Duck Soup (BFI Film Classics) (Paperback)

Duck Soup (BFI Film Classics) By J. Hoberman Cover Image

Duck Soup (BFI Film Classics) (Paperback)


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The Marx Brothers are universally considered to be classic Hollywood's preeminent comedy team and Duck Soup is generally regarded as their quintessential film. A topical satire of dictatorship and government in general, the movie was a critical failure and box-office let-down on its initial release in 1933.

J. Hoberman's study of the film traces its reputation history, from the initial disappointment of its release, to its rise to cult status in the 1960s when the Marx's anarchic, anti-establishment humor seemed again timely. Hoberman places Duck Soup, alongside analogous comedies-Dr. Strangelove (1964), the Beatles films, Morgan (1966), The President's Analyst (1967) and The Producers (1968). It attained canonical stature as a touchstone for Woody Allen and would be recognized by the Library of Congress in the 1990s.

Hoberman's analysis provides a historical and political context as well as an in-depth production history, drawing on primary sources and emphasizing director McCarey's prior work along with the Marx Brothers as well as the situation at Paramount, a substantial synopsis, and an account of the movie's initial reception, concluding with its subsequent elevation to comic masterpiece.
J. Hoberman is a film critic, journalist and author based in New York City, USA. From 1988 to 2012 he was Senior Film Critic for The Village Voice. He is the author of books including Make My Day: Movie Culture in the Age of Reagan (2019), An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War (2011), The Dream Life: Movies, Media, and the Mythology of the Sixties (2003), The Red Atlantis: Communist Culture in the Absence of Communism (1998) and 42nd Street in the BFI Film Classics series (1993).
Product Details ISBN: 9781839022258
ISBN-10: 1839022256
Publisher: British Film Institute
Publication Date: October 7th, 2021
Pages: 104
Language: English
Series: BFI Film Classics