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Crazy House (1930)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Short  |  1 November 1930 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 120 users  
Reviews: 7 user

Benny Rubin takes a tour of the "Lame Brain Sanitarium" and meets some of its strange patients.


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Complete credited cast:
Benny Rubin ...
Vernon Dent ...
Dr. Smith (J-O-N-E-S)
Polly Moran ...
Gus Shy ...
Earl 'Snake Hips' Tucker ...
Dancer (as Snake Hips)
Albertina Rasch Ballet ...
Ballet Troupe
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:


The Lame Brain Sanitarium is managed by Dr. E.D. Smith, who spells his last name J-O-N-E-S. Benny Rubin, believing he may have problems - the primary one being that he spends more money than he makes - is thinking about checking himself in. As he tours the sanitarium, he meets some of the other patients, including a fiddle destroyer, a man who believes he's developed an unbreakable plate, a dancer with elastic legs, and a Danish opera singer and his colleague (old friends of Rubin's) with a poor sense of geography. But the craziest people in Rubin's mind may be the staff, especially Dr. Smith, who believes he can cure Rubin by operating. In the end, is Rubin really crazy or are the crazy ones the writers? Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Short






Release Date:

1 November 1930 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Albertina Rasch Ballet sequence is missing from the extant print shown on Turner Classic Movies; most likely, it was removed at one time and used in another short subject, possibly one of the early Three Stooges entries. See more »

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User Reviews

Strange Short
22 November 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Crazy House (1930)

** (out of 4)

This MGM short isn't known today but it's certainly a unique little thing even if its quality is quite low. The film has Benny Rubin going to the "Lame Brain Sanitarium" where he wants to do some research but he soon realizes that there's not a single normal person there. This MGM short has one major bonus and that's the fact that it was shot in 2-strip Technicolor, which certainly makes it stand out from other shorts made around this time. I've always loved the look of these early Technicolor shorts and this one here is great to look at but sadly that's about all the film offers. The film certainly is a strange one as the style of comedy just seems so off that you can't help but be fascinated by it even though it's not making you laugh. The ending is just as bizarre but I won't spoil it for you. How this thing plays out is just a head scratcher and you have to wonder if the filmmakers actually thought it would be funny. Rubin seems very nervous in the picture but I guess this was just part of the character. Familiar character actor Vernon Dent steals the film as the nutty doctor. Polly Moran, Cliff Edwards, Gus Shy and Karl Dane also appear.

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