7. Duck Soup
directed by Leo McCarey
The Marx Brothers had a spark of impishness that none of their contemporaries could really touch. Their films always brought them into the world of high society, and watched them spin chaos just for fun. Duck Soup is probably the tightest, quickest example of their comedy, and the one where they were most able to skip some of the elements usually forced on them by the studio. There’s no love story this time around (unless you count President Firefly and Mrs. Teasdale – you shouldn’t), no long harp or piano solos. Just the four brothers running amok through presidential palaces, supreme courtrooms, and war zones. A nonpareil classic – hail Freedonia.