, they were in this to make money, and MGM and Thalberg concluded (apparently correctly) that they needed a broader audience. For an old-timer like me, of course, it's a joy to see a very young Kitty Carlisle (whom we had with us until just last year, bless her soul) and the young Allan Jones carrying their parts well. I saw Kitty Carlisle a few years ago on probably a Larry King interview. She was one of the last old-Hollywood survivors. One funny thing - she said that George Gershwin had proposed to her once. King was suitably impressed. She followed that up with a laugh and the comment that Gershwin probably proposed to a different Hollywood girl every week or so. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 00:55, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
I was reading what Griffin had to say about The Cocoanuts. Generally, he hits the nail on the head. However, the "hot stove" line, I'm pretty sure was from Duck Soup, and is also possibly the most direct (albeit discretely worded) insult ever hurled at the ample Ms. Dumont. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 01:06, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
You're correct. That line is from Duck Soup. Griffin can sometimes slip the tongue; for example, in his review of Duck Soup, he calls Chico's character "Baravelli". Although that is an admittedly strange error, it's forgivable in that variations of "Ravelli" were used for Chico's characters throughout the Brothers's films. At least Griffin gets the essence right. — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 01:19, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
By the way, the James Agee quote is from Joe Adamson's book Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Sometimes Zeppo, in the introduction. Adamson's book is comprehensive, so I'll take his word for it. (not a registered user. email:
Does Adamson give a source for the quote? Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 23:48, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps it would work if we simply cite the quote from Adamson's book, if Adamson doesn't give a source himself. BTW, Adamson's book is not necessarily comprehensive: if I remember correctly, it doesn't include much information about the Brothers' stage careers. Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 01:43, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

(Expanding out 'cause margins getting tiny) But Duck Soup is an oddity, a pre-MGM Marx Brothers films without a harp bit for Harpo and a piano bit for Chico, and most assuredly, those are the sections that bored me when I first saw them, and which I fast-forward through now (especially those f-ing harp solos -- at least Chico had the tricky-finger thing going). With the level of comedy that you get in a MB film, you've got to have a rest between sections -- not only is it impossible to keep up that quality of comedy for 90 minutes straight but (as makers of contemporary action-adventure films still haven't learned), if everything is of exactly the same quality, if there is no pace, no up and down, no frenzy and rest, the audience really can't enjoy the film. They need sections in which they recharge their batteries so that they can cope with the energy required for the important sections. SO if the films need something to insure that the comedy sections remain sharp (and I think they do), I'd much rather have a nice song and a pretty face then the harp and the piano. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 01:00, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Another good point, and let's keep in mind that Duck Soup ran only 70 minutes, Horse Feathers only 68 (as per Maltin's book), whereas ANATO was 92 minutes. The best W.C. Fields and Mae West features typically were only a bit more than an hour also. The Harpo and Chico harp and piano solos could be considered indulgent, and maybe their absence from Duck Soup helps. I think they fit into the plot in Horse Feathers, though, keeping in mind that all 4 of the boys sing and/or play to the College Widow in that film. Zeppo actually has a fair amount of screen time in that film also, although he's not in the final scene, which is kind of telling. The nostalgist in me likes the piano and harp scenes, but they are often not really necessary to advancing the story. Just try to think of them as "early MTV". Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 01:13, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Very true. The same thing can be said of Bob Clampett's WB cartoons. Are they excellent? Yes. Should you watch them continously, say, for two hours straight? Well, I can't. So much energy is in a Clampett cartoon that I can never watch too much of it; it's exhausting. Not everything can be at a fever pitch throughout the film (as in John Kricfalusi's films); you've gotta give the audience a chance to take a break. — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 01:26, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

BTW, Baseball Bugs, everytime I see your user name, this pops into my head, so I'm going to try to exorcise it now by posting it here:

What's the score boys?
What did Bugs Bunny do?
What's with the Carrot League Baseball today?

There, now maybe the voices in my head will leave me alone. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 01:06, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

It's nice to know I have some impact here. d:) I've seen that cartoon many times and never grow tired of it. Maybe I would if I watched it every day, though... or had that song running through my head. d:) And the answer to that musical question is...??? Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 01:15, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Answer: Bugs Bunny—96. Gas House Gorillas—95! [2]Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 01:21, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, I'm going to get the numbers wrong, but it was something like "Bugs Bunny 36, Gas House Gorillas 35" Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 01:27, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
What a maroon, I didn't see you had posted the answer already. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 01:28, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
...What an ignoranimous! Not really. Technically, if the high order digits are the same, the only thing that matters is the low order digits, i.e. either way it's a one-run game as Bugs comes to the mound for the last of the ninth. So, the first boy wins an expensive cee-gar, and the second boy gets a good quarter cigar, after the first boy smokes the first three quarters. Now, stand back while I paste this pathetic palooka with a powerful, paralyzing, perfect pachydermous percussion pitch. d:) Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 01:39, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
As Groucho himself said, "A woman is an occasional pleasure but a see-gar is always a smoke!" :) — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 01:46, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
May I say that I've always preferred "The Rabbit of Seville" to "What's Opera, Doc?" (talk) 11:08, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Hitting the wall[edit]

In any case, I feel like I'm "hitting the wall" when it comes to further development of this article. I've tried to address the suggestions of the peer reviewers, and I'm starting to find more off-line sources for the article, but as far as adding more sections is concerned, I can't think of any more. Any ideas? — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 21:41, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure it needs amy more sections. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 22:14, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
It might be interesting to explore 1960s interest in the Marxes, and in this film, if you could find anything about it. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 23:15, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually, the Griffin writeup about Duck Soup kind of echoes what some were saying (I couldn't say just who) during Vietnam, and for similar reasons. And as Griffin points out, that's what makes Duck Soup a great work of art. He didn't mention this, but the constant shifting of sides presages, by a decade or more, what Orwell wrote in 1984, about friends and enemies switching places overnight. The author found the last scene sad. Well, maybe it is in a way, but it just carries the anarchy through to its logical conclusion: Having defeated the enemy, suddenly the operatic-singing Mrs. Teasdale, their erstwhile benefactor, becomes the new enemy, as they fire fruits at her (but never actually hit her, please notice). Of course, as Groucho modestly said, they were just 4 Jews trying to get a laugh. Which reminds me - look at the still in that article, also colorized for the poster. Check out Zeppo, in his muscle shirt, looking stern and flexed... like a Jewish version of Christopher Reeve. Maybe he missed his calling. Maybe he should have played Tarzan or Flash Gordon or something. Of course, the receding hairline (covered by that miner's helmet in the picture) might have proved to be a drawback. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 01:46, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, at least Zeppo got a chance to show off his punching skills in Monkey Business, the only film (besides Animal Crackers) that really ever gave Zeppo a real shot at the "funny business". — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 01:49, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
The peer review has recently been archived. Thanks to everyone for their comments. — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 21:33, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Now I know what the article needs! More images. Maybe I could download a shot from the famous mirror scene? — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 14:57, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Just be sure to have your Fair Use Rationale worded properly, or it won't last long. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 15:00, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I found plenty of images pertaining to Duck Soup, but the uploading requirements make me wonder if I should upload any of them. — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 16:10, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Not only that, but the article also needs a section dealing with the film's availability. Information in this section should pertain to the film's VHS and DVD release. I don't own the Silver Screen Collection DVD of this film—in fact, almost all of my copies of the Marxes's films were taped during a TCM marathon from a few years back—but maybe someone who does can add some information concerning it. I'll check the cited Silver Screen Collection review when I have time. — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 21:57, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Done! I added a section called "Availability" and gave some information concerning the film's DVD release, but some discussion of the film's VHS release is still needed. Cinemaniac (talkcontribscritique) 22:23, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
FWIW, my copy of the film is VHS, released on MCA Home Video #55012 around 1986. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 03:08, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Please refrain from striking the wall. It is already crumbling and in danger of collapsing. (talk) 23:33, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

GA on hold[edit]

  • "Production details" (Rename Production).
Done! Cinemaniac (talkcontribscritique) 20:13, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
  • "Cast" should be outside Production. Remove its table and describe the characters in one or two lines.
Done [3] [4], thanks to Ed Fitzgerald! Cinemaniac (talkcontribscritique) 03:45, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Music section is too divided.
  • The Pop Culture References are totally unsourced.
  • "Years later, Groucho's son ..." How many years?
The National Public Radio article cited for this comment by Arthur Marx doesn't specify, but I assume that remark was made in 2002, the year the article was written. Cinemaniac (talkcontribscritique) 20:18, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Other scenes and jokes in prose not bullets.
I don't get it. It may be in "bullet" form, but it is indeed in prose. D'you mean you want us to just eliminate the bullets? Cinemaniac (talkcontribscritique) 20:18, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Done, thanks to Ed Fitzgerald. Cinemaniac (talkcontribscritique) 03:42, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Seven days from now. Ultra! 15:33, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Bullets improve readability. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 20:29, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
See {{prose}} to know the problems with them. Ultra! 16:29, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Some information is best covered in list format. As WP:TRIV itself says:

