In the small European country of Freedonia, the government is in dire straits. The treasury is almost completely exhausted and the people threaten to riot if taxes are raised again. Realizing that a quick infusion of cash is all that stands between them and revolution, the government's leaders call upon their old benefactor, multimillionaire widow Mrs. Gloria Teasdale (Margaret Dumont).
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Although Mrs. Teasdale does, indeed, have the $20 million that Freedonia needs, she insists, for reasons never really explained, that she will only donate the cash if a truly bizarre individual named Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) is appointed the country's new leader.
Wacky, strange, and clearly quite mad, Firefly rules Freedonia with his own inimitable version of an iron fist, but diverts much of his energy to seducing Mrs. Teasdale so as to gain her fortune.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Trentino (Louis Calhern) of the neighboring country of Sylvia plots to overthrow Firefly and seize control for himself. To that end he sends a pair of wacky, bungling spies named Pinky (Harpo Marx) and Chicolini (Chico Marx) to dig up dirt on Firefly and assigns a femme fatale (Raquel Torres) to seduce him away from Mrs. Teasdale while Trentino makes his own romantic overtures.
Firefly treats the whole thing as a joke and enlists the aid of his secretary (Zeppo Marx) in thwarting Trentino's machinations, until the ambassador makes the mistake of calling Firefly an "upstart." Blowing his top, Firefly declares war on Sylvia and invades.
The review of this Movie prepared by James Craver
The small Balkan nation of Freedonia is on the verge of bankruptcy due to mismanagement and corruption. Wealthy dowager Mrs. Gloria Teasdale (Dumont) agrees to lend her struggling country $20 million, but only if it appoints Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho) president. Firefly, a crazy, cynical anarchist, runs the country like a dictator. Neighboring Sylvania has designs on Freedonia, and its Ambassador Trentino (Calhern) competes with Firefly in wooing Teasdale while two bumbling spies from Sylvania, Pinky and Chicolini (Harpo and Chico), attempt to uncover state secrets. This wild film, perhaps the Marx Brothers' best, satirizes politics, diplomacy, statecraft, and war.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus