Duck Soup is a 1933 Marx Brothers anarchic comedy film written by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, with additional dialogue by Arthur Sheekman and Nat Perrin, and directed by Leo McCarey. First released theatrically by Paramount Pictures on November 17, 1933, it starred what were then billed as the "Four Marx Brothers" (Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo) and also featured Margaret Dumont, Raquel Torres, Louis Calhern and Edgar Kennedy. It was the last Marx Brothers film to feature Zeppo, and the last of five Marx Brothers movies released by Paramount.
Compared to the Marx Brothers' previous Paramount films, Duck Soup was a box-office disappointment, although it was not a "flop" as is sometimes reported. The film opened to mixed reviews, although this by itself did not end the group's business with Paramount. Bitter contract disputes, including a threatened walk-out by the Marxes, crippled relationships between them and Paramount just as Duck Soup went into production. After the film fulfilled their five-picture contract with the studio, the Marxes and Paramount agreed to part ways.
While contemporaneous critics of Duck Soup felt it did not quite meet the standards of its predecessors, critical opinion has evolved and the film has since achieved the status of a classic. Duck Soup is now widely considered among critics to be a masterpiece, and the Marx Brothers' finest film. In 1990 the United States Library of Congress deemed Duck Soup "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.