Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Eve Traditions

One of my New Year's Eve traditions is watching the Marx Brothers classic movie Duck Soup.

I'm grew up in Portage, Indiana, which I consider to be a suburb of Chicago. Portage is in northern Indiana along the Lake Michigan lakefront. On clear days, in fact, you can stand on the beach in Ogden Dunes or the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and look across Lake Michigan to see the Chicago skyline rising above the waves like Atlantis.

And because Portage was close to Chicago, all of the over-the-air TV stations back in the 1970's were broadcast out of Chicago. One of those stations was WGN, Channel 9. And every year in the late 1970's and early 1980's, shortly after midnight on New Year's Day, WGN would broadcast Duck Soup. Over the years, watching Duck Soup became a yearly tradition for me.

It did not make a lot of revenue when it was first released in 1933, but now it is considered to be the Marx Brothers greatest movie and a superb satire. It gained a resurgence in the 1960's and 1970's as it began to be rebroadcast on TV. Robert Ebert now lists it as one of his Great Movies.

I have watched it many times now, but I still find myself picking up new little things even now, when I see it again

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