MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 9,158 this week

International House (1933)

Passed  |   |  Comedy  |  27 May 1933 (USA)
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 904 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 8 critic

Assorted wacky characters converge on a Chinese hotel to bid on a new invention...television.

Director:

(as Edward Sutherland)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Interview: Magic Mike

The Magic Mike XXL guys give some relationship advice to a 74-year-old fan.

Watch Now

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 46 titles
created 02 May 2011
 
a list of 36 titles
created 23 Apr 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 24 May 2013
 
a list of 31 titles
created 07 Jul 2013
 
a list of 22 titles
created 17 Jan 2014
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: International House (1933)

International House (1933) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of International House.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Animation | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The Bellows family causes comic confusion on an ocean liner, with time out for radio-style musical acts.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: W.C. Fields, Martha Raye, Dorothy Lamour
Running Wild I (1927)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Cowardly Elmer Finch is browbeaten by his wife, daughter, fat son and the family dog. After hypnosis he is domineering. He enters a contract with a fifteen-thousand dollar payoff, so his ... See full summary »

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: W.C. Fields, Marie Shotwell, Mary Brian
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Druggist Elmer Prettywillie is sleeping. A woman rings the night bell only to buy a two-cent stamp. Then garbage collectors waken him. Next it's firemen on a false alarm. And then a real fire.

Director: A. Edward Sutherland
Stars: W.C. Fields, Louise Brooks, Blanche Ring
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Wealthy Sam Hunter is approached by scheming Richard Whitehead about investing in oil. There appears to be no oil, and everyone is angry until (surprise) oil is re-discovered.

Director: Charles Reisner
Stars: W.C. Fields, Chester Conklin, Sally Blane
Certificate: Passed Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The prodigal son of a Yukon prospector comes home on a night that "ain't fit for man nor beast."

Director: Clyde Bruckman
Stars: W.C. Fields, Rosemary Theby, George Chandler
Certificate: Passed Short | Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

J. Effingham Bellweather plays golf despite many slapstick setbacks.

Director: Monte Brice
Stars: W.C. Fields, Allan Bennett, William Black
The Dentist (1932)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An unconventional dentist deals with patients in slapstick fashion.

Director: Leslie Pearce
Stars: W.C. Fields, Marjorie Kane, Arnold Gray
Certificate: Passed Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When a nobleman is murdered, a professor of the occult blames vampires; but not all is what it seems.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Bela Lugosi
Mississippi (1935)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young pacifist after refusing on principle to defend her sweetheart's honor and being banished in disgrace, joins a riverboat troupe as a singer, acquires a reputation as a crackshot ... See full summary »

Directors: A. Edward Sutherland, Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Bing Crosby, W.C. Fields, Joan Bennett
Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The wealthy von Wellingens are shocked when the father of their son Fred's fiancée Lia juggles desserts at a formal dinner. They encourage Fred to break the engagement. Lia goes to Berlin ... See full summary »

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Marilyn Miller, Ben Lyon, W.C. Fields
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Poor glazier Sam Bisbee has invented break-proof glass. He intends to show it off to a convention of automobile men. Due to a mixup his car is switched with another and his demonstration ... See full summary »

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: W.C. Fields, Alice Joyce, Charles 'Buddy' Rogers
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The Wiggs family plan to celebrate Thanksgiving in their rundown shack with leftover stew, without Mr. Wiggs who wandered off long ago an has never been heard from. Do-gooder Miss Lucy ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Pauline Lord, W.C. Fields, Zasu Pitts
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peggy Hopkins Joyce ...
...
Professor Quail
...
Rudy Vallee
...
Tommy Nash
...
...
Sari Maritza ...
Carol Fortescue
F. Chase Taylor ...
Colonel Stoopnagle (as Colonel Stoopnagle)
Budd Hulick ...
Budd (as Budd)
...
Cab Calloway
...
General Petronovich
...
Rose Marie (as Baby Rose Marie)
...
Hotel Manager
Edmund Breese ...
Doctor Wong
Lumsden Hare ...
Sir Mortimer Fortescue
Edit

Storyline

Professor Wong has invented a television machine and invites everyone to see it at China's International House Hotel. Every time Tommy Nash attempts to wed his fiancée Carol Fortescue he comes down with an illness, and when he breaks out in a rash the hotel is quarantined. Into this hotel flies Professor Quail in his auto-gyro. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Grand Hotel of comedