Duck Soup (1933)
Harry Ruby, Bert Kalmar and Grover Jones
The story begins with an opening shot on the exterior of the
executive mansion. It is a gala day. Soldiers are lined up
in front of the entrance; expensive cars and carriages are
arriving and depositing distinguished notables from the
adjoining countries. Two trumpeters at the head of the stairs
announce the arrival of each notable.
In the large reception hall, Mrs. Teasdale, wife of the late
president, is greeting the newcomers. The room is filled
with distinguished guests. At the moment we see Mrs.
Teasdale, she is talking with a notable. In the near
background is a group of distinguished men, members of her
own cabinet. Her words to the notable are not lost on them,
and as she begins to praise the new dictator, there is the
exchange of disapproving glances.
It is so good of you to come.
An honor, Mrs. Teasdale... You must
indeed have great faith in your new
dictator to give him such a
I feel that Rufus T. Firefly is the
only logical successor to my dear
departed husband. He has the
statesmanship of Gladstone, the
humility of Lincoln, and the wisdom
The notable kisses her hand once more and leaves the scene.
As he does, the background group moves into Mrs. Teasdale.
Their spokesman addresses Mrs. Teasdale.
FIRST CABINET MEMBER
Mrs. Teasdale, as members of
Freedonia's cabinet, we do not approve
of your choice. Who is this Rufus
SECOND CABINET MEMBER
(Waving aloft a paper)
A stranger in our midst, an agent
for the Eureka Ammunition Company.
Think of it, Gentlemen, an ammunition
salesman dictating the policies of
our peace-loving country.
THIRD CABINET MEMBER
Reconsider, Mrs. Teasdale, before it
is too late. The citizens of
Freedonia want a President!
As the widow of your last president,
I have the right to choose -- and,
Gentlemen, I refuse to discuss the
matter any further.
Mrs Teasdale turns her back on them, leaving them to mumble
From off scene comes a servant's voice, announcing:
His Excellency, Ambassador Verdi
Trentino of Amnesia!
Cut... to the archway. We see Trentino enter with a beautiful
brunette at his side. He is followed by two or three of his
fellowmen. He moves across the reception hall to Mrs.
Teasdale, bows most graciously and presses his lips to the
back of her hand, then introduces his companion.
Mrs. Teasdale... my niece, Vera.
Mrs. Teasdale shakes the girl's hand warmly.
Your uncle has been such a friend to
us in every crisis. Without his
country's financial aid --
What is money?
Mrs. Teasdale, for you -- I would do
(Attempting to change
I am so anxious for you to meet our
(Persistent in his
Mrs. Teasdale -- no matter who rules
Freedonia, to me you will always be
the first lady of the land.
Trentino attempts to take her hand. The latter is a bit
confused, much to the amusement of Vera, who laughingly says:
Mrs. Teasdale, my uncle's hopeless --
you've been the only topic of
conversation ever since we left
Mrs. Teasdale's confusion is happily interrupted by the
announcement of a servant, off scene.
The Honorable Mohamed Pandooh of
Oh, I must greet His Honor.
Mrs. Teasdale exits from the scene quickly. Vera and Trentino
look after her, then Vera laughs softly, as their eyes meet.
So that's the one you want to marry.
With Mrs. Teasdale as my wife and
Freedonia under my control --
(He rubs his hands
Maybe it's not going to be so easy.
From what I've heard, Mrs. Teasdale
is rather sweet on this Rufus T.
That's where you come in. I'll leave
him in your hands, and don't forget
you're supposed to be my niece.
Vera winks agreeingly.
Mrs. Teasdale enters the scene with Bob Firefly (ZEPPO).
She introduces him.
I want you to meet the son of His
Excellency -- Bob Firefly...
Ambassador Trentino... his niece, Vera, After the formalities
of introducing, Trentino says:
Isn't it about time for the ceremony
to begin, Mrs. Teasdale?
I do hope His Excellency won't be
My father makes it a point to always
be on time. As long as I've known
him, he's never been late for an
But it's two minutes of ten now.
(As music begins)
His Excellency is due To take his
station. Beginning his new
Administration... He'll make his
appearance when The clock on the
wall strikes ten.
When the clock on the wall strikes
ten All you loyal ladies and you
patriotic men Let's sing the national
anthem when... The clock on the
wall strikes ten.
The clock begins to strike the hour... one... two...
Hail, hail, Freedonia... Mightiest
of mighty nations! Hail, hail,
Freedonia Land of the brave and free.
This finishes on an operatic note with everybody with
outstretched hands turned toward the main door that connects
the reception hall with the outer hall.
Groucho doesn't appear and once more they all sing.
Hail, hail, Freedonia... Land of the
brave and free.
Again Groucho fails to appear and they all sing once more.
Hail, hail, Freedonia... Land of the
brave and free.
Mrs. Teasdale exchanges an apprehensive glance with Bob.
Vera and Trentino smile.
I hope nothing has happened.
Mrs. Teasdale, I assure you there is
nothing to worry about. Father is
probably taking extra care in getting
into his robes of state. I'll call
Bob goes over to a corner of the room and pulls a tapestried
bell cord. This rings a fire bell in Groucho's room -- and
Groucho is disclosed asleep in his canopied bed under a
mosquito netting. He has an unlighted cigar in his mouth.
The continued jangling of the fire bell awakens him from his
slumber and he rises quickly. The cigar begins to emit smoke
when he starts puffing. He hurries over to one corner of
the room where his clothes are arranged in fireman fashion,
gets into them, and then sides down a fireman's pole into
the reception hall.
The guests are singing the last two lines of the national
anthem when he arrives.
Hail, hail, Freedonia... Land of the
brave and free.
Groucho starts across the hall in the direction of Mrs.
Teasdale. He passes several notables, one of whom is wearing
an impressive looking medal. Groucho deprives him of it
without stopping his forward movement, and pins it on himself.
He pauses only when he is facing the principal group.
(Beaming as she
As chairwoman of the reception
committee, I welcome you and extend
the good wishes of every man, woman
and child of Freedonia. I deem it
an honor on this momentous occasion...
Never mind that stuff...
He takes a pack of cards from is pocket and extends them to
Take a card.
The bewildered Mrs. Teasdale complies.
Groucho puts the other fifty-one cards in his pocket.
What'll I do with this card?
You can keep it -- I've got a whole
pack... Now what were you saying?
As chairwoman of the reception
committee, I welcome you with open
How late do you stay open?
In choosing you, I feel that I serve
my country well. I heartily endorse
everything you stand for.
Well, I won't stand for much. And I
won't stand for you if you don't
show some improvement soon. Look at
your report card last month -- "D"
in spelling... six in behavior.
Now who were the six? A fine state
of affairs -- no wonder you can't
matriculate, now what were you saying?
The future of Freedonia rests upon
you. Promise me you will follow in
my husband's footsteps.
I haven't been on the job five minutes
and already she's making advances to
(To Mrs. Teasdale)
Not that I care -- but where is your
Why - er -- my husband passed away...
I was with him to the very end.
No wonder he passed away. I'd like
to be with you to the very end.
Can't you see what I'm trying to
tell you -- I love you.
You're not so bad yourself, Mrs.
Teasdale, when I look at you I can
see that we're facing a crisis.
We've got to balance the budget --
we've got to cut down everything
Ambassador Trentino enters the scene.
Oh... Your Excellency... I would
like to present to you... Ambassador
Verdi Trentino Of Amnesia... Having
him with us today is indeed a great
(To Mrs. Teasdale,
Thanks... but I can't stay very long.
That's even a greater honor.
I bring you the greetings of my
President and the good will of my
I'll keep the greetings -- but you
can send back the good will... what
we need right now is twenty million
Twenty million dollars is a
considerable sum... I'll have to
discuss that with my Minister of
Well, in the meantime, could you let
me have $50 personally?
I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll
give you Mrs. Teasdale as security.
(Throwing a glance at
or my jackknife. If you want my
advice, you'll take the jackknife...
I've a better proposition... Make
it $25 and I'll give you a first
mortgage on my son and I hope you
(With a puzzled look
Your Excellency, haven't we met
(Looking at Trentino)
Why yes. I met you at the dog races --
say, you could have won that race if
you tried a little harder.
Vera Trentino enters scene.
Excellency, may I present my niece.
You don't understand. This is my
(Throwing her a glance)
And Vera niece, too.
Your Excellency, please don't think
me silly, but I'd love to have a
picture of you. I want to hang it
in my bedroom.
You couldn't hang me in your bedroom --
I'll make a note of it. Where's my
Bob (ZEPPO) enters scene.
Here I am, Father.
Take a letter.
(Taking out a
The President of the United States.
Bob writes as Groucho dictates
My dear President... read it back...
(Reading from pad)
"My dear President"...
That doesn't sound right... take
out "President"... now read it.
That's not right yet... put back
"President" and take out "dear"...
How does it read now?
There's still something wrong with
it... take out "President" ...now
what've you got?
Now we're on the right track... Put
back "dear"... How does it read?
You can't say that to the President...
Put back "President"... Now let's
hear how sounds.
"My dear President"...
That's what I wanted in the first
place. Tear it up and send it
Is that all?
Take another letter... to my tailor.
Bob takes dictation again.
Dear Sir... enclosed find check for
$100. Yours very truly... Send
I'll have to enclose the check first.
You do and I'll fire you.
Groucho glares over his shoulder at Bob to emphasize his
remark as the latter exits from the scene. Mrs. Teasdale
enters to Groucho.
Your Excellency, the eyes of the
world are upon you. Notables from
every land are gathered here in your
(Indicating the guests
with a wave of her
This is a gala day for us.
Well, a gal a day is enough for me.
I couldn't handle any more.
If it's not asking too much --
For our information just for
Tell us how you intend to run the
These are the laws of my
administration: No one's allowed to
smoke or tell a dirty joke -- And
whistling is forbidden...
We're not allowed to tell a dirty
joke HAIL, HAIL, FREEDONIA
If chewing gum is chewed, The chewer
is pursued And in the hoosegow
If we should choose to chew, we'll
be pursued -
If any form of pleasure is exhibited
Report to me and it will be
prohibited. I'll put my foot down;
So shall it be - This is the land of
the free. The last man nearly ruined
this place He didn't know what to do
with it. If you think this country's
bad off now Just wait 'till I get
through with it.
(Does sailor's hornpipe)
The treasury is low on dough; The
last man went and flew with it. If
you think we're short of money now
Just wait 'till I get through with
(Does Highland fling)
The country's taxes must be fixed -
And I know what to do with it, If
you think you're paying too much
now, Just wait 'till I get through
(Takes flute from
inside pocket and
plays strain of Dixie)
In our midst you stand The ruler of
this land A man who'll govern with
an iron hand.
If anyone gets fresh with me, I'll
show him who's the boss; I'll stand
upon my dignity, And toss him for a
loss. And this will be the penalty
For those who doublecross - We'll
stand 'em up against the wall, and
Pop goes the Weasel
If you should make him cross, He'll
toss you for a loss. If anyone gets
fresh with him, He'll show him who's
Groucho does minuet with girls as above is sung
I will not stand for anything that's
crooked or unfair; I'm strictly on
the up and up, So everyone beware.
