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Film Highlight: Summer Music and Movies

Groucho Marx in Duck Soup
courtesy of the Walker Art Center

The Walker Art Center begins the 32nd year of its summer series combining classic movies with top musical acts. This year's movie theme is "Elected!"—showcasing a diverse group of Hollywood films with a political theme, ranging from the Marx Brothers to The Manchurian Candidate. The film series leads off with Duck Soup, often cited as one of the Marx Brothers' best and funniest movies. Made in 1933, during the reign of Mussolini and the rise of Hitler, it's a zany farce about war, politics, and dictatorship. Groucho is Rufus T. Firefly, the leader of the bankrupt country of Freedonia. Chico and Harpo are inept spies from a neighboring country intent on taking over Freedonia. (Duck Soup contains the classic "mirror" scene, in which Harpo pretends to be Groucho's reflection in a missing mirror.) The Alarmists will perform at 7 p.m., before the screening at dusk.

Other films in the series include:

The Senator Was Indiscreet, a George S. Kaufman film starring William Powell as a bumbling senator running for president (July 21, with rapper M.anifest)

All the King's Men, a 1949 multiple-Oscar winner about a corrupt Louisiana governor, starring Broderick Crawford (July 28, with Mark Mallman)

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, the Frank Capra classic with Jimmy Stewart as a naive but plucky freshman senator (August 4, with Mouthful of Bees)

State of the Union, another Capra film starring Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn (August 11, with Black Audience)

The Manchurian Candidate, a classic Cold War-era thriller starring Angela Lansbury, Lawrence Harvey, and Frank Sinatra (August 18, with Califone).


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