"Take two turkeys, one goose, four cabbages, but no duck, and mix them together. After one taste, you'll duck soup for the rest of your life"
: -Groucho Marx about the movie
Rufus T. Firefly
- I danced before Napoleon. No, Napoleon danced before me. In fact, he danced two hundred years before me.
- I could dance with you till the cows come home. On second thought, I'd rather dance with the cows till you came home.
- These are the laws of my administration
No one's allowed to smoke
Or tell a dirty joke
And whistling is forbidden...
If chewing gum is chewed
The chewer is pursued.
And in the hoosegow hidden...
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 'til I get through with it
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 'til I get through with it...
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 stand 'em up against the wall
And pop goes the weasel.
If any man should come between her 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 'em up against the wall
And pop goes the weasel.
- These Are The Laws of My Administration, sung just after his inauguration
- I'm in a hurry! To the House of Representatives! Ride like fury! If you run out of gas, get ethyl. If Ethel runs out, get Mabel.
- [On the phone] Get me headquarters. Not hindquarters, headquarters!
- Clear? Huh! Why a four-year-old child could understand this report. Run out and find me a four-year-old child. I can't make head or tail out of it.
- [to Chicolini] I wanted to get a writ of habeas corpus, but I should have gotten a-rid of you instead.
- This is the fifth trip I've made today, and I haven't been anywhere yet!
- I'd be unworthy of the high trust that's been placed in me if I didn't do everything in my power to keep our beloved Freedonia at peace with the world. I'd be only too happy to meet with Ambassador Trentino and offer him on behalf of my country the right hand of good fellowship. And I feel sure he will accept this gesture in the spirit of which it is offered. But suppose he doesn't? A fine thing that'll be. I hold out my hand and he refuses to accept. That'll add a lot to my prestige, won't it? Me, the head of a country, snubbed by a foreign ambassador. Who does he think he is, that he can come here, and make a sap of me in front of all my people? Think of it! I hold out my hand and that hyena refuses to accept! Why, the cheap four-flushing swine! He'll never get away with it, I tell you! He'll never get away with it!
- Here are the plans of war. They're as valuable as your life. And that's putting them pretty cheap. Watch them like a cat watched her kittens. Have you ever had kittens? No, of course not, you're too busy running around playing bridge.
- You're a brave man. Go and break through the lines. And remember while you're out there risking life and limb through shot and shell, we'll be in here thinking what a sucker you are.
- I've got a good mind to join a club and beat you over the head with it.
- Mrs. Teasdale: The government has been mismanaged. I will lend the money, but only on condition that His Excellency withdraw and place the government in new hands.
- Chicolini (to the lemonade vendor): Mister you no understand. Look, he's a spy and I'm a spy, he work-a for me. I want him to find out-a something, but he no find out what I wanna find out. Now how am I gonna find out what I wanna find out if he no find out what I gotta find out?
- Trentino: I've given up the idea of a revolution. I have a better plan...I can gain control of Freedonia much easier by marrying Mrs. Teasdale.
- Vera: Ha, ha, ha. Maybe that's not going to be so easy...From what I hear, you see, Mrs. Teasdale is rather sweet on this Rufus T. Firefly.
- Trentino: Oh, well that's where you come in. I'm going to place him in your hands. And I don't have to tell you what to do or how to...
- Mrs. Teasdale: Oh, your Excellency. We've been expecting you. As chairwoman of the reception committee, I extend the wishes of every man, woman, and child of Freedonia.
- Firefly: Never mind that stuff. [pulls a deck of cards from his pocket] Take a card.
- Mrs. Teasdale: Card? What will I do with the card?
- Firefly: You can keep it. I've got fifty-one left. Now what were you saying?
- Mrs. Teasdale: As chairwoman of the reception committee, I welcome you with open arms.
- Firefly: Is that so? How late do you stay open?
- Mrs. Teasdale: I've sponsored your appointment because I feel you are the most able statesman in all Freedonia.
- Firefly: Well, that covers a lot of ground. Say, you cover a lot of ground yourself. You'd better beat it. I hear they're gonna tear you down and put up an office building where you're standing. You can leave in a taxi. If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff. You know, you haven't stopped talking since I came here. You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle.
- Mrs. Teasdale: The future of Freedonia rests on you. Promise me you will follow in the footsteps of my husband.
- Firefly: [to audience] How do you like that? I haven't been on the job five minutes and already she's making advances to me. [to Mrs. Teasdale] Not that I care, but where is your husband?
- Mrs. Teasdale: Why, he's dead.
- Firefly: I'll bet he's just using that as an excuse.
- Mrs. Teasdale: I was with him to the very end.
- Firefly: Hmmph. No wonder he passed away.
- Mrs. Teasdale: I held him in my arms and kissed him.
- Firefly: Oh, I see. Then, it was murder. Will you marry me? Did he leave you any money? Answer the second question first.
- Mrs. Teasdale: He left me his entire fortune.
- Firefly: Is that so? Can't you see what I'm trying to tell you? I love you! [jumps into her arms]
- Mrs. Teasdale: Oh, your Excellency!
- Firefly: You're not so bad yourself.
- Firefly: Oh, uh, I suppose you would think me a sentimental old fluff, but, uh, would you mind giving me lock of your hair?
- Mrs. Teasdale: A lock of my hair? Wh-why, I had no idea that you...
- Firefly: I'm letting you off easy: I was going to ask for the whole wig.
- Mrs. Teasdale: Oh, I want to present to you Ambassador Trentino of Sylvania. Having him with us today is indeed a great pleasure.
- Trentino: Thank you, but I can't stay very long.
- Firefly: That's even a greater pleasure. Now, how about lending this country twenty million dollars, you old skinflint.
- Trentino: twenty million dollars is a lot of money. I'd have to take that up with my Minister of Finance.
- Firefly: Well, in the meantime, could you let me have twelve dollars until payday?
- Trentino: Twelve dollars?
- Firefly: Don't be scared. You'll get it back. I'll give you my personal note for ninety days. If it isn't paid by then, you can keep the note.
- Trentino: Your Excellency? Haven't we seen each other somewhere before?
- Firefly: I don't think so. I'm not sure I'm seeing you now. It must be something I ate.
- Trentino: Look here, Sir, are you trying to...?
- Firefly: Don't look now, but there's one man too many in this room, and I think it's you.
- Mrs. Teasdale: The eyes of the world are upon you. Notables from every country are gathered here in your honor. This is a gala day for you.
- Firefly: Well, a gal a day is enough for me. I don't think I could handle any more.
- Trentino: Have you been trailing Firefly?
- Chicolini: Have we been trailing Firefly? Why, my partner, he's got a nose just like a bloodhound.
- Trentino: Oh really?
- Chicolini: Yeah, and the rest of his face don't look so good either.
- Trentino: Oh! Now, Chicolini, I want a full detailed report of your investigation.
- Chicolini: All right, I tell you. Monday we watch-a Firefly's house, but he no come out. He wasn't home. Tuesday we go to the ball game, but he fool us. He no show up. Wednesday he go to the ball game, and we fool him. We no show up. Thursday was a double-header. Nobody show up. Friday it rained all day. There was no ball game, so we stayed home and we listened to it on-a the radio.
- Trentino: Then you didn't shadow Firefly?
- Chicolini: Oh, sure we shadow Firefly. We shadow him all day.
- Trentino: But what day was that?
- Chicolini: Shaderday. Hahaha! That's-a some joke, eh, Boss?
- Firefly: And now members of the Cabinet, we'll take up old business.
- Minister: I wish to discuss the tariff.
- Firefly: Sit down. That's new business. No old business? Very well. Then, we'll take up new business.
- Minister: Now about that tariff.
- Firefly: Too late, that's old business already. Sit down.
- Minister of Labor: The Department of Labor wishes to report that the workers of Freedonia are demanding shorter hours.
- Firefly: Very well, we'll give them shorter hours. We'll start by cutting their lunch hour to twenty minutes. And now, gentlemen, we've got to start looking for a new Treasurer.
- Minister of Labor: But you appointed one last week!
- Firefly: That's the one I'm looking for.
- Secretary of War: Gentlemen! Gentlemen! Enough of this. How about taking up the tax?
- Firefly: How about taking up the carpet?
- Secretary of War: I still insist we must take up the tax.
- Firefly: He's right. You've got to take up the tacks before you can take up the carpet.
- Secretary of War: I give all my time and energy to my duties and what do I get?
- Firefly: You get awfully tiresome after a while.
- Secretary of War: Sir, you try my patience!
- Firefly: I don't mind if I do. You must come over and try mine sometime.
- Secretary of War: That's the last straw. I resign! I wash my hands of the whole business.
- Firefly: That's a good idea. You can wash your neck, too.
- Firefly: Now listen here. I've got a swell job for you, but first I'll have to ask you a couple of important questions. Now, what is it that has four pair of pants, lives in Philadelphia and it never rains but it pours? [He chuckles, thinking he has baffled Chicolini]
- Chicolini: That's-a good one. I give you three guesses.
- Firefly: Now, let me see. Has four pair of pants, lives in Philadelphia... Is it male or female?
- Chicolini: No, I don't think so.
- Firefly: Is he dead?
- Chicolini: Who?
- Firefly: I don't know. I give up.
- Chicolini: I give up too. Now, I ask you another one. What is it got big black-a moustache, smokes a big black cigar, and is a big pain in the neck?
- Firefly: Now, don't tell me. Has a big black moustache, smokes a big black cigar and is a big pain in the -
- Chicolini: Uh -
- Firefly: Does he wear glasses?
- Chicolini: Ats-a right. You guess it quick.
- Firefly: Just for that, you don't get the job I was gonna give you.
- Chicolini: What job?
- Firefly: Secretary of War.
- Chicolini: All right, I take it.
- Firefly: Sold!
- Firefly: Now that you're Secretary of War, what kind of an army do you think we oughta have?
- Chicolini: Well, I tell you what I think. I think we should have a standing army.
- Firefly: Why should we have a standing army?
- Chicolini: Because then we save money on chairs.
- Firefly: I can't give you wealth, but, uh, we can have a little family of our own.
- Mrs. Teasdale: Oh Rufus!
- Firefly: All I can offer you is a Rufus over your head.
- Mrs. Teasdale: Your Excellency. I really don't know what to say.
- Firefly: I wouldn't know what to say either if I was in your place. [To Trentino] Maybe you can suggest something. As a matter of fact, you do suggest something. To me you suggest a baboon.
- Trentino: What?!
- Firefly: I'm sorry I said that. It isn't fair to the rest of the baboons.
- Trentino: You swine! You worm! You... upstart!
- [Firefly slaps him with his glove]
- Trentino: Mrs. Teasdale. I'm afraid this regrettable occurrence may plunge our countries into war.
- Mrs. Teasdale: Oh, this is terrible!
- Trentino: I've said enough. I'm a man of few words.
- Firefly: I'm a man of one word: Scram!
- Mrs. Teasdale: Your Excellency, the Ambassador's here on a friendly visit. He's had a change of heart.
- Firefly: A lot of good that'll do him. He's still got the same face.
- Trentino: I'm sorry we lost our tempers. I'm willing to forget if you are.
- Firefly: Forget? You ask me to forget? A Firefly never forgets. Why, my ancestors would rise from their graves, and I'd only have to bury them again. Nothing doing. I'm going back and clean the crackers out of my bed. I'm expecting company.
- Mrs. Teasdale: Please wait.
- Firefly: Let go of me, you bully!
- Mrs. Teasdale: Oh!
- Trentino: I am willing to do anything to prevent this war.
- Firefly: It's too late. I've already paid a month's rent on the battlefield.
- Trentino: Do you mean "Worm"?
- Firefly: No, that wasn't it.
- Trentino: I know: "Swine"!
- Firefly: ...No, it was a seven letter word.
- Trentino: Oh yes: "Upstart"?
- Firefly: That's it! Upstart.
- [Firefly slaps Trentino across the face with his gloves.]
- Trentino: This means WAR!
- Firefly: Go, and never darken my towels again!
- Mrs. Teasdale: I thought you left.
- Chicolini: [impersonating Firefly] Oh no. I don't leave.
- Mrs. Teasdale: But I saw you with my own eyes.
- Chicolini: Well, who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?
- Prosecutor: Chicolini, you're charged with high treason. And if found guilty, you'll be shot.
- Chicolini: I object.
- Prosecutor: You object. On what grounds?
- Chicolini: I couldn't think of anything else to say.
- Firefly: Objection sustained.