A trivia section is one that contains a disorganized and "unselective" list. However, a selectively populated list with a relatively narrow theme is not necessarily trivia, and can be the best way to present some types of information.</ref>

Not to suggest that that section is trivial, which it clearly is not; I'm just trying to cover all the bases. Cinemaniac (talkcontribscritique) 20:55, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Few more problems[edit]

Music is still too divided, its lists have some OR, last section unsourced, reception must be after production, cast's actor and character names in bold. Ultra! 16:28, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Very little indication here of any attempt to evaluate the contents of the article, or to judge it as a whole - it's all about a checklist and rigid formatting requirements. Here's my evaluation of the evaluation: Extremely bureaucratic and unimaginative, with little evidence of understanding what makes an article good as opposed to a Good [sic] Article. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 19:55, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
I have made far more GAs than you. Contents here are good but that's not all in the GA criteria. Ultra! 17:17, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I can see it's easy enough to make a GA - just cross all the T's and dot all the i's and don't give a damn about what's in the article.

Your criteria is teribly flawed. Content is more important than rigid formatting requirements. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 20:12, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Actually, Ed, the criteria for GA and FA require that the content be accurate and factual and presented in a neutral manner. It's not all about the article style. --clpo13(talk) 21:29, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Odd, since every note has been about formatting. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 09:05, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't understand what you mean by "too divided". Is it that the section has one or two more subsections, or is it the lists' content that you're referring to? Cinemaniac (talkcontribscritique) 21:45, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes too many sections. Ultra! 17:14, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Due to late review, I am giving more time before the result. Ultra! 17:20, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
I think I've rectified the majority of these problems. The "Works referencing Duck Soup" section has been renamed, sourced, and converted to prose. "Reception" has been placed after "production". I've trimmed the "music section" by removing the subsection header "Musical numbers", which leaves only two subsections, and I think that works. All that's left now is the "cast" system, I think. Cinemaniac (talkcontribscritique) 20:24, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
After giving it some thought, I decided to make the actor's names bold, but formatted the character names with bold italics, as I think that would help make both stand out from each other. Cinemaniac (talkcontribscritique) 02:27, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
If you want a GA, you should probably go back to bold only. I don't think they're going to pass it with the italics. (I agree, it's better with both, but then functionality doesn't seem to be high on their list.) Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 09:04, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Done. Cinemaniac (talkcontribscritique) 17:01, 18 March 2008 (UTC)


When you say "reportedly opted for deletion", do you mean considered for deletion? They didn't actually delete it, did they? Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 17:05, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

No, the scene didn't end up deleted; and yes, that's what I meant and what I should've said, instead. Thanks. :) Cinemaniac (talkcontribscritique) 17:12, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Fixed. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 17:16, 18 March 2008 (UTC)


Is it Bob "Roland" or "Rolland"? Presumably that would be on the film's closing card. The admin checking for "Good Article" status apparently overlooked that. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 17:11, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, it's "Bob Roland", not "Rolland". Don't know how that got past me, but thanks again for noticing it. It's been corrected. Cinemaniac (talkcontribscritique) 17:14, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

New GAN[edit]

Right, um, the previous Good Article reviewer has not commented on this page or passed a judgement for almost 3 weeks, so I will take his place. The article is well on its way to being a good article, though I think that the lists in the 'Original' and 'Non-original' music sections need to be replaced by prose, including details of creation/source (delete as appropriate) and of where it is positioned in the film. I will post some more specific details later. Thelb4 12:29, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

  • Although not the flop that some sources report it as being,[2] Duck Soup was, in comparison to the Brothers' previous Paramount films, a box-office disappointment. This is slightly confusing, and could be changed to be instantly understandable.
  • The mirror scene section doesn't need that last part about the details of the 'I Love Lucy' reprise.
  • In the 'Other scenes and jokes' section, some phrases are bolded. The bolding doesn't appear to be necessary, and should be removed.
  • The dashes in the 'Cast notes' section seem a little odd: there are no spaces in between the dashes and the words, this needs to be remedied.
  • It is clearly a continuation of Ruby and Kalmar's Firecrackers/Cracked Ice drafts, but contains more elements. 'Clearly' is on the list of Words to avoid.
  • Please reorder/rename the last few sections to follow guidelines at Guide to layout.
  • Weasel words appear occasionally, such as it has been and apparently.

I'll put the review on hold, and give you seven days to get it cleared up. Thelb4 12:45, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

I think I've been able to iron out all the kinks you noticed in the article, save the final subsection of the "Soundtrack" section, but I'm sure I (or somebody else) can rectify that within time. Cinemaniac (talkcontribscritique) 19:15, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Influence section[edit]

I deleted this section, but was reverted. I have now merely added a "trivia" tag.

There is of course much to say about Duck Soup's influence over the past eighty years, and one would hope that an article aspiring to Good Article status would say it. But the two brief paragraphs in this section are simply pop culture trivia from the 1930s, and a far from a serious evaluation of the film's cultural impact.

I thought it most polite simply to delete the section, to spare the article the embarrassment. However, as that move has been reverted, I feel compelled to add the tag. --jbmurray (talk|contribs) 21:19, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

I note that this tag has been removed, without any discussion here. But again, it's a real lacuna if a film that the Library of Congress has deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" should have an influence section that, one, features an unreliable source (IMDB's "movie connections" won't wash at GA), and, two, refers only to Animaniacs and Futurama. This is trivia in anybody's book, and reverting won't alter the fact. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 06:24, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

If they are trivia, remove them, don't tag them. If the article needs a bigger and better influence section write it. Tagging an article is not helpful, and is simply a goad for someone else to do the work that you think needs doing. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 06:27, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, I did remove them (see above). It was only when the section was reinstated, and rather than entering into an edit war, that I added the tag. Tags exist as part of the process of improving the encyclopedia. If you have a problem with them, you should raise the issue in the appropriate place. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 06:30, 29 April 2008 (UTC)


I've just separated out and organized the print references used in this article. NB that a few times there had been urls to (I think) specific pages on Google books: e.g. for Louvish's note that Zeppo became an agent. The specific page numbers need, however, to be added to the article because (for instance) Louvish's book is no longer available, to me at least, at Google books.

Meanwhile, surely there are more reliable sources that could be used. Here's one, for instance, but there are many more. This from just last year, for instance. The article are present depends rather over-much on web-based resources. This is a very significant film, which has been written about at length by film scholars. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 22:08, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

This is an online source, but slightly better than some of the others: --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 22:17, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

GA suggestion[edit]

I don't have much time to do a formal review of the article, but I did notice a few things to improve:

  • Footnote numbers should go in numerical order within the text. [1][3][7] as a hypothetical example.
  • There is a citation needed tag in the article. It won't ever pass GAN with that.
  • A good number of the paragraphs are one or two sentences. Consider merging smaller paragraphs into other paragraphs.

Hope that helps. Nikki311 01:57, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

"Citation needed tag in the article"? Where? I don't see it. . . Cinemaniac (talkcontribscritique) 12:55, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Oh, wait! Now I remember! :-) The tag is under the "Production" section. In any event, that tag will soon be removed. Cinemaniac (talkcontribscritique) 12:57, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
See, there's no particular reason to bend over backwards trying to get an article to pass a Good Article review, because the reviewers have little or no interest in whether an article is actually Good or not, whether its informative or interesting or well-written, their interest is entirely in whether all the style guidelines are slavishly followed. You've made quite a few changes in the article trying to give them what they want, and I don't think the article is particularly better for it -- in fact, in some cases, it's decidely worse then it was. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 06:42, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Failing GA[edit]

I'm failing this article's GA Nomination on three major grounds, with reference to the Good Article criteria:

2b. Given the amount that has been written about the Marx Brothers and their filmic production and influence, this article is far too reliant on weak web-based sources. I have above indicated a couple of publications that could provide at least a start towards rectifying this problem.

3a. Given the film's importance, and the fact that it has been consistently celebrated and cited, the article doesn't give anything like a full enough account of its cultural impact and influence.

