Sunday, April 02, 2006

quote soup

Ah, Groucho.

There are plenty of concise, pithy Groucho one-liners, but one o' my favorites comes from the 1933 satirical farce Duck Soup.

By the Marx Brothers.

Story by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby.

Additional dialogue by Arthur Sheekman and Nat Perrin.

The absurdity of the run-up to war distilled to its essence by Groucho:

I'd be unworthy of the high trust that's been placed in me if I didn't do everything in my power to keep our beloved Freedonia in peace with the world. I'd be only too happy to meet with Ambassador Trentino, and offer him on behalf of my country the right hand of good fellowship. And I feel sure he will accept this gesture in the spirit of which it is offered. But suppose he doesn't. A fine thing that'll be. I hold out my hand and he refuses to accept. That'll add a lot to my prestige, won't it? Me, the head of a country, snubbed by a forgein ambassador. Who does he think he is, that he can come here, and make a sap of me in front of all my people? Think of it - I hold out my hand and that hyena refuses to accept. Why, the cheap ball-pushing swine, he'll never get away with it I tell you, he'll never get away with it!
(Trentino enters)
So, you refuse to shake hands with me, eh?
(slaps Trentino with his glove)
-Rufus T. Firefly
(Groucho Marx)