- Prosecutor: Your Excellency? You sustained the objection?
- Firefly: Sure. I couldn't think of anything else to say either. Why don't you object?
- Prosecutor: Chicolini, when were you born?
- Chicolini: I don't remember. I was just a little baby.
- Firefly: Chicolini, give me a number from one to ten.
- Chicolini: Eleven.
- Firefly: Right.
- Chicolini: Now I aska you one. What is it has a trunk, but no key, weighs two thousand pounds and lives in the circus?
- Prosecutor: That's irrelevant.
- Chicolini: Irr-elephant? Hey, that's the answer! There's a whole lotta irr-elephants in the circus.
- Minister/Judge: That sort of testimony we can eliminate.
- Chicolini: Thats-a fine. I'll take some.
- Minister/Judge: You'll take what?
- Chicolini: Eliminate. A nice, cool glass o' lemonade.
- Prosecutor: Chicolini, isn't it true you sold Freedonia's secret war code and plans?
- Chicolin: Sure, I sold a code and two pairs o' plans. Hahaha! 'At's-a some joke, eh boss?
- Firefly: Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot. I implore you, send him back to his father and brothers who are waiting for him with open arms in the penitentiary. I suggest that we give him ten years in Leavenworth or eleven years in Twelveworth.
- Chicolini: I tell you what I'll do. I'll take five and ten in Woolworth.
- Minister of Finance: Something must be done! War would mean a prohibitive increase in our taxes.
- Chicolini: Hey, I got an uncle lives in Taxes.
- Minister of Finance: No, I'm talking about taxes - money, dollars.
- Chicolini: "Dollahs!" There's-a where my uncle lives! "Dollahs", Taxes!
- Trentino: There's a machine-gun nest near hill twenty-eight. I want it cleaned out.
- Chicolini: All right. I'll tell the janitor.
- Firefly: Take a letter.
- Bob Roland: Who to?
- Firefly: To my dentist. Uh... "Dear dentist, enclosed find check for $500, yours very truly." Send that off immediately.
- Bob Roland: I'll, um, I'll have to enclose a check first.
- Firefly: You do and I'll fire you.
- Firefly: Where's my Stradivarius?
- Officer: Here, sir.
- Firefly: I'll show 'em they can't fiddle around with old Firefly!
- [he pulls a tommygun out of his violin case and opens fire]
- Firefly: Look at them run. Now they know they've been in a war.
- Bob Roland: Your Excellency!
- Firefly: [making the sound of rat-a-tat-tat] They're fleeing like rats.
- Bob Roland: But sir, I've got to tell you--
- Firefly: Remind me to give myself the Firefly Medal for this.
- Bob Roland: Your Excellency, you're shooting your own men!
- Firefly: What?
- Bob Roland: You're shooting your own men!
- Firefly: Here's $5, keep it under your hat.
- [holds out his hat to take the $5 back]
- Firefly: Never mind, I'll keep it under my hat.
- Chicolini: I wouldn't go out-a there even if I was-a in one o' those big things-a go up and down!
- Firefly: Tanks?
- Chicolini: You're welcome.
- Firefly: Oh, I'm sick of messages from the front. Don't we ever get a message from the side? - What is it?
- Bob Roland: General Smith reports a gas attack. He wants to know what to do.
- Firefly: Tell him to take a teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda in a half a glass of water.
- Firefly: Awfully decent of you to drop in today. Do you realize our army is facing disastrous defeat? What do you intend to do about it?
- Chicolini: I've done it already.
- Firefly: You've done what?
- Chicolini: I've changed to the other side.
- Firefly: So, you're on the other side, eh? Well, what are you doing over here?
- Chicolini: Well, the food is better over here.
- Groucho Marx - Rufus T. Firefly
- Harpo Marx - Pinky (pink wig appeared blonde in black-and-white film)
- Chico Marx - Chicolini
- Zeppo Marx - Lt. Bob Roland
- Margaret Dumont - Mrs. Gloria Teasdale
- Raquel Torres - Vera Marcal
- Louis Calhern - Ambassador Trentino of Sylvania
- Edmund Breese - Zander
- Leonid Kinskey - Sylvanian Agitator
- Charles Middleton - Prosecutor
- Edgar Kennedy - Lemonade Vendor