5. Moreover, I am quick-failing this in that, when I tried to make some moves towards pointing out some of these problems, as well as improving the article's format and prose, I found that one of the article's major contributors was keener on reverting and edit warring than on working to ensure that the article could pass the GA criteria.

I'm sorry about this. Duck Soup is an article that has promise, although it does still need plenty of work. Good luck on the task of further revision and improvement. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 06:48, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes, obviously it's entirely my fault that the article failed GA. Yep. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 06:54, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
This is not what I said. If you have a problem with the review, I heartily encourage you to take it to Good Article reassessment where other editors can have a look over it. But whoever the reviewer is, you need to work with them rather than to take their suggestions as antagonism. Again, good luck with it. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 07:00, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
There's no point it taking it to GAR, since the entire review process is incredibly flawed. I see what passes for FAs on the main page, and as an example of the quality of the encyclopedia, they are negative advertising. Rather than help to develop articles that are actually good, the process churns out pedestrian and mediocre material.

It's not your fault, I guess, you're just a cog in that machine. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 07:22, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry that you think that the review process is so flawed. I think it has its problems, but that it is an important and positive part of the encyclopedia. I just surfed a little and discovered that you have some strong opinions about certain things, among them trivia/miscellanea sections and the placement of clean-up tags, on which you have pronounced before. I should say, incidentally, that I find some of these opinions somewhat contradictory: above, you stress the importance of good writing, and yet one of the main problems I have with trivia sections is that they are not writing at all, but bullet-pointing. Especially for a Good Article, as far as possible I believe that we should be aiming for well-written prose, rather than the online equivalent of a Powerpoint presentation. But on the whole, I suspect that your ultimate aims are shared by those people involved in the GA (and FA) process.
In any case, here I find the most problematic aspect of this article to be the fact that it relies on weak sources when there is much that has been written on this film, which could be used to strengthen and expand the article's account. Rather than railing against reviewers and the review process, I suggest that contributors look to ways in which the article could be improved. Again, good luck. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 07:31, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
You're right in stating that Duck Soup's journey through the GA process was "rather long and complicated"; I entered the article for GA candidacy almost two whole months ago—back in early February—and the article itself was reviewed by three or four different editors before a verdict was finally passed. I do want to thank you, though, for finally making a decision—it was getting sort of tiresome waiting to see if it would get passed or not.

I must admit, however, that I have emerged somewhat disheartened by this outcome. I'm not saying that your decision was a sign of haste or misjudgment; matter of fact, I blame myself somewhat for the article's GAN failure, as I wasn't able to really edit Duck Soup for nearly a month due to the disastrous crash of my hard drive. It was during those few weeks when the article could have been improved significantly, but I wasn't able to get around to it, and for that, I apologize.

I do want you to know, though, that I will consider putting Duck Soup up for Good Article reassessment, so that we can get other reviewers' guidance on how the article could be improved. Thanks, again! Cinemaniac (talkcontribscritique) 00:03, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

And as I said in reply to your similar response on your talk page, I do think it would be a good idea putting the article up for WP:GAR. NB though, I notice that many of the suggestions made at peer review have not been taken up. Some of them are things that I realize I was simply echoing (e.g. the lack of off-ling source, the triviality of the "Influences" section). You had a lot of feedback there, and it would have been good to have taken it all into account, working methodically through the suggestions, before putting the article up for GAN. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 00:13, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
I now realise that my nomination of the article for GA might have been a bit hasty, but then again, I've had no prior experience with the GA process. I'll certainly learn from this undertaking, however. Thanks again for your critique and encouraging thoughts, as well as taking the time to work with us. :) Cinemaniac (talkcontribscritique) 00:55, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

One Hour With You[edit]

The music playing when Harpo on horse back meets the second girl is indeed "One Hour With You" (Oscar Straus/Richard Whiting).And why not? It comes from another Paramount film (1932), staring Maurice Chevalier. M Bateman-Graham (talk) 12:36, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

First, let me throw in that I'm on the side of keeping the music section in list form, and not converting it to "prose", because the list is a much clearer presentation. Third, I think there's a relevant point to be made about the use of "One Hour With You", that it occurs when Pinky sees a "flirtatious", "inviting" girl in her window, with the not-really-subtle implication that she is a prostitute, only interested in spending "One Hour With You"...
In addition, I might cite another later "mirror scene", by Benny Hill on his show, sometimes known as The Benny Hill Show; in fact, he has a couple mirror-based scenes (the woman undressing and the ballerina).
Penultimately, I might mention (then again, I might not) that I once saw something citing a "mistake" that Duck Soup did not win the Oscar for Best Picture of 1933...does this mean that it was one of the nominees? If it were, would this not be good to mention in the article? (And it certainly was a mistake!) (talk) 11:08, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

The title move[edit]

Hi, I moved this article to Duck Soup (1933 film) because the previous title, Duck Soup is used to refer to various items, and primarily "a soup made of duck" found in many cuisines regardless of the word's usage. So Duck Soup is currently the dab page to embrace all ambiguous meanings. However, this article are linked to many many other articles. Is there any good way to correct the links? --Caspian blue 15:37, 29 March 2009 (UTC)


Reference available for citing in the article body. Erik (talk) 20:15, 10 January 2010 (UTC)


Nothing big or anything, but I was just wondering: What happened to all the images that used to be on this page? Weren't they important as visual aide (e.g., mirror scene, production number, etc.)? What did I miss when I was gone?? — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 21:32, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

They were zapped by a deletionist, a few weeks ago now, if I recall correctly. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:50, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Why? They were clearly illustrating the most significant scenes in the film! *facepalm* — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 22:55, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Clear back in August, a deletionist removed the references within the article[5] which of course left them as orphaned fair use items, which usually get deleted after awhile. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:07, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
I was just looking at your talk page history. It's odd they never notified you about those picture deletions. Unless a different user had uploaded them? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:10, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
No, I actually wasn't the one who uploaded all those images. If I'm not mistaken, it was Ed Fitzgerald. I think he retired about a year ago, though. =/ Somebody dropped the ball, anyhow, since those were clearly serving a purpose and should have lasted under Fair Use. — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 23:20, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
That one user, the deletionist back in August, thought they violated fair use rules. I wonder if a proper case could be made for them, and they could be retrieved? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:28, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
It looks like Ed Fitzgerald (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) adopted the new name of Beyond My Ken (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log). ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:31, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Actually it may be more complicated than that. But you could try asking him. :) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:32, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
I could certainly argue for them. Looking back through my log, I notice that the bulk of my images for various Marx Brothers film, like A Night at the Opera and The Cocoanuts, are still up, and I uploaded those a year or two ago. Perhaps Ed Fitzgerald didn't use adequate wording for the rationale? Did he really retire — he seemed rather angry the last I heard from him and was ready to quit editing — or is he still around? If he is, I'll give him word about these images. His retiring would be the only reason he did not see the notification of the images' pending deletion, as I'm sure he would have made an effort to try to save them. — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 23:37, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
His page redirects to the active user User:Beyond My Ken, so I would assume they're the same guy. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots
Oh, OK! I'm glad he didn't retire after all.  :) I hope he remembers me. I'll see if I can reach him and we can get these images back. How would he go about retrieving the images, though? Just using the old files he had and re-uploading them, I assume.... — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 23:45, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
And the deletionist, Allysia or some such,[6] has pretty much disappeared, so you might be able to put the photos back - with a proper rationale, of course. 0:) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:46, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
I'll give it a try and see first. Thanks! — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 23:47, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Nope. After glancing through the log, those images have been deleted for a while now. I'll have to go ask Ed if he's willing to go through the trouble of uploading the pictures again. Strange that this deletionist actually left one image on the page — the picture of Groucho in the Boy Scout get-up surrounded by the generals. I guess that's because it was a pressbook image and not a screen grab? .... I dunno.... =/
I do know one thing, though: I'll never really understand how things work around here.  :P — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 23:54, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
The picture policies here don't make any sense. I've pretty well given up, except for photos I've taken. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:14, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Save for the Looney Tunes images, title cards, and a few Marx Brother frame grabs; the bulk of the images I've put up here have been zapped.  :) I'm as in the dark as you are about this kind of stuff. — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 00:35, 1 July 2010 (UTC)


Dunno if it is of someones interest, but I found out that the Blowtorch "Pinky" [Harpo] carries around in one of his numerous pockets must be of following type:

Clayton & Lambert Mfg. Co (TM), Detroit, Michigan, patended around Jan 4, 1921

Since the film was produced in '33 it kind of fits perfectly.

Starting from time 00:14:43 you can see the blowtorch in numerous diffrent shots, and you can see the handle, as well as the "pump" and the grip. Just search some pics it up for comparison and you'll see. And, yes, I'm addicted with Marx-Bro's, and this blow torch-scene bugged me a while.


