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 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 10:05 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Any fans of humorist Robert Benchley? For years I savored the scraps that Warner Brothers served on its various classic movie DVDs and then this past years WB Archive released a 3-disc set of all of his MGM short films from the 1930s-'40s...a dream come true for Benchley fans!

http://www.wbshop.com/Robert-Benchley-Shorts/1000115181,default,pd.html

I love Benchley's self-deprecating, goofy sense of humor and the slice of life skits, especially:

How to Sleep (Oscar winner!)
That Inferior Feeling
How to Eat
Home Early
Home Movies
An Hour for Lunch
The Day of Rest

One of the most interesting things for me are the glimpses into life during the '30s and '40s--there were jerks back then? Sure were! Plenty of 'em!--and I like the actress who played his long-suffering wife, she's able to be critical of Benchley--or "Joe Doakes" as he's sometimes called in these shorts--while remaining sympathetic. Benchley's gentle humor is of a different time and I doubt anyone raised on stuff like Richard Pryor or George Carlin would enjoy Benchley's more benign observations amusing. Those with an open mind and an interest in the era will love it, though.

Good overview of Benchley's career on this blog:

http://www.movietone-news.com/2010/01/magnificent-mr-benchley.html

 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 4:58 PM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

I'm waiting for a collection of the Pete Smith Specialties starring Dave O'Brien.

 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 9:21 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

What about this guy?:

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 11:07 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Don't forget Benchley was first and foremost a writer. I recommend a trip to the library, and some exploration and discovery.

Meanwhile, Benchley co-starred (with Joan Leslie) in my favorite Fred Astaire movie, 1943's THE SKY'S THE LIMIT, sadly not yet available on DVD.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 11:08 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

toil & trouble

 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2010 - 11:11 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Those who are Benchley completists should note his Disney effort, "The Reluctant Dragon" was released on DVD some years ago in the now sadly defunct Walt Disney Treasures series.

 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2010 - 5:23 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Don't forget Benchley was first and foremost a writer. I recommend a trip to the library, and some exploration and discovery.


Yes, I have been to this "library" of which you speak. roll eyes wink

Benchley's book My Ten Years in a Quandary is freely available online:

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks07/0700431h.html


 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2010 - 8:29 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

Benchley did a few brief but hilarious insets to Hope & Crosby's ROAD TO UTOPIA.

"Did you ever stop to think about those dog teams? The lead dog is the only one that gets a change of scenery..."

Unfortunately, the film was held back for two years and released after Benchley's death.

 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2010 - 12:18 PM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)

I love his supporting appearances in films like YOU'LL NEVER GET RICH.

A reference book referred to his characters as "the amiable pest," which is exactly right.

Thanks for the alert about his shorts, JP. I've been interested to see them.

 
 Posted:   Jul 26, 2010 - 12:24 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Benchley's amusing in The Major and the Minor. Meanwhile, here he is in his Oscar-winning short film, HOW TO SLEEP:

*Sadly, link no longer available*

 
 Posted:   Sep 11, 2013 - 6:46 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Robert Benchley- "That Inferior Feeling" (1940)

*Sadly, link no longer active*

(with Spanish subtitles even!)

 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2013 - 2:48 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)


Drinking makes such fools of people, and people are such fools to begin with, that it's compounding a felony.

Robert Benchley


 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2018 - 3:49 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

"It is necessary to have a definite, very personal pride, coupled with the assurance that you are in the right. And above all, the ability to deal with others not only as if you were their equal, but without offense, their superior."

~Robert Benchley, That Inferior Feeling (1940)

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2018 - 4:34 PM   
 By:   chriscoyle   (Member)

In her autobiography Ginger Rogers calls Benchley serious and complex. For The Major and the Minor Benchley would arrive punctually carrying a stack of books and would read,on average, four a day. She was amazed by his literary accomplishments. Roger's real mom Lela played the role of her mother in the scenes near the end of the movie.

 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2018 - 5:26 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Don't forget Benchley was first and foremost a writer. I recommend a trip to the library, and some exploration and discovery.

This post made my "Favorite Posts Over the Years" thread. Its enthusiasm-crushing condescension is as timeless as that book about that movie directed by that fat English guy PNJ is always whinnying on about so much, though I forget which movie, and which book.

 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2018 - 5:38 PM   
 By:   'Lenny Bruce' Marshall   (Member)

Portrayed in MRS. PARKER .....
Much better looking than the real life person!

 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2018 - 8:28 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Portrayed in MRS. PARKER .....
Much better looking than the real life person!


That's Hollywood.

Scott's performance was one of the few standout aspects of an otherwise disappointing film.

 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2018 - 9:45 PM   
 By:   'Lenny Bruce' Marshall   (Member)

Portrayed in MRS. PARKER .....
Much better looking than the real life person!


That's Hollywood.

Scott's performance was one of the few standout aspects of an otherwise disappointing film.


Really like Isham's score too !

 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2018 - 9:46 PM   
 By:   'Lenny Bruce' Marshall   (Member)

Don't forget Benchley was first and foremost a writer. I recommend a trip to the library, and some exploration and discovery.

This post made my "Favorite Posts Over the Years" thread. Its enthusiasm-crushing condescension is as timeless as that book about that movie directed by that fat English guy PNJ is always whinnying on about so much, though I forget which movie, and which book.


Preston wrote a book?

 
 Posted:   Sep 20, 2018 - 7:49 PM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)

Don't forget Benchley was first and foremost a writer. I recommend a trip to the library, and some exploration and discovery.

This post made my "Favorite Posts Over the Years" thread. Its enthusiasm-crushing condescension is as timeless as that book about that movie directed by that fat English guy PNJ is always whinnying on about so much, though I forget which movie, and which book.


Huh????

 
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