If anyone's caught taking graft And
I don't get my share, we'll stand
'em up against the wall - and pop
goes the weasel!
So everyone beware Who's crooked or
unfair; No one must take a bit of
graft Unless he gets his share.
(Groucho dances as
above is sung)
If any man should come between A
husband and his bride, We find out
which one she prefers By letting her
decide. If she prefers the other
man, The husband steps outside; We
stand him up against the wall And
Pop goes the Weasel!
The husband steps outside;
Relinquishes his bride; We stand him
up against the wall And take him for
(Groucho dances as
above is sung)
The population must increase With
great rapidity. We give a couple
seven years To raise a family. If,
by that time, there is no branch
Upon the family tree, we stand 'em
up against the wall - and Pop goes
Groucho does a dance with Mrs. Teasdale who joins him
reluctantly and registers embarrassment as dance continues.
He might finish dance in her arms, looking tenderly at her
as she beams down at him.
(As she beams on him)
You've made a wonderful impression.
Your views are liberal... It is easy
to see you have an open mind.
That's what I get for dressing in a
Your Excellency, you mustn't forget
your appointment at the House of
Representatives... Have you got your
I wrote a speech last night that'll
knock them off their seats...
(He takes a paper
from inside pocket
as he says above...
then reads from paper)
Four score and seven years ago, our
fathers brought forth on this
continent a new nation --
Why, that's the speech that Lincoln
made at Gettysburg...
(With a look of great
He did?... I told my son not to leave
it laying around... Where is son?
Here I am, Father...
Send for my car...
(Calling to servant
His Excellency's car!
This is repeated by a servant's voice off scene...
A servant enters to Groucho, bearing his high silk hat.
He bows low as he hands it to Groucho... Groucho takes hat,
removes a white rabbit, hands it back to servant, dons his
hat and with a swanky gesture exits... again we hear a
servant's voice calling: "His Excellency's car"...
We see the trumpeters at the top of the steps of the mansion,
outside, standing at attention... their trumpets at their
From inside comes the voice of a servant calling "His
The trumpeters click their heels, draw themselves erect, put
the trumpets to their mouths and blow a fanfare to summon
We cut to the Exterior of the Dictator's garage. This is a
pretentious affair. In central foreground a wall, in the
center of which is a large wrought-iron double gate. On
each side of the gate is a crest or design in relief. Also
two liveried guards stand erect before the gate. A trumpeter
on the wall above. Through the gate we see the patio and
suggestions of the garage. Two or three high-class cars in
background identify the garage.
At the beginning of the scene, we hear finish of trumpeter's
call. Instantly the two guards move to the center of the
gates and call through the bars -
His Excellency's car!
Almost instantly there is a terrific roar of motors on the
other side of the wall. The two guards open gates moving in
military manner. Immediately the gates are wide open, Harpo
appears on his motorcycle, that carries a side car.
The motorcycle is decorated... perhaps a crest in relief on
the side of the car... a thin staff, about four or five
feet high is fastened to the handle bars... As Harpo rides
along, he hoists the Freedonian flag to the staff. Further
along the road he hits a man... he looks behind to see what
damage he's done, but continues riding... A CUT BACK to the
man shows that he is lying prostrate on the ground.
We CUT BACK to Harpo, who is just getting off motorcycle...
he takes another look back at the man, lowers the flag to
half-mast, takes bugle, which is hanging on his car and blows
a few bars of taps... he mounts motorcycle again and starts
CUT TO top of mansion steps as Groucho comes from mansion...
the two guards standing stiffly erect, form a seat by crossing
hands... Groucho sits on the seat made by their hands, puts
his arms around their shoulders and they carry him down
stairs... as fast as they can.
CUT TO Harpo arriving in front of mansion just as Groucho,
carried by the men, moves into the scene. Groucho gets into
the side-car... and in Napoleonic manner says to Harpo:
To the House of Representatives...
ride like fury... Don't stop for any
signals and don't wait for a corner
to make a turn... see if you can
break a record...
Harpo takes a phonograph record and smashes it on the
ground... there is a roar of the motor -- the motorcycle
starts off but leaves the side-car.
Groucho gets out of side-car... starts back to steps, stops
A fine thing -- leaving the head of
the nation at the foot of the
As he dashes up the stairs, we CUT TO Harpo... riding along...
A very attractive girl is coming along in the opposite
direction. As she approaches Harpo, he toots his horn to
attract her attention, she throws him a indignant look and
continues on down the street. Harpo turns his motorcycle
around and starts after her. She looks around, sees Harpo
pursuing and breaks into a run... CUT BACK to Harpo following
her, putting on speed... he lowers the Freedonian flag and
simultaneously raises a pirate flag -- with skull and cross-
bones on it, displayed prominently. A motorcycle cop is
parked on the corner waiting for prospective violators...
he sees Harpo chasing the girl and quickly starts his motor
and follows in pursuit...
The girl, as she reaches the executive mansion, rushes up
the stairs in an effort to escape. Harpo comes into the
scene and rides up the stairs after her... As Harpo gets
about half way up the stairs the motorcycle cop is seen
approaching the mansion.
CUT TO reception room of mansion as the girl is running madly
through the room... a moment later we see Harpo on his bike
following... there is panic among the guests. Then we see
the girl tearing up the stairs leading to the circular
CUT BACK to Harpo. He looks behind him as he rides and sees
the motorcycle cop following on his bike. On the balcony
above, the girl is running, with an occasional glance over
her shoulder as she runs out of scene... Harpo rides into
scene. This time he is bent over his handle-bars in the
manner of a six day bicycle rider... following closely behind
him rides the motorcycle cop. They circle the mezzanine...
Harpo in the lead, looking back now and then over his shoulder
at his pursuer... this is done in imitation of a six day
bicycle race... The motorcycle cop is closing in on Harpo...
the latter approaching a large open door, rides through the
opening, but the cop continues on around the balcony... as
he gets to the opposite side of the circular balcony he passes
another open doorway. Harpo comes riding out of it and is
now in pursuit of the cop...
CUT down stairs to Groucho... One hand is upraised holding a
gun. As he looks at a wrist watch, he fires gun, then
addresses guests looking into CAMERA.
That concludes the nine o'clock
sprints... Next Saturday night the
winner of the six day bicycle race
will receive ten thousand dollars in
gold... the following morning we go
off the gold standard...
CUT BACK to balcony... Harpo is passing the cop... He holds
up his hand for the cop to stop... they both come to a halt...
Harpo gets off his motorcycle, walks over angrily to cop,
takes out his book, writes out a summons and hands it to the
cop as we FADE OUT...
END OF SEQUENCE "A"
FADE IN on interior of Freedonian House of Representatives.
This interior although not a replica of our own House of
Representatives, should be close enough technically to sell
the idea... Each seat is occupied by an officious-looking
dignitary. On the platform are a few desks... perhaps a
pulpit which Groucho uses when he arrives... The one to the
right is the court stenographer's desk, occupied by Bob
Firefly. He takes notes as the meeting progresses.
Throughout the House runs a ripple of excitement, which is
stopped by the rapping of the gavel by the Speaker of the
Gentlemen, gentlemen, remember for
forty-six years we have enjoyed the
friendship of Amnesia, so ably
represented by Ambassador Trentino.
Ambassador who is
We owe it to ourselves to listen to
what he has to say...
Trentino takes the floor
Gentlemen, while I admit it is unusual
for a representative of one country
to advise the legislative body of
another, I assure you that I have
the interest of Freedonia at heart
We have lent you money in the past --
we are willing to lend you money
again -- but, we cannot do it if
your leader is allowed by you, to
carry out his ridiculous proposals...
In self-protection it is my --
Bob rises to interrupt
I object!... we have no right to
discuss this matter in the absence
of my father.
We have been meeting every morning
for eight days and not once has His
Excellency been on time...
(Looking at his watch)
Gentlemen, I cannot wait much
Would you mind calling your father
Bob presses a button, either on desk or wall...
CUT TO - the corner of Groucho's bedroom, showing fireman's
pole. The sound of the clanging bell is heard over scene.
Groucho hurries into scene, fully clad but for his coat which
he has on his arm... without waiting to don his coat he slides
down the pole. We pick him up finishing the slide down the
pole into the House of Representatives. As he arrives the
members are on their feet singing the last four bars of the
HAIL, HAIL, FREEDONIA Land of the
brave and free...
Groucho hurries toward Speaker's desk, putting on his coat
as he goes... Just as he reaches the desk the singing
subsides. Groucho turns to the body of men and looks off in
the direction of one of the representatives.
(Pointing toward the
individual off scene)
The Secretary of Agriculture was a
(He takes a match and
scratches it across
the top of the desk
to light his cigar...
takes a few puffs,
then raps the gavel.)
I move we open the morning session...
Has anybody got a cork screw?
(Looking out and around
What's to stop you from digging one...
And after you dig a river, how're ya
gonna cross it without a bridge...?
We've got to have a bridge to stop
people from going places -- then
we've gotta stop them from coming
back. If you're worried about the
expense we can have a bridge with
only one end -- and if that's a
success we can do away with it
altogether. I'm telling you that
what this country needs is --
Off scene we hear Chico's voice singing "P-E-A-N-U-T-S"...
this is followed by the piping of a whistle playing the first
strain of the PEANUT VENDOR...
Groucho listens, annoyed and then continues
If there's one thing we don't need
right now -- it's peanuts --
gentlemen, what good is a bridge if
you haven't got ammunition to blow
it up... ammunition was never
cheaper... Right now, you can get
two cannons for the price of one and
shoot twice as far for half the
money... With every five thousand
dollar purchase we throw in a Big
Bertha... If you don't like her, you
can throw her right out again. I
tell you no country can protect itself
Again Chico's voice comes over scene singing "P-E-A-N-U-T-
S"... The whistling of the first strain of song - the PEANUT
VENDOR is heard again
I'm sorry your Excellency, it is
that infernal peanut vendor
Chicolini... How can we accomplish
anything with that constant annoyance?
Your Excellency - are we or are we
not going to discuss this problem -
my time is valuable - I'm a man of
few words -
I'm a man of one word... SCRAM!!!
Trentino exits resentfully
(To Bob - aroused)
Go out and chase that peanut vendor
away from the building -- Get rid of
him if you have to use violence - if
necessary call out the militia and
if he isn't looking get me a bag of
I've tried to chase him but it's no
use - he won't go -
He won't eh? - We'll see about that -
send for your father immediately.
But you're my father -
Never mind then, I'll get in touch
with him myself -
CUT OUTSIDE to Chico standing by his peanut stand which has
a whistle on it conspicuously displayed -
CLOSE UP of whistle piping tune of "PEANUT VENDOR" - Trentino
enters to Chico -
How'm I doing, boss?
Fine - keep on yelling - Do everything
you can to disturb Firefly - Now
what about your cousin?
He's working very hard - I got him a
job driving Firefly's car - He's-a
driving him crazy and I'm driving
him nuts - P-E-A-N-U-T-S
Singing even louder than before - Trentino smirks approvingly
and exits - the whistling of the tune following as we CUT
inside to Groucho - and the well-known vamp of the "Peanut
Vendor" is heard coming over scene with orchestra
(Glaring angrily at
I'll get rid of that pest - watch me --
He walks determinedly in direction of window and breaks into
a rhumba - with hands on hips - dipping to ground a la Spanish
dancer... as he reaches window we CUT outside. Groucho is
seen in the window - which is on the ground floor - Chico is
by his peanut stand.
(To Chico - angrily)
All right -
Chico takes bag of peanuts from stand - throws it to Groucho -
The latter catches bag and throws Chico a dime - then starts
to eat the peanuts.
Have you got a license?
No, but my dog he's a got millions
of them --
(Munching peanuts as
Chico walks over and
stands under window)
What kind of a dog is he?
He used to be a bloodhound but he's
Well - what is he now?
He's half poodle and half watch dog -
Half watch dog?
Yeh, he's only got one eye.
I don't know much about dogs but you
ought to be on the end of a leash -
a ninety-nine year leash -
(Gives him a look of
Look - what do you call your dog?
I don't call him, I whistle.
What do you whistle?
I've got just the place for a man
like you but I'm too busy right now
to do any digging. What do you call
your dog when you want him?
I don't want him.
Well, if you don't want your dog why
don't you put him in a pound?
He only weighs ten ounces --
I can use you in the House of
Representatives. We need a man who
understands dogs -- and that's where
this country is going to. Step
Groucho turns and disappears from the window - CUT INSIDE of
House of Representatives
In case of fire, how long will it
take to empty this place?
(After a moment's
About - thirty-four seconds.
We'll start a fire --
-- and get rid of these microbes.
Groucho exits towards door leading into his private office.
CUT to inside of private office which has another door leading
to a hallway, and among other articles of furniture, there
is an impressive-looking desk on which is a telephone. Just
as Groucho comes through the door into his office, Chico
enters through the other door. He is wearing gauntlets,
reaching half way up his arms. As they walk toward each
other the telephone rings and the two men make a mad dash
for the telephone on the desk. Chico beats Groucho to the
phone, picks up the receiver.
Hello!... Yes... Yes... He's not
Chico hangs up receiver and turns to Groucho who is waiting
That was for you.
I'm sorry I'm not in. I wanted to
have a long talk with you... Now
look here, my good man, you've got
to stop yelling "peanuts" in front
of the House of Representatives.
Oh no, I can't do it.
You don't want to be a public
nuisance, do you?
Sure. How much does the job pay?
Sure, if there's a chance for
You wouldn't consider going over
Niagara Falls without a barrel?
'At's-a no good. I went to Niagara
Did you shoot the rapids?
No, but I shot some ducks.
If there was an open season for
fellows like you, I'd get myself a
hunting license. Anyway, I'm going
to make you a sporting proposition.
You give up the peanut stand and
I'll make you vice-president of the
Oh, no -- nothing doing. I had a
brother who was a vice-president
once and that's the last we ever
heard of him.
Well, maybe he's still the vice-
president. Now if I were to offer
Telephone bell rings. The two men turn and run for the
telephone. Again Chico gets there first. Groucho stands by
exasperated while Chico talks to the party on the other end
of the line
Hello... Yes... No, not yet... All
(Hangs up receiver -
then says to Groucho)
That was for you again. He wants
you to call him up as soon as you
I don't know what's keeping me. I
should've been here a long time ago.
Now how about my proposition?
What other job you got?
Let's see -- What've I got in my
cabinet besides mice --
(Stops to think -
I've got it -- how would you like to
be Secretary of the Interior?
That's no good. I like to work on
the outside. I must have something
Then you don't wanna work hard?
I don't wanna work at all.
In that case you'll have to take a
civil service examination -- if you
pass I'll put you in the post-office --
stick out your tongue.
I don't wanna stick out my tongue.
Well, if you wanna work in the post-
office you'll have to stick out your
Look, I'm a very nervous man. I
gotta have a job where I come to
work at eleven -- go to lunch at
twelve -- and quit at one. And twice
a year I gotta have a six month
I've got just the job for you --
Secretary of War.
Telephone bell rings. They both make a dash for the
telephone, but Harpo rushes in through hallway door and
reaches the phone first. Harpo picks up through telephone
receiver, listens to conversation on the other end with an
occasional nod and shake of the head. As he listens, he
scribbles message on a piece of paper. He holds the written
message up to the telephone receiver for a moment, then writes
a few more words on the paper. During this, Chico and Groucho
stand by, terribly worried. Finally Harpo hangs up the
receiver and exits, tearing up the paper
(After a moment's
glance at Harpo)
You know, I'd be lost without a
telephone. Now - where were we?
Oh, yes - I just made you Secretary
of War. The first thing you do is
buy ammunition -- you buy it from me
and I get 10% commission.
What do I get?
You get half mine and I get half
I don't want to buy ammunition -- we
no gotta war.
Then we've gotta start one. Do you
know how to start a war?
Sure, that's easy. You gotta insult
Groucho suddenly slaps Chico across the face with his gloves,
then as quickly brings to light a card which he presents to
Chico in the professional manner of an experienced duelist
That's a-no good. You gotta insult
somebody from another country. Look --
(Puts his large gloves
on the desk)
I come from one country. You come
from another country. I say something
you don't like. You say something I
don't like - and I'm insulted.
Why wasn't I insulted?
You was insulted, but you don't know
Then I demand an apology!
That's a-no good. If I apologize we
no got a war. Look -- I send you a
scrap of paper. You send me a scrap
of paper -- and we have a scrap.
You've got a brain after all - and
how you get along without it is
amazing to me -- Now, who can I
insult?... Who do we owe money to?...
AMBASSADOR TRENTINO! How about him?
He's-a very easy to insult -- I say
something to his niece once, and he
slapped my face.
Why didn't his niece slap your face?
What did you say to her?
Chico whispers in Groucho's ear -- Groucho gives him an
You're lucky I don't slap your face --
you oughtta be ashamed of yourself.
Where did you hear that story?
You told it to me.
(Puzzled for a moment)
Oh, yes, I remember -- and I should
have slapped Mrs. Teasdale's face
when she told it to me... I'm going
right out and find Trentino. You go
right out and get yourself an army.
Chico turns to go - Groucho stops him
Wait a minute. What kind of an army
do you think we oughtta have?
I think we oughtta have a standing
army, so we can save money on chairs.
At this point Chico is at the door and exits - Groucho slams
the door right in his face - then he walks over to the desk
and sees the larger gauntlets. He takes a swing with his
own gloves, then takes a hefty swing with the gauntlet. He
leaves his own gloves on the desk and exits with the gauntlets
in is hand.
CUT outside. Harpo is just pulling up to the curb in front
of the House of Representatives, in his motorcycle and side
car. Groucho comes from the building wearing gauntlets,
gets into the side car and with a dignified wave of his hand,
To Mrs. Teasdale's residence!
The motorcycle speeds out of the scene, leaving the side car
This is the fifth trip I've made
today and I haven't been anywhere
And, as he gets out of the side car and starts to go back
into the building, the scene
END OF SEQUENCE "B"
FADE IN to garden party. This is an afternoon tea in the
garden of the Teasdale estate. Spotted in the set-up are
innumerable colorful umbrellas, under which are tea tables.
The guests include the notables we saw in the mansion in the
first sequence. The only two people absent are Ambassador
Trentino and Mrs. Teasdale. Vera Trentino is seated at one
of the tables and her presence is established there in the
opening shot. Music is heard over the scene and should be
continued through the scene as if being played by an orchestra
on the premises. Suddenly the chatter ceases as the following
announcement is heard coming over scene.
(From off scene)
His Excellency, Rufus T. Firefly!
All eyes turn toward those off scene and everyone rises to
sing the last four bars of the national anthem.
Cut to the gateway leading into the garden... a servant on
each side of the gate, as Groucho jauntily strides through
the gate, swinging the unusually large gauntlets...
HAIL, HAIL, FREEDONIA Land of the
brave and free...
Groucho hands his high silk hat to one of the guards and
starts down the walk among the guests. From his attitude it
is evident that he is intent on finding Ambassador Trentino.
Suddenly he stops, having seen something of interest off
scene. The following dialogue comes over the scene.
Can't you see, Gloria, our marriage
would not only unite two great
CUT TO Trentino and Mrs. Teasdale in a quiet corner of the
garden -- both are at a tea table. This shot leaves Groucho
...but would further cement the
relations of our countries.
Ambassador Trentino, I am indeed
But you see - well - I --
(Repressing his anger -
Oh. Then there his somebody else?
Well no -- not exactly -- but --
Gloria -- I've waited for years. I
won't be put off! I love you! I
(Taking her hand
Can't you see that I'm at your feet?
Groucho enters the scene.
When you get through with her feet,
you can start on mine. I haven't
been to a chiropodist in two years...
If that's not an insult, I don't
know what is.
(Turns to Gloria)
Gloria, I love you. I --
(Furious, to Gloria)
Can't we go some place where we can
(To Mrs. Teasdale)
What can this mug offer you? Wealth
and family. I can't give you
(Archly lifting his
...but we can have a little family
of our own.
All I can offer you is a Rufus over
Oh, Your Excellency, I don't know
what to say.
I wouldn't know what to say either
if I was in your place.
(Turning to Trentino)
Maybe you can suggest something.
This has gone far enough! This
interruption is humiliating, to say
Well, why not say the least and get
it over with?
(Half addressing Mrs.
I didn't come here to be insulted.
That's what you think.
Give me that again!
(Holds his gauntlets
in his hand, ready
at any moment to
That's it! No man lives who can
call a Firefly an upstart.
Without further ado, Groucho strikes Trentino across the
face with his gauntlets. Then he quickly flashes his card
and extends it to Trentino in the manner of a duelist.
(As he offers the
A sudden ripple of excitement as the guests, attracted by
the rumpus begin to move into the scene. Prominent among
these is Vera Trentino. Trentino refuses Groucho's card,
white with rage.
I shall report this indignity the my
(To Mrs. Teasdale -
polite but firm)
Mrs. Teasdale, I feel this
regrettable occurrence will plunge
our countries into war.
This is terrible!
Uncle, you can't do this!
My dear niece -- I must ask you not
to interfere. War is not a woman's
It is every woman's problem. Who
supplies the sons? -- the brothers? --
the husbands? Who...
(To Vera --
You keep that up and you'll crab the
Carry out this tragic folly if you
will -- But I for one will not be a
part of it.
(She winks at Trentino)
I will stay here in Freedonia.
(As a faint smile of
from his face)
Very well then, if that's how you
feel about it --
(suggestive shrug of
My country has spoken.
He turns on his heel as if about to leave. Groucho stops
Then it's war?
How're ya fixed for ammunition?
(Waves Groucho aside
THEN IT'S WAR!
SOUND of trumpet - Ta - ta - ta-ta
THEN IT'S WAR!
SOUND of trumpet - Ta - ta - ta-ta
GATHER THE FORCES!
SOUND of trumpet - Ta - ta - ta - ta
HARNESS THE HORSES!
SOUND of trumpet - Ta - ta - ta - ta
THEN IT'S WAR!
The above lies are spoken in meter and each line is punctuated
by the staccato notes of the trumpet. Groucho makes a
military exit from scene in time to the music, which goes
into a military march. As Groucho reaches the gate, the
guard hands him his high silk hat. Groucho takes the hat --
removes a white rabbit from it -- hands it to the guard --
as he exits through gate.
END OF SEQUENCE "C"
INSERT of newspaper. The newspaper moves up to CAMERA from
background -- as it stops we read the following headlines:
"ARMIES MOBILIZE AS WAR CLOUDS GATHER!"
Through this insert we get the vague impression of war
activity. We see the movement of soldiers' feet. From the
background the second insert moves up to CAMERA...
The first insert moves past CAMERA and the second insert
comes from the background. The headline reads:
"AMNESIA HASTENS PREPARATIONS!"
Through this insert we see the heavy wheels of army wagons
moving along. This is replaced by the the insert coming
from the background. The headlines read -
"FREEDONIA'S LEADER MAINTAINS ATTITUDE OF DIGNIFIED SILENCE!"
Bombing planes move through this insert. The front page of
the paper is turned and followed by a few other pages until
we come to the classified ad section of the paper. We see
the following advertisement:
WANTED: - A female spy.
Must be young and attractive Apply to Office of Secretary of
Above this ad we just see a few lines of another ad --
WANTED: -- A Chauffeur Below the war nurse ad we see part of
another ad in which a cook is wanted.
A SHOT (in movement) of a row of shapely legs, obviously
those of very pretty girls. The CAMERA moves upward
disclosing the faces of the girls, who are sitting in a row
in the ante-room of the Secretary of War's office. On the
door leading to the Secretary's private office, we see the
lettering: PRIVATE. The CAMERA discloses only four or five
of these girls, but we know there are more in the room. Bob
appears in the doorway leading to the Secretary's office and
addresses the first girl - nearest the door.
The Secretary of War will see you
This girl is very pretty and has a very attractive form.
She smiles at Bob, rises and exits into the Secretary's
office. Bob closes the door behind her. The CAMERA now
moves along the row of girls and the sixth or seventh girl
in the row is Harpo, dressed as a girl. On the other side
of him are more girls. A girl to the right of him turns to
the girl beside her.
(To the girl at her
Did you hear the one about the woman
taking a bath?... Well, she forgot
to lock the door... A man came in
and said, "I'm a doctor"... The woman
said, "I'm not sick"... and the man
said, "that's all right. I'm not a
All of the girls laugh heartily at at this remark.
Harpo is laughing also. He slaps the story-teller on the
Her laughter ceases instantly. She slaps him back, and gets
another slap on the leg in return. A little squeal of pain
from her and she raises her dress disclosing a bruise on her
leg just above the knee.
Harpo does so, then pulls up his own dress and points to his
leg for her to look. On his leg is tattooed a picture of
two hearts entwined with an arrow running through both. She
gives Harpo dirty look and rises
Private office of Secretary of War. The office is cluttered
with war implements, maps, etc. The examination of the girl
is in progress. She is turning around in the manner of a
clothes model. Chico is looking her over.
You look pretty good to me - but
very still need a spy - Have you got
The girl nods and pulls her dress up above her knees revealing
an attractive leg. She reaches into her stocking for a paper.
(Taking a very good
You got credentials all right.
The girl drops her skirt and hands the paper to Chico. Chico
looks at the paper
This is fine. Put it back.
Hands the girl the paper. She lifts her dress above her
knees again and puts the paper back in her stocking, while
Chico looks on. She drops her skirt.
I think I better take another look
at that paper...
She lifts the skirt again to get the paper, while Chico steals
another glance. The girl drops her skirt and hands him the
(Looking at the paper)
I look this over later -- now I look
you over. If you want to be a spy,
you gotta be in good condition. I
better examine you.
He takes stethoscope from his pocket, applies it to her heart
(Listening to girl's
There's something wrong -- I think
I'm getting Whiteman's band.
Puts stethoscope back in his pocket and takes watch from
vest pocket. He feels her pulse while looking at the watch.
According to my watch it's four
(Puts watch back in
Now look -- a woman spy is a-gotta
make love to men. Come on -- let's
see you make love...
She walks over to him and lovingly strokes his hair, puts
both arms around him, then suddenly becomes very amorous,
bends him over and kisses him madly. She lets go after a
little while and Chico comes up for air. He staggers around
in a daze. Then he takes the watch from his vest pocket,
hands it to her, extends his wrist and says:
Now you feel my pulse.
Suddenly the screaming of girls is heard coming from the
anteroom, and we cut to the anteroom in the midst of
confusion. The girls are running helter-skelter, one or two
of them are standing on chairs with their skirts lifted above
their knees. There is a little white mouse running about
Harpo is sitting innocently on the bench. The girl just
interviewed by Chico comes from the office, sees the mouse,
screams and joins in the general confusion. Groucho enters
as the girls are running about - zig-zags among them and
continues through the room into the private office of Chico -
closing door behind him. The girls clear out of anteroom and
Harpo is left all alone. He takes a small mouse trap from
his large pocketbook, puts it on the floor, crouches down
and whistles to the mouse in the manner of a man trying to
call a dog. The mouse in answer to the whistle runs into
The Secretary of War's office. Chico at the phone.
Send in the next girl.
(He hangs receiver up)
By the way, are you sure we need a
Sure, we gotta have a spy. If we no
got a spy who's gonna tell the other
side what we're doing?
At this point, Harpo makes his entrance through the door,
carrying his unusually large pocketbook which is about the
size of a carpetbag. He walks past Groucho in a seductive
manner, swinging his bag and rolling his eyes flirtatiously.
Groucho is delighted with this action and returns the ogling.
Have you got any credentials?
Harpo lifts his dress and shows them the tattoo on his leg
of the two hearts. Groucho examines it closely.
I don't go in much for modern art.
Have you got anything by one of the
Harpo lifts his dress above the other leg and shows a picture
of Gainsborough's "Blue Boy". Chico and Groucho arise from
I'm glad I didn't ask you for
"Washington Crossing the Delaware".
We've gotta have somebody who knows
how to get secrets from men. You
know how to make love?
Harpo walks over to Chico, throws his arms around him and
starts to give him a big hug. He squeezes him very hard. In
the midst of this there is a loud report.
A startled look from Groucho and Chico. We see that Harpo
is minus one breast. He tries to affect an innocent look
when suddenly there is a second loud report and his breasts
are now as flat as a billiard table.
Just as he turns to hide the sight from Chico and Groucho, a
hissing sound is heard -- the air is leaking out of his bustle
and the bustle is becoming deflated.)
You ought to carry a spare.
Harpo goes to a corner of the room and keeps his back to
CAMERA. He takes a tube out of his dress front and begins
to blow. Chico and Groucho wear a puzzled look as they watch
him - the bustle starts to expand.
This inflation continues to gigantic proportions as they
(Looking at Harpo)
We're certainly living in a marvelous
There is a terrific explosion and all of Harpo's clothes are
blown off him - leaving him in nothing but running pants and
ladies' silk stockings. His body is literally covered with
That's very funny... he certainly
fooled me. He'll make a good spy.
Winks significantly at Harpo. Harpo returns the wink.
If we can't use him as a spy, we can
have him framed.
He and Chico continue further examination of the tattooed
designs on Harpo's body.
Say, that's a nice collection. You
oughta have a catalogue.
Harpo pulls a catalogue from under the belt of his trunks
and hands it to Chico. Groucho and Chico look at the
Let's take a look at number eighteen.
Harpo reveals more of his back and shows a superb tattooed
job of a beautiful girl's head.
(Referring to picture
Say, she's all right. You got-a her
Harpo raises one arm and shows the phone number tattooed
right under the arm pit. He holds this a moment, then turns
and discloses a portion of the tattooing on his chest.
Groucho and Chico's eyes shift from the telephone number to
the tattooed picture on his chest. Harpo completes move and
discloses the entire picture. It is a country back-house
with a crescent over the door. Chico laughs uproariously.
That's a funny one!
He slaps Harpo an the back good-naturedly.
TRICK SHOT on HARPO'S CHEST. The door in the outhouse flies
open. The head of a real man appears in the opening. He
looks off in the direction of Chico and mumbles incoherencies
under his breath.
He is terribly angry at being interrupted. He draws in his
head, closing the door behind him.
I think we can use you. Here's a
spy glass... go ahead and do some
Harpo takes the glasses and goes directly toward the window.
As he looks across street through binoculars, he is grinning
all over and wiggling around like a happy kid.
ROOM ACROSS THE STREET
Looking into the open window of a bedroom as Harpo would see
it through the binoculars. A beautiful girl is undressing,
preparing to retire. After a moment of this shot CUT BACK
to Harpo looking through the binoculars. Chico takes the
binoculars from Harpo and pushes him out of the scene,
proceeds to look himself. He registers the same satisfaction
as Harpo and hands the binoculars to Groucho. As Groucho
looks through the binoculars at the beautiful girl, Chico
He's going to make a good spy...
that's not bad for the first day.
(Turning and looking
That's not bad for any day.
Groucho takes a second look through the binoculars at the
beautiful girl. This time he sees Harpo chasing the girl
around the roam. This is shot through the binoculars as
before. Groucho registers amazement as he looks through
binoculars; perhaps squints his eyes once or twice and takes
Maybe my eyes are bad - you take a
Chico takes the binoculars and looks at the room across the
street. Binocular shot as before. The girl is in her
underwear, tearing out of the room into the hall, pursued by
Harpo. Chico is still looking through the binoculars.
You're right about that guy -- I
think we've got something.
I don't know about us, but I know
he's-a got something...
CUT TO the front of the building occupied by the beautiful
girl. She comes dashing madly out of the door and starts
down the street, clad only in her underwear. Harpo appears
in doorway, riding his motorcycle and starts down the street
END OF SEQUENCE "D"
FADE IN to living room of Mrs. Teasdale's home... It is a
smartly appointed room. Its main feature for our purposes
is a winding stairway leading to bedrooms above.
In the absence of Mrs. Teasdale, Vera is seated by fireplace
while Ambassador Trentino is excitedly pacing up and down...
This is all Firefly's fault -- that
idiot, that fool...
I thought everything was working out
Fine nothing! I didn't want war...
My plan was to marry Mrs. Teasdale
and overthrow Firefly.
Maybe you can still win the old dame
over -- why not try to --
At this point Trentino sees Mrs. Teasdale coming downstairs
and hushes Vera with a nudge.
(As she descends stairs)
I'm so sorry I've kept you waiting...
Trentino walks over to meet her.
(Taking her hand)
(Kisses her hand)
I deeply regret the unfortunate affair
with his Excellency, but his attitude
left me no alternative...
To think that this should happen
after all these years of friendship.
Maybe the war can still be averted...
Oh, if only it could...
Mrs. Teasdale, I'm willing to pocket
my pride and do anything I can to
make up with his Excellency.
Oh, would you...?
For you, I would do anything...
If only we can get his Excellency to
listen to reason...
(To Mrs. Teasdale)
Perhaps he will listen to you...
Perhaps... I'll call him...
She goes the phone... as she starts to dial the number there
is a quick CUT to Trentino and Vera who are exchanging
CUT BACK to Mrs. Teasdale at phone...
(Talking into phone)
Hello, your Excellency?... I hate
to disturb you -- I know you're a
very busy man, but I must see you at
CUT TO Groucho at other end of telephone... He is lying in
bed, in his flannel nightgown, eating crackers... the bed
is strewn with cracker boxes and crackers...
Why not come over here? -- You can
come in the back way and no one'll
CUT BACK to Mrs. Teasdale at phone.
But your Excellency, you must -- oh
thank you -- please hurry...
(She hangs up phone...
and walks over to
He'll be right over...
CUT TO corner of room (Mrs. Teasdale's living room),
disclosing for the first time the fireman's pole... Groucho
comes sliding down the pole in his nightgown, with a long
box of crackers under his arm... stops about three feet from
the floor, looks around the room and sees Trentino.
(Hanging on to pole --
If I knew you were here I would've
brought some cheese...
He shoots right up the pole again out of sight. Hold CAMERA
on this shot for an instant... Groucho comes sliding down
again... this time he is fully dressed, including his high
hat and the cigar in s mouth... He walks over to Trentino
belligerently, and deposits his hat on table on the way.
So -- you've come to ask for clemency!
I'll give the enemy no quarter --
not a dime...
But Your Excellency -- the Ambassador
is here on a friendly visit... He
came to ask you to patch up the
Let him patch up his own breeches...
(To Groucho -- ignoring
I'm sorry we lost our tempers...
I'm willing to forget if you are.
(Like an injured woman)
You ask me to forget... Why, my
ancestors would rise from their
graves... and I'd only have to bury
them again... A Firefly never
I am willing to apologize... I'm
willing to do anything to prevent
Nothing doing!! I've taken a lease
on the battlefield. I'd lose my
deposit, besides, I've already ordered
(Putting her arms
Oh, Your Excellency, isn't there
something I can do?
Yes, but I'll talk to you about that
when we're alone...
(Coming to Groucho)
Oh, won't you reconsider...
Well, maybe I am a little
headstrong... But, you know, it's
awfully hard to forget what he called
What I called you... Why, what did
I call you?
I don't remember.
(With a little chuckle)
Oh -- you mean... worm?
No, that wasn't it...
Was it -- swine?
(Same attitude as
No... it was a seven letter word.
(Thinking, then with
a broad smile)
Oh yes! -- UPSTART!
Takes gloves from Trentino's breast pocket and socks him
across the face... and puts them in his own breast pocket.
Trentino becomes apoplectic
Why - er - Mrs. Teasdale - this is
an outrage! This man is impossible...
My course is clear... this means
(Turns to go and turns
and yells to Groucho)
I still like UPSTART the best.
Trentino exits in a rage. Vera pretends that she is overcome
by the scene
(Putting her hand to
Oh, this is dreadful! If you'll
excuse me I'll go to my room...
She exits toward stairway
(Excited - almost
Yes, it's awful!
Are you sure you did the right thing?
Of course. Who ever heard of calling
off a war after ordering all the
By this tine Vera has descended the stairs and exited from
scene. Groucho looks around the room furtively to make sure
he is not being observed and takes a large envelope from his
The plans of war are in this envelope.
I want you to take care of them --
no one will ever suspect you.
He hands papers to her
CUT TO Vera lingering on stairs looking down on the scene
below. Having heard the conversation, she exits from scene,
and we CUT down stairs to Groucho and Mrs. Teasdale.
Guard them with your life... don't
leave them out of your sight... If
the enemy gets those papers we're
lost. If they don't get them, we're
lost. Can't you see what I'm trying
to tell you? I love you... Mrs.
Teasdale, you're the salt of the
earth. They don't come any better
(Modestly, with a
bashful lowering of
Now -- er --
Well -- they might come better but
they don't come any bigger... and
the bigger the better. The bigger
the betta you've got on a horse, the
more you lose, and speaking about
horses, why don't you marry me.
Come, come -- say yes and you'll
never see me again. I'll go 'way if
it means your happiness...
Oh, your Excellency, you take me off
Groucho puts his arms around her and tries unsuccessfully to
lift her off her feet.
Swell chance I've got taking you off
Mrs. Teasdale sinks down into a chair; without hesitation,
Groucho slides into her lap and continues his passionate
Gloria -- may I call you Gloria?
Why -- why -- of course.
You can call me Gloria too. Gloria --
what a beautiful name. When I was
born my mother named me Gloria --
two minutes later she found out her
CUT TO door as Bob enters. He moves in the direction of
Groucho and Mrs. Teasdale.
(Coming into scene)
(Looks up and sees
Bob... without being
a bit disturbed...
remains on her lap)
Take a letter...
Bob takes out pad and pencil.
None of your business... Take another
Groucho rises to his feet and paces the floor in the manner
of a studious business man with his hands behind his back...
then starts to dictate as Bob writes on his pad.
Eureka Ammunition Company -- Gentlemen --
Your shipment of sailor hats arrived
this morning by freight --
(Turns to Mrs. Teasdale)
Gloria, I could go for you in a big
(turns to Bob)
However, the rifles you sent were a
little rusty --
(Then to Mrs. Teasdale)
-- and I don't say that to everybody --
(Now to Bob)
Have not received last month's drawing
account. How come?
(To Mrs. Teasdale)
Your neck is like a swan... Yours
very truly. Now read it back.
(Dashes back to Mrs.
(Reading from pad)
Eureka Ammunition Company, Gentlemen.
Your shipment of sailor hats arrived
this morning by freight. Gloria, I
could go for you in a big way.
However, the rifles you sent were a
little rusty and I don't say that to
everybody. Have not received last
month's drawing account; how come
your neck is like a swan. Yours
(Rising to his feet)
They'll know I mean business then
they get that letter... see that
that gets out immediately and that
goes for you too.
(Exits from scene)
(Turning to Mrs.
Gloria, much as I hate to leave, I'd
be crazy to stay here.
Well, if you must go --
She picks up Groucho's hat and hands it to him. He removes
a white rabbit from hat and gives it to her. He is about to
put the hat on his head when something in the hat attracts
his attention. He empties six baby rabbits out of the hat
onto the table; puts his hat on and exits.
CUT TO outside of house just as Harpo is pulling up to the
curb in his motorcycle and sidecar. Groucho comes out of
house and walks directly to motorcycle.
I'm not taking any more chances.
You sit in the sidecar...
Harpo gets off seat and sits in sidecar. Groucho sits on
driver's seat. The sound of the motor is heard and Harpo
drives off in the sidecar, leaving Groucho on the motorcycle.
END OF SEQUENCE "E"
Insert of program
GEMS FROM THE OPERAS
DISSOLVE - Through program to stage of opera house - company
singing aria from some well-known opera. CUT TO orchestra
box nearest proscenium arch. Harpo and Chico are there fast
asleep leaning on each other. They are dressed in Inverness
capes - wearing their high hats. Chico has a red band across
his shirt-front on which is embossed "Secretary of War" in
gold letters. An usher enters box with two people in the
(To Chico and Harpo)
I'm sorry gentlemen - but you have
the wrong seats.
That's all right. We're not enjoying
You belong in that box over there -
(Pointing to vacant
box on opposite side
of house - orchestra
Come on --
They both step out of box, onto stage and stroll casually
across as singing is going on. Part of the way across, Harpo
and Chico react to the singing of a very high note -- it's
practically in Harpo's ear. He stops -- makes a terrible
face -- takes out ear-muffs, puts them on his ears and he
and Chico continue toward the box --
CUT TO other box -- the one that Chico and Harpo are headed
for. Mrs. Teasdale and guests are being ushered in...
Chico and Harpo come into scene, arriving at box. Chico
steps into box from stage. Harpo is about to follow when he
spies a pretty girl in box above. He starts climbing up the
proscenium arch to upper box -- the girl sees him, screams
and dashes out of box. Harpo completes climb into box -- at
this point the singing has just finished and applause breaks
Harpo acknowledges the applause as if it was in appreciation
of his climb -- after a few quick bows he starts out of the
box after the girl. As he is running out of box into the
foyer he bumps into Ambassador Trentino.
Wait a minute... Mrs. Teasdale is in
the box below. The plans of war are
in her purse -- you've got to get
them -- I don't care how, but get
them -- and when you do, bring them
to 492 North Myrtle Road -- you'd
better write that down.
Harpo takes out a pencil with heavy lead and writes the
address on the white and purple-edged silk band which is
across Trentino's shirt bosom. Then he pushes Trentino's
coat aside and from under his vest pulls the ribbon in the
manner of a ticker tape -- tears it off -- and starts back
I wonder what's keeping His
Never mind His Excellency -- you
gotta your pocketbook?
Yes -- why?
I wanna powder my nose...
Mrs. Teasdale laughs good-naturedly and puts the purse behind
her between her back and the back of the chair... as we go
to stage where the shooting of the apple in "William Tell"
is being enacted. William Tell is just placing the apple on
his son's head -- he turns his back on his son and walks
toward opposite side of stage with bow and arrow.
Harpo takes a look at apple on the boy's head -- reaches
down in box and comes up with a bow and arrow. He takes a
good aim and lets the arrow fly... It hits its mark and the
apple falls to the ground. William Tell, having arrived at
spot from which he's going to shoot, turns to take aim and
sees that the apple is gone. He picks up another, at the
base of an apple tree and starts in direction of his son.
CUT TO Harpo, who is watching William Tell. He reaches down
into box and brings up another arrow -- takes aim and lets
arrow fly. Again it hits its mark and the apple falls to
ground. William Tell, reaching his place, turns to take aim
and is bewildered at the sight of the second missing apple.
The tree is bare and there are no more apples around.
A whistle is heard coming over scene. William Tell turns in
direction of the whistle and we CUT TO Harpo whistling with
his fingers in his mouth. Reaching down into the box, he
brings up a bag of apples and dumps all the apples onto the
stage. CUT TO: Lower box.
If his Excellency doesn't get here
soon, he'll miss the whole
He's-a not missing anything. He's
in the dressing room with Vera
(Winks at her)
In her dressing room? Why, what
could he be doing there?
He could be playing solitaire, but I
don't think so.
She jumps as if she's been goosed, and gives Chico an
indignant look as he withdraws his hand from her back.
What's the matter with you?
What's the matter with you?
You haven't been still a moment since
you've been here. You act as if you
had neurosis --
I no gotta new-rosis. My uncle he's-
a got a flower shop -- he's-a gotta
Mrs. Teasdale looks at him disdainfully, turns to look at
stage, and jumps again. She and Chico turn to look at each
other. She, of course, is indignant, while Chico smiles --
his hand is coming from behind her. She takes the purse
from its hiding place and places it on the ledge of the box
out of Chico's reach. CUT TO:
Ballet dancers' dressing room. The CAMERA PANS along, showing
several of the ballet dancers limbered up by other dancers.
This is done as follows: - a girl stands against the wall on
one leg while another girl raises the other leg up and down.
The CAMERA passes three or four of the girls and comes to a
stop on Vera and Groucho -- the latter is stretching her leg
in the same manner.
I shall dance for you tonight as
I've never danced before.
This is a fine thing to be doing at
Are you getting tired?
(Still working leg)
Not at all. When I was a boy back
on the farm I used to pump my own
CUT TO shot taking in the stage and Harpo. Harpo is in the
foreground. On the stage is our hero and his valet.
(Singing to hero)
Your love is waiting for you, my
Fetch my hat - my hat - my hat --
Harpo tosses him a large hat - possibly a fireman's hat.
Fetch my boots --
(Harpo throws boots
on stage Hero
Bring me my sword --
(Harpo throws a sword
on stage --)
Hero continues his song while Harpo litters the stage with
various articles - a saddle - a chair, etc...
CUT TO box below - Chico is trying to reach for pocketbook
on ledge but can't get it. He whistles up to Harpo. Harpo
looks down and Chico pantomimes to him to get the pocketbook,
pointing to it. The singing stops and aplause follows --
the orchestra starts a selection -- which continues through
following routine without any singing.
CUT TO box above. Harpo takes out a fishing pole with a
reel on it -- he unwinds reel and the line descends
near box below and lands in a man's hair -- the man occupies
an aisle seat in the orchestra -- near Teasdale box.
CUT TO Harpo reeling in. CUT TO man on aisle seat -- The
hook has caught onto his toupe and its being pulled off his
head. CUT TO Harpo reeling in with great satisfaction in
the belief that he has the purse -- on the end of the line
comes the toupe. Harpo, astonished, looks down on the victim
who, minus the toupe, now displays a shiny bald pate.
Harpo takes out his fountain pen and releases gadget. The
ink pours down on the bald spot of the man below and spreads
into the form of a toupe parted in the middle. CUT BACK to
Harpo - he places the toupe on the bare back side of a figure
of Cupid carved on the arch. He is now suddenly attracted
by something on the stage -- it is a pool with a practical
fountain in its center. Harpo digs into a decorative flower
box set in a groove in the proscenium arch.
He brings out a real live worm and baits his hook -- stands
up and casts... the line swishes through the air and the
hook lands in the pool on the stage. The line instantly
tightens and a large carp fish is yanked out of the pool...
as the line is drawn in the fish nearly hits Mrs. Teasdale.
She covers her face with her hands. Chico takes advantage
of her action, grabs the line, removes the fish, and puts
hook on handle of purse... then signals Harpo with a whistle
and in the manner of a construction foreman, motions to him
to start "hoisting". The line becomes taut and the purse is
yanked out of view. Mrs. Teasdale uncovers her face and
discovers that the purse is missing.
My purse -- my purse is gone!
There is a buzz of excitement among the rest of the guests
as they help Mrs. Teasdale look for the purse.
Chico joins in the search. He grabs an elderly dignified
man in the party, throws back his coat and starts to frisk
He no got it ---
As he turns to frisk another man, Mrs. Teasdale says
This is dreadful -- I must see His
Excellency at once ---
(She exits from box)
CUT TO ballet dancers' dressing room, where we find Groucho
still pumping away on Vera Trentino's leg ---
Are you sure you're not tired?
Tired! I'd like to stretch this
into a week -
Mrs. Teasdale enters the scene. The sight shocks her but
she recovers herself sufficiently to hide the embarrassment.
I hope I'm not interrupting.
(Still pumping -
looks over his
shoulder at Mrs.
Take a seat -- you're next.
(He lets go of Vera's
leg - and she exits)
Your Excellency, something terrible
has just happened.
That's all right. I'll fix you right
Grabs her ankle and starts to lift her leg - she gets away
My purse has been stolen -- the plans
of war are in it.
Walks up and down puffing furiously on his cigar
I -- I may be wrong, but I suspect
the Secretary of War.
(Still pacing wildly)
Don't bother me - I'm thinking --
What was that?
I said - I suspect the Secretary of
(Stopping dead in his
THIS IS TREASON!!
(Strikes a pose -
raising his clenched
hands; then to Mrs.
What a fool I was to listen to your
siren song and fall a helpless victim
under the insidious spell of your
irresistible charms --
(Paying no attention)
You satisfied your selfish whims,
while nations tottered, dynasties
rocked and the world plunged headlong
into a chasm of chaos and oblivion --
(Throws her an arch
Not bad, eh?
Starts for door
CUT TO - Stage showing about eight bars of Vera Trentino's
solo dance. PAN to lower box - Mrs. Teasdale's guests are
gone but Chico and Harpo are there -- Chico is examining
plans of war.
This is-a fine - you do a good job -
you make-a no trouble and you waste-
a no time. Come on, we take-a the
plans to the Ambassador. You gotta
Harpo opens coat and across his shirt front is the ribbon
with "462 North Myrtle Road" on it -- the door of the box
flies open and Groucho bounds in
Harpo and Chico throw their hands up and wheel around
You no gotta no gun.
Who said I had a gun... Gimme those
plans, you paper snatchers --
He makes a grab at Chico -- Chico passes the plans to Harpo -
Groucho goes after Harpo - the latter leans away over ledge
of box and holds the plans out over the stage. As Groucho
is trying to reach for the plans, Vera dances into scene,
makes a graceful pirouette and with her outstretched hands
takes the plans from Harpo. As she dances away she deposits
the plans in her bodice...
Vera's male dancing partner enters from the wings, walks out
about four feet - stops and strikes a pose with uplifted
hand. Vera is dancing on the opposite side with her back
turned. CUT TO Groucho back stage - he sees the dancing
partner - pulls a lever on switchboard marked "TRAP DOOR" -
CUT TO stage as the dancer disappears through floor. CUT TO
shot of Vera - preparing to turn to join her partner - she
reacts as she sees -- CUT TO Groucho standing on her partner's
former spot holding the same pose ...
CUT TO full stage shot. Groucho and Vera are dancing
together. During the dance Groucho tries to get the paper.
He bends her way over in an effort to make the paper drop
out of her bodice. Harpo and Chico, watching the struggle,
quickly tear off their capes and coats and leap from the box
on to stage in their shirts.
This develops into a four-cornered adagio dance.
She hands the papers to Harpo over Groucho's shoulder as she
dances with him... Groucho rushes to Harpo and they do a
twirl together. Harpo hands the paper to Chico over Groucho's
shoulder. Groucho rushes at Chico and twirls with him -
Chico in trying to pass the papers to Vera drops them on the
floor. They all make a dive for them. Groucho gets the
papers and dashes with them to the lower box just as Mrs.
Teasdale enters same.
The following is a close shot of Groucho and Mrs. Teasdale.
The latter standing on stage right by the box.
(Handing paper to
Here -- put these plans where no one
will ever find them - sleep on them.
CUT TO - Dressing room just a Vera, Chico and Harpo enter.
I'm sorry boys -- I did my best --
it's all my fault.
It's not-a your fault. It's-a his
then to Harpo
I fix it for you to getta the plans --
you getta the plans -- then you losa-
a the plans -- now we no gotta the
plans of war...
Harpo lifts up his shirt and tattooed upon him is the
reproduction of the war plans...
END OF SEQUENCE "F"
FADE IN - Mrs. Teasdale's living room. Night. Subdued light.
We begin with an EXTREME CLOSE CLOSE SHOT of a hand depositing
the plans of war in a vault. This vault is about the height
of a man, the door flush with wall. The CAMERA TRUCKS back
and discloses that the one depositing the papers is Mrs.
Teasdale -- she is in negligee. She closes the vault door,
pulls a cord, closing a pair of drapes which hide the vault.
The CAMERA PANS to the balcony above where Vera Trentino,
also in negligee, is watching the action in the living room
below. She tiptoes quietly from the scene.
Downstairs, Mrs. Teasdale turns out the center table light
and moves toward the stairway.
CUT TO Vera Trentino's bedroom. Vera comes toward window,
raises it quietly and waves a handkerchief, evidently
signalling somebody below.
CUT TO EXTERIOR of house. Chico and Harpo are waving back
to signify that they have caught the signal. The boys try
to raise the window which is located next to the main
entrance, but it is locked and they can't budge it.
It's all your fault. Now we gotta
steal the plans again -- You had 'em
on you... you take a bath... and now
we no gotta plans of war.
They try the window again and find it hopeless
You wait here -- I'll let you in.
Chico walks right in through the door, closes it behind him
and then appears at the window. He raises it from the inside
and Harpo climbs in through the window and joins Chico.
CUT TO INSIDE. They are walking cautiously across the room
when they hear the following coming over scene -- "Psst...
Psst..." They stop and look around, trying to locate the
source of the sound. We CUT TO the balcony and see Vera
Trentino, still dressed in her negligee. Once more she tries
to attract them.
The boys look up and see her.
(In a half whisper -
In the safe -- behind the drapes --
(Pointing in the
direction of the
(Also in a half whisper)
All right -- I'll meet you behind
(In a half whisper)
No, no -- I mean the plans are in
(Pointing to safe
Harpo hasn't taken his eyes off of Vera during all this,
makes a sudden dash for her, as she turns to her room.
Chico stops him on the second or third step of the stairs.
Come on, we gotta no time for that.
Chico goes over to the safe and draws the curtains, disclosing
safe. Harpo follows and takes from his back pocket a rather
large electrical drill with a cord and plug attached to it.
Chico takes the cord and plugs it into the wall socket.
Harpo starts to drill the safe door, making a terrific noise --
the usual reaping whir-r-r of an electric drill. Chico grabs
his hand and stops him from drilling.
Wait a minute... we make too much
noise... Turn on the radio so they
can't hear what we're doing.
Harpo goes over to radio and turns it on... a dance tune
comes over the air. Harpo grabs Chico and whirls him around
as if he were dancing with a dame...
(Jerking himself away
What's-a matter, you crazy... ?
Chico goes to radio and adjusts dial to another station...
the following comes over the air...
RADIO POLICE ANNOUNCER
Calling car 125... car 125... go to
vacant lot at Tenth and Elm... a
woman walking around in her nightgown ---
Harpo drops the drill and makes a wild dash for door obviously
to go to the woman... Chico stops him.
Come on, we gotta finish the job...
RADIO POLICE ANNOUNCER
Calling car 67-W... car 67-W... go
to Mrs. Teasdale's residence...
burglars are attempting to break in.
Chico rushes to phone... and dials... This shot excludes
(Into phone -- after
Hello -- Police department... ?
That fellow's crazy... we're in
the house already...
Chico turns to listen to the next announcement - hanging
The Teasdale residence is located at
232 Poloma Drive...
You'll never find us, you gotta the
wrong address... we're at 235 Poloma
Drive... not 232... Look, it's a
white house with a shingle roof --
shingle -- shingle --
(and sings to
Shingle bells, shingle bells, shingle
all the way...
That's it, you got it... Hurry up,
if no get-a here soon, we can't
Hangs up... looks around for Harpo, who is not there...
(Puts his fingers to
mouth and whistles.)
CUT TO Vera's bedroom. It is a CLOSE SHOT showing Vera in
bed, shot from side of bed. She is under the bedcovers
desperately trying to keep them from being pulled off her...
TRUCK back disclosing Harpo on the other end of the bedcovers,
trying to pull them off her... for a moment following, a tug
of war goes on, Harpo pulling the covers about a foot his
way and Vera pulling them back... The sound of Chico's second
whistle coming over scene attracts Harpo, who lets go of the
covers and runs out of the room.
We pick him up outside of the room on balcony. Without
hesitation he slides down the bannisters to join Chico who
is waiting at foot of stairs.
Hey, you never get the safe open
(Looking up at Vera's
We gotta try the combination... You
gotta the combination?
Harpo nods and takes from under his coat a woman's silk
combination... winks and looks back in the direction of Vera's
room... Chico snatches it out of his hand and throws it
During above Mrs. Teasdale has come out on balcony, sees the
boys but can't distinguish them in the room which is
practically in darkness except for a few splotches of
moonlight. She runs back into her room...
CUT TO Mrs. Teasdale's room... she is at telephone dialing
(After a slight nervous
Hello? Your Excellency? There are
burglars in the house... I want you
to come right over.
CUT TO Groucho's bedroom. He is at the other end of the
phone in bed.
You come over here. There are no
burglars in my house.
CUT BACK to Mrs. Teasdale at phone.
But Your Excellency, you must -- I
tell you there are burglars here...
Oh, thank you... Please hurry...
CUT TO Chico and Harpo in living room below at safe.
Harpo has just finished putting a stick of dynamite in the
door of safe...
Light it... Now we blow him up...
Harpo strikes a match, but Chico stops him from lighting it.
Wait a minute... we gotta fix it so
it don't make-a so much noise...
What-a we do?
Harpo takes out a large wad of cotton, tears it, hands two
pieces to Chico... they both stuff their ears with large
That's fine... Now, nobody hear the
Harpo lights fuse... each stands on either side of safe door
waiting for the explosion... after a slight pause, there is
a terrific blast of sound... and the screen is masked with
smoke. The smoke clears away and the safe door falls to the
floor. Groucho walks out of the safe putting the plans of
war in his inside pocket...
After a few steps he stops and addresses the boys...
That woman is crazy... there are no
burglars around here...
END OF SEQUENCE "G"
FADE IN - to insert of newspaper which comes from background
to CAMERA. A screaming headline reads:
This insert goes past the CAMERA as another newspaper comes
from the background. The headline reads: -
"ENEMY APPROACHING CAPITOL"
DISSOLVE to Groucho's office. Groucho is standing in front
of his desk reading a newspaper, which is spread over his
The headline is the same as in the second insert -
"ENEMY APPROACHING CAPITOL"
Harpo is standing at the other side of the desk.
(Pounding his desk)
(He recites the
following command to
Ride through every village and town
wake every citizen up hill and down
tell them the enemy comes from afar
with a hey-nonny-nonny and a ha-cha-
CAMERA TRUCKS back disclosing a real horse beside Harpo.
There'll be two lamps in the steeple
if they're coming by land and one
lamp if they're coming by sea.
He and Harpo go to the window and look out.
CUT TO SHOT of a steeple with three lighted lamps -
CUT BACK to Groucho and Harpo
They double-crossed me... they're
coming by land and sea -- Be off, my
With a grand gesture, Groucho exits out of scene.
Harpo grips pommel of the saddle with both hands and in his
attempt to make a flying mount, vaults clear over the horse
landing on the other side. He lets down a rope ladder from
under the saddle, climbs the ladder, mounts the horse and
DISSOLVE to CLOSE UP of Harpo riding at breakneck speed. As
he looks grimly ahead he reaches down out of scene and brings
up a three-cornered colonial hat and puts it on his head.
DISSOLVE to a Moving Insert - Harpo bringing the horse to a
stop in front of a farm house. He blows a blast on a regular
army bugle... immediately a few old men rush out of the house
in their nightgowns, carrying guns, and into the scene from
all directions rush other men, answering the call, similarly
attired. Harpo starts his horse and we DISSOLVE to him
pulling up to another farm house.
This house has a single door on the extreme end of it and a
very large French window covering almost the rest of the
house. Harpo stops and sounds the bugle call. This time
there is no answer to his call. He waits a second, then
turns his horse in the direction of the house and rides
through the single door. After a short pause, the doors of
the French window fly open and the horse runs out pulling a
double bed which is on wheels. Harpo is standing at the
foot of the bed, braced against the bedpost, holding the
reins. There is an old couple, man and woman, fast asleep
in the bed - (This couple might be the blase gentleman and
young wife used by Peter Arno in his cartoons.) After riding
a few feet Harpo leaps from the bed onto the horse's back
and rides off leaving the bed and its occupants on the road.
DISSOLVE to Harpo pulling up to another farm house.
He stops, sounds his bugle. A very pretty young girl, in
her night clothes pokes her head out of the second story
window. Harpo takes a good look at her, leaps off his horse
and dashes into the house. A moment later he comes out of
the house with a feed bag and puts it on the horse's head....
then he dashes back into the house again. Almost instantly
he comes tearing out of the house, followed by an old geezer
in his nightgown, who is chasing him, with rifle in hand...
He fires a few shots -
END OF SEQUENCE "H"
DISSOLVE through the shooting of previous scene to STOCK
SHOT of artillery fire on battle field - a profile SHOT with
all the activity of an actual battle, but without an
indication of falling men. DISSOLVE from this to interior
of Groucho's headquarters behind the front - a wooden shack.
The sound of a distant booming of guns is heard over this
scene. On the wall is a large war map with colored thumb
tacks indicating the positions of Groucho's men and the enemy.
Groucho, in the uniform of a Confederate General, (a Robert
E. Lee make-up), is studying the war map with a few of his
(Looking at a tack in
a distant sector)
Either there's a fly in the room or
we've got a soldier in Africa.
The door flies open and Bob, in a snappy uniform, enters
excitedly and breathlessly. He faces Groucho with a quick
salute and a click of the heels.
(Taking a dispatch
from under his belt)
A dispatch from the front, sir.
Groucho snatches the dispatch from Bob's hand, tears it open --
reads it quickly -- claps his hand to his brow and staggers.
The generals crowd about him.
Bad news, sir?
Bad news -- its disastrous!
A FEW GENERALS
What is it?
(Reading from dispatch)
Private Moscowitz quits!
(Groucho rushes to
Clear all wires...
(The operator works
The enemy has taken Hill 25, throwing
twelve Hill-billies out of work...
Our front is exposed to the enemy --
we'll have to bring up the rear...
(Turning away, then
turning back to
P.S. Have misplaced flag of truce...
look in upper lefthand drawer of my
The whining of an approaching shell is heard and a shell
about three feet long comes sailing through the open window,
speeds through the room and tears through the opposite wall,
leaving a clean-cut hole. Groucho rushes to window and closes
SHOT of No Man's Land, with shells exploding in all
directions. We see a head slowly appearing over the edge of
shell-hole, looking through spy-glasses. It is Harpo...
Inside of shell hole...
Harpo registers that he has seen something of startling
interest. He drops the glasses, scrambles out of shell-hole
and runs out of scene. He rushes to his waiting motorcycle
(without the side-car).
The staff with the flag flying from it is attached to the
handle-bars. He leaps onto the motorcycle seat and starts
A war nurse, attracted by the roar of the motorcycle.
She looks back, sees Harpo approaching and breaks into a
As he closes in on her, she jumps into a trench to escape
him. Harpo rides on a little further to the entrance of the
trench and turns in, to continue his pursuit. A TRUCKING
SHOT shows only the flag and staff, tearing along above the
surface, with the accompanying roar of the motorcycle which
is hidden from view. As it speeds along, soldiers are leaping
up out of the trenches on every side to avoid being run down.
This continues doing a zig-zag with abrupt turns...
CUT BACK TO:
Groucho's headquarters. Groucho is discovered there alone,
stropping his sword on a razor strap attached to his desk.
Chico enters... goes to time-clock on wall, puts his workman's
card in it and punches it. Groucho, attracted by the bell
of the time-clock, stops stropping and walks over to Chico,
with sword in hand.
Late again, eh? You haven't been on
time once since this war started...
(Puts sword in sheath)
Get out there and fight...
in direction of battle
I can't do it...
Why not? You're the Secretary of
War, aren't you?
Yes, but I'm not working for you any
more. I'm on the other side.
(Like a surprised
Is that so? I used to think you
were two-faced - but you can't be -
or you wouldn't be wearing that one.
Now - let's talk this thing over.
Groucho sits down at desk and Chico pulls up another chair
and sits at opposite side of desk facing Groucho
(Blowing out a puff
Now -- how many men you got in your
Well, we gotta one hundred thousand
That's not fair -- we've only got
That's all right. We let you have
twenty-five thousand men -- and we
both start even.
That's the spirit -- fifty-fifty.
No. Seventy-five -- seventy-five.
Well, we'll let that one go. Now --
how many battalions you got?
We gotta two battalions and one
I wish you were still working for
me, so I could ask you to resign.
How're ya fixed for cavalry?
I've gotta five thousand men but no
That's funny, we've got five thousand
horses but no men.
That's all right -- our men can ride
Not a bad idea. If our horses get
tired they can ride your men for a
(Chico nods agreeingly)
Now, I don't mind letting you have
our horses, but you must promise to
put them through their maneuvers.
Oh, sure. We have horse maneuvers
At this point, an unusually large shell comes crashing from
above, imbedding itself, point down, in the floor without
exploding. Groucho and Chico rush over to look at it.
(Looking at shell)
Acme Ammunition Company, eh? How do
you expect to win the war with shells
that don't go off? Now, if you were
buying your stuff from me, you
wouldn't have that trouble. Eureka
Ammunition is guaranteed to explode --
or your money back. Let me show you
Groucho opens door and yells to some one outside
Bring in No. 47, line 8.
Harpo enters, bent forward, tugging at a rope which tightens
over his shoulder, in the manner of a Volga Boatman... at
the end of the rope is a cannon, on two wheels
(Pointing to gun)
That's our latest number... our
sixteen-inch Horowitz gun.
Load it up.
Harpo pours a great quantity of powder into the cannon, then
to make sure he has enough, he lights a match and looks into
the hole. Groucho takes the lighted match from Harpo. He
lights his own cigar, hands the match back to Harpo. Harpo
pours in a little more powder, makes sure he has enough,
then proceeds to ram the powder in the barrel with his horn.
He rises and moves to wall toward which the cannon is pointed.
He draws a target on the wall with a piece of chalk -- goes
back to cannon. He picks up the firing string, and faces
the target toward which the cannon is pointing. Chico puts
his fingers into his ears. Groucho picks up a pencil from
desk - taps it on desk - then raises both hands, in the manner
of an orchestra leader. He holds this pose for a second -
and on the down beat, Harpo jerks the string and there is a
terrific explosion. The cannon fires out the back end instead
of the front and blows a hole through the back wall. The
two stare off in the direction of the hole. Groucho turns
With a gun like that you can kill
some of your own men.
That's-a pretty good. I'll take a
dozen of them.
(Writing order on pad)
Yes, one gross of bullets, two dozen
hand-grenades, three kegs of powder --
and throw in some matches.
Fine. We'll throw in the matches
before we make the delivery. By the
way, how're you fixed for spys?
Fine. We gotta him.
(He indicates Harpo)
So! -- He's on your side, too.
Well, with you two fellows on the
other side, this country should have
no trouble keeping the wolf from the
Harpo opens the door and discloses a dozen or more snarling
wolves at the door.
CUT TO - INTERIOR enemy headquarters. The booming of distant
guns comes over the scene. Trentino is there with a Sylvanian
Something must be done immediately.
The soldiers are getting discouraged.
There's only one thing to do... we
must capture Firefly.
But how? It's a very dangerous
(Standing near widow)
Ask for volunteers. Some one must
make the sacrifice -- someone --
(Stops to gaze out of
window attracted by
off scene roar of
Here comes Chicolini. Maybe he'll
(Walks away from window)
Unless we can make Firefly our
prisoner, we're lost.
Chico enters. Trentino rushes over to him
Chicolini, you've come just in time.
We need a man who's fearless, brave.
A man who's willing to die, if
All right -- I'll go out and find
Firefly must be captured at any cost.
That's easy, I'll get him for you
It must be done right away.
I can't do it right away.
I got a date with a General's wife.
Isn't that a little dangerous?
Not unless you find it out.
Interior of Groucho's headquarters. Groucho is on his feet
addressing five or six generals, who are seated. Zeppo is
at the desk writing the minutes of the meeting.
Boys, I hate to do this, but if you
generals want this war to continue
you'll have to take a cut --
Bursting of a shell is heard right outside of shack.
Groucho rushes to the window, opens it, fires a shot from
his revolver through the window, hurriedly shuts it, then
rushes back to Generals
We can't afford to pay the money
we've been paying. Now I don't want
to lay anybody off. My motto in
this war is: - "Live and let live".
The bursting of another shell is heard right outside of shack.
Groucho rushes to the window, opens it, turns his back to
window, takes out a pocket mirror, holds it up in front of
him and shoots over his shoulder out of window, taking his
aim from the reflection in the mirror, like a trick marksman.
As Groucho walks away from window, he hears another explosion
outside. He rushes back to the window, takes a package of
small firecrackers out of his pocket, detaches one of the
firecrackers, lights it from his cigar and throws it out of
the window. A very small explosion is heard. Groucho
hurriedly shuts the window and rushes back to the generals,
as we - CUT TO:
THE OUTSIDE - A LONG SHOT of a dirigible (miniature) --
then we go to a CLOSE UP of the dirigible. On the bag, in
large letters, is printed --
The CAMERA PANS DOWN to the cabin of the dirigible.
Chico and Harpo are standing at the open door looking down.
Look! That's-a Firefly's
We catch him right now.
Harpo reaches back into the cabin, picks up an enormous hook
and throws it out. The rope that is attached to the hook
starts playing out rapidly.
CUT TO --
LONG SHOT miniature of dirigible and rope dangling from it...
Then CUT TO - SHOT of rope and hook as it approaches Groucho's
headquarters. It hooks onto the roof of the shack and raises
it off the ground. CUT TO -
LONG SHOT - miniature of dirigible carrying the shack through
CUT TO - inside of headquarters.
Gentlemen, the overhead is killing
us. Everything is going up. If we
don't watch ourselves, we'll come
down with a crash. Now -- all those
in favor of taking a cut say "aye"...
But Your Excellency!
CUT TO - SHOT of dirigible carrying the shack.
The shack just clears a steeple by a few inches.
CUT TO - INSIDE of headquarters.
Now go right out there and fight.
(To one general)
You go out there and relieve General
Beauregard, and while you're at it,
see what General Motors is doing.
The general, without saluting, exits out of door and closes
door behind him.
(To another general)
Call him back -- he didn't salute
The second general exits out of door without saluting, closing
door behind him.
Father, he didn't salute you either.
The remaining generals jump to their feet, stand at attention
Go out there -- all of you -- and
bring those generals back -- dead or
All of the generals exit through to door; the last one closing
door behind him.
Why don't those generals come back?
I'll call them.
Never mind, I'll go after them myself.
Groucho goes to door, pulls it open, starts out --
CUT TO - EXTERIOR OF SHACK (against sky backing).
Groucho is seen in the open doorway. He comes out and walks
down the steps (there are three steps attached to entrance
of door, with railing on each side. Groucho is about to
step off into space. He grabs the railing and hangs by his
Zeppo rushes to door and pulls him up by the hands.
CUT TO - Inside as Zeppo finishes pulling Groucho in. Groucho
scrambles to his feet, rushes to window, leans out of window
backwards and looks up.
CUT TO -- SHOT of dirigible as seen by Groucho.
CUT BACK inside of shack as Groucho pulls in his head.
Get my rifle.
Zeppo runs for rifle...
I'll get rid of them.
Zeppo returns and hands rifle to Groucho. Groucho leans out
of the window backwards and shoots up into the air... CUT
TO - dirigible (miniature) as the bag explodes. The smoke
fills the screen. As the smoke clears away we see Groucho
and Zeppo descending side by side in two parachutes against
Take a letter.
Zeppo takes out pad and pencil
To whom it may concern... Dear
Gloria: The air has done me a world
of good. I am five thousand feet
above sea level speeding home to
you. Can you arrange to meet me at
twenty-five hundred feet? -- which
is only asking you to meet me half
way. Don't be surprised if I drop
in on you any minute... Your fun-
Groucho and Zeppo descend out of scene, as Harpo and Chico
come into scene from above, both suspended from the ropes of
their parachutes... They are in a sitting position, with a
board across their knees, playing cards...
END OF SEQUENCE "J"
FADE IN - to a group of notables standing around a large
table. Among them are Mrs. Teasdale and Zeppo. Groucho is
the guest of honor, very gaily attired for the occasion.
As we FADE INTO this scene, they are singing -
Hail, hail, Freedonia... Land of
the brave and free!
My dad is much too great for his
position without a question. I'd
like to offer this with your
permission as a suggestion: I really
think he should be king!
We really think he should be king!
I really think he should be king!
He should be king!
And wear a crown and everything.
I really think he should be king!
He should be king!
From what I have been gathering, I
think they think I should be king: I
think they think I should be king!
He should be king!
And wear a crown and everything.
And everything. He should be king!
Then follows a musical interlude during which Groucho says: -
(Speaking to audience)
You know I think they think I should
(Then turning to the
guests - singing)
Although it would please me to govern
the throng, suppose I were king and
then everything went wrong.
The king can do no wrong!
The king can do no wrong! The king
can do no wrong!
They all sit
Of course you're All aware a king
must have an heir some one to pass
the family name along will some one
tell me where I'd ever get an heir
if a king can do no wrong
The king can do no wrong!
(They all sit down)
Suppose a pretty dame Into my castle
came - And let us say that I was
going strong. She might be stuck on
me, but what good would it be, if
the king can do no wrong.
The king can do to wrong!
King Solomon was game he gave each
Girl his name to number them would
make a list that long I'll bet his
thousand wives led miserable lives
if the king can do no wrong.
We really think he should be king
and wear a crown and everything.
They think I should - They think I
should - They think I should - They
think I should be king.
Mrs. Teasdale rises.
My dear friends, in time of peace we
should forgive those who fought
against us, and so, I have invited
our former enemies.
CUT TO door, as it is being opened by two pages.
Trentino and Vera enter. They both stop and bow in
acknowledgment of the applause coming over scene.
As they walk toward table and out of scene, Chico and Harpo
enter. The latter is carrying a carpet runner, rolled up
under his arm. He flips the carpet runner away from him on
the floor, holding onto one end. It rolls out and Harpo
strides majestically down its length toward the table with
Chico following. Harpo pauses, brings to light a cuspidor
from under his coat, puts it on the carpet and spits into
it, and continues on, following Chico, who is now ahead of
him. Harpo breaks into a run and he and Chico dash madly to
the table. They take seats on either side of Groucho and
without hesitating, start to eat the food in front of them.
The guests are standing. Trentino and Vera arrive at their
places and everyone sits down.
Harpo reaches for a large service plate with a pretty picture
on it, pushes his plate away, breaks the service plate with
a knife... it breaks into little pieces like a jig-saw puzzle.
He mixes the pieces up, and then starts to put them together
again ... Groucho watches him... then helps him...
(Stopping Harpo as he
tries to fit a piece)
No, no, this is the one...
(Picking up a piece
and placing it...)
A waiter places a dish of tasty food in front of Groucho...
he is just about to dig into it with his knife and fork when
Harpo turns the table toward himself. This brings Groucho's
food to Harpo, and Chico's empty plate to Groucho...
That was awfully good, I think I'll
have a second helping... waiter...
Snapping his finger to waiter off scene. The waiter
immediately appears placing a second dish in front of Groucho.
He starts to dig his knife and fork into it again when Chico
turns the table toward himself... This brings his food to
Chico... Harpo lifts his plate up and puts it down again
when the table stops turning... this time Groucho has nothing
in front of him...
If I don't stop eating I'll get
A WOMAN GUEST
(To the left of
Chico... to Chico)
Would you mind passing the salt?
(Yelling to Harpo)
Hey, she wants some salt...
Harpo takes salt shaker from man to his right, places it in
front of himself and gives the table a quick turn toward the
woman next to Chico...
Groucho is still without food. He rises and looks about
table... Sees a dish of food in front of Trentino, who is
seated at opposite side of table... Trentino is eating.
(Yelling to Trentino)
Ambassador, how's the food?
(Looking up and turning
in direction of
It's delicious, Your Excellency.
That's all I wanted to know.
He gives the table a quick turn and Trentino's plate
disappears as it spins around toward Groucho...
Just as it gets to Harpo, he lifts up the plate... the table
goes on a few feet more and when it stops, Harpo puts down
his plate and starts to eat... again Groucho has nothing...
Groucho picks up his napkin and wipes his mouth.
I couldn't eat another thing.
(He stands up)
Ladies and gentlemen, I want to
introduce to you a man who is a prince
of good fellows, generous to a fault,
his own worst enemy and a devil in
his own hometown...
Applause... Groucho steps up on the table
Thanks, I didn't expect to be called
upon... However, in conclusion I
want to tell you that I promised
Mrs. Teasdale I'd marry her if we
won the war.... Well, we won the war
and I'm stuck... to the victor belongs
The table starts to turn slowly... Groucho starts to walk
in opposite direction... staying in same place.
In union there is strength...
The table moves a little faster... Groucho increases his
pace accordingly... CUT TO Harpo and Chico now seated beside
each other turning the table... CUT BACK to Groucho...
I feel that we are taking a step in
the right direction, and that's what
I call balling the Jack...
Speed of table turning increases. Groucho keeping pace
against it in tread-mill fashion...
Now is not the time for political
temporizing, all interests must be
sacrificed for the common weal...
CUT TO Harpo and Chico turning table... faster and faster...
We CUT BACK to Groucho who is now galloping to keep his spot
but he's not going any place
All those who want to place their
money on the wheel, step inside,
faint heart never won fair lady...
Money won't grow in your pocket like
the hair on your head and now is the
time for all good men to come to the
aid of their party.
This FADES OUT on a shot with Groucho running madly, and
gesticulating, taking in Harpo and Chico turning the table...
END OF SEQUENCE "K"
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