I have removed this part

Among the films that Duck Soup has inspired are Woody Allen's Bananas (1971)[2] and Hannah and Her Sisters (1986).[3] In the later film, a chance screening of Duck Soup convinces Allen's character that life is still worth living, and he abandons his suicidal impulses.

The reasons - the first source is a swedish blog, and it lists as one of it's three sources as 'wikipedia', and wikipedia may not quote itself, so that is a no-brainer, and negative barnstars to the editor who warred to insert that ref. Second source only says that Allens film (hannah etc) pays homage to duck soup - not that duck soup was the inspiration at all. Removed as unreliable original research. Weakopedia (talk) 08:08, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

First off, thanks for the explanation; I'll take responsibility for the rather grotesque misfire here, since it reflects badly on my editing skills. The first reference, the one from the Swedish blog, has every right to be removed then, but I think I have to make a case for The site is actually quite reliable and extensive in its research. The problem being addressed here is what turned out to be terrible phrasing: "Inspiration" is simply the wrong choice of words. Surely you'd agree with me that Duck Soup playing such an important role in a film decades after its own release is a testament to the Marx Brothers' influence. Woody Allen, in particular, is a devoted aficionado of the Brothers, of whom his humor is often compared to. This film especially is one of his favorites, so it's no surprise that Duck Soup reverberates within his films. Perhaps :"Another testament to Duck Soups legacy is its recurring influence in various Woody Allen films. For example, in Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), a chance screening of Duck Soup convinces Allen's character that life is still worth living, and he abandons his suicidal impulses." Critics have also dubbed Allen's Bananas (1971), a film chronicling the humorous rise of an unlikely dictator, a "spiritual sequel to Duck Soup." Is that better? supports the Hannah and Her Sisters question in its text. This review by a Rotten Tomatoes critic [7] provides vindication for Bananas, as well. Would the changed text I just offered make things a little clearer? Let me know. — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 16:42, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Looks better, but please be aware that neither IMDB nor personal websites are considered reliable sources. I removed the parts that relied on these sources but left the rest. Yworo (talk) 05:30, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Can the sources (e.g., the episodes themselves) not serve as the source? To be honest, all one really need do is watch the episodes in question and the Duck Soup influence is obvious. I wish I could dig up more behind-the-scenes stuff on the stuff about Animanaics especially, but maybe I'll be able to after this busy holiday weekend. Really, though, do you understand what I'm getting at? The episode is the source; it easily vindicates itself. How am I supposed to go about citing that? Help, please!  :P — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 05:36, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Using primary sources and drawing a conclusion is what we call original research. For something to be notable, someone (other than ourselves as Wikipedia editors) has to have taken note of it. That we can report. You may also want to read our guidelines on trivia. We don't include "mentions", i.e. brief, passing references. We only report significant references. For example, for an historical figure, a list of all the media they were mentioned in would be interminable; on the other hand, a list of books, movies, etc. in which they were the main character is useful and usually short. I'd want to see that someone has written about this particular influence. Yworo (talk) 05:45, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and we kind of discourage gratuitous links to IMDb anyway. We include them on the article on the particular movie, but in other articles including a Wikilink to the Wikipedia article gives indirect access to the IMDb link. Since IMDb is not really a reliable source, there's no need for such links, which give the appearance of citation without actually supporting anything. Yworo (talk) 05:50, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
I know this is months late but I thought that I would let you know the Hannah and her Sisters scene is mentioned a couple of times in Roy Blount, Jr's book Hail, Hail, Euphoria!: Presenting the Marx Brothers in Duck Soup, the Greatest War Movie Ever Made. Perhaps a good reference can be put together from it. BTW the book is a fun read and seems to have more info than scholarly texts twice its length. Worth your time to read if you are so inclined. MarnetteD | Talk 21:58, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
And I know my response is quite late too, but thank you for that. I'll be sure to check the book out when I get the chance and I should be able to cull some good information out of it. I hope so, anyhow. 17 hours worth of college alongside moderating another website entirely tends to drain a guy.  :P — Cinemaniac (talkcontribs) 07:42, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: no consensus to move after six weeks Kotniski (talk) 09:16, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Duck Soup (1933 film)Duck Soup — Already redirects here, clear primary meaining, regarded by many as the Marx Broters' best film. PatGallacher (talk) 17:18, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

  • Support - The entry was moved from Duck Soup to Duck Soup (1933 film) earlier today without discussion. Since the user who made that move did not turn Duck Soup into a disambiguation page (which already exists), but merely a redirect, it seems clear that they also felt that this entry was the primary entry for Duck Soup.Shsilver (talk) 17:27, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
It was actually moved in March 29 2009 and was redirected to Duck soup (a different dab page) until it was retargeted back to the film article a few hours earlier.-- (talk) 21:54, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - There was no apparent reason for the move at the time, someone simply decided to do it and it wasn't challenged. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:03, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
    • I think the editor who did that move, Caspian blue, was trying to make a point of some kind. However, he hasn't edited since last August, so I expect "the coast is clear". In fact, if I can do it, I might just do the rename-back myself. Any objections? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:07, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support---Rothorpe (talk) 22:06, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose: To many people Duck Soup without disambig is duck soup is soup including duck meat, not an old film. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 22:09, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
    • There's already a separate article for the food, Duck soup. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:13, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
      • That being so, accepting the move would cause 2 articles whose names differ only by case of letters. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 22:33, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
        • No, there isn't. Click on it and you'll see that the 'separate article' is a food disambiguation page containing Duck soup noodles and two duck soups, Czernina and Oritang. The film would seem to be the most common referent. Rothorpe (talk) 00:00, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose redirect "Duck Soup" to "Duck soup" disambiguation page, merge the two disambiguation pages into one page. (talk) 06:11, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Obviously the move from Duck Soup to Duck Soup (1933 film) was made to differentiate it from the article about the Laurel and Hardy film Duck Soup (1927 film), and since there are two films named Duck Soup, the parallel article titles are appropriate. JMax (Okay, tell me. What'd I do this time?) 04:32, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment. As far as the DAB pages are concerned, I have combined the DAB page (Duck Soup (disambiguation) into Duck soup) per WP:DPAGES, a well established practice where it states, "Sets of terms which are commonly so combined include: Terms which differ only in capitalization, punctuation and diacritic marks. For example, the terms Oe, Ōe, OE and O.E. are disambiguated on a single page (Oe)." I chose to make the DAB page Duck soup based on WP:CAPS. I also changed the hatnotes on both film articles to point to each other as well as the DAB. I changed Duck Soup from a redirect to Duck Soup (1933 film) to Duck soup, which is now the disambiguation page for everything related to this title. This should make it much easier for most users to find what they are looking for. JMax (Okay, tell me. What'd I do this time?) 04:32, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. On first glance it does indeed look like the primary meaning, but the Laurel and Hardie film is one of their most significant, sufficiently to call the primary meaning into doubt. The fact that the only disambiguator contrasting the proposed name to duck soup is case is the clincher. On balance, the Marx Brothers film should keep its explicit disambiguator. The redirect is fine, with apprpriate hatnotes. Andrewa (talk) 03:32, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support restoring article's original title per WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. There are only two articles on WP using the title Duck Soup (capitalized or not): the Marx Bros film and the Laurel & Hardy film. Of those, the Marx Bros film gets 10 times the pageviews, with over 12,000 last month. It should have a hatnote pointing to the Laurel & Hardy film and maybe to a dab page for those few other seldom-viewed articles that aren't named Duck soup anyway. The large majority of readers searching for or linking to "Duck Soup" certainly want the Marx Bros film. Station1 (talk) 04:44, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose No clear primary. Also perhaps using dates is not suitable, is there a reason not to use "Duck Soup (Marx Brothers film)" and "Duck Soup (Laurel and Hardy film) rather than those awful dates? Chaosdruid (talk) 21:56, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Levenworth or Leavenworth[edit]

Levenworth or Leavenworth in the article? I'm not from USA ... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:02, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Pre Code or not?[edit]

In the first sentence of the article the film is described as pre-code, but then later in the 'Other scenes and jokes' section, a joke is described which made fun of the code. According to the [Hays_Code] article the code started in 1930, and this movie is 1933, so that surely means it can't be considered a pre-code movie?

I am WP:BOLD and removing pre-code from the first sentence.

GeneralJohnsonJameson (talk) 14:23, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference Griffin was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Bananas: When Woody Was a Marxist
  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference filmsite was invoked but never defined (see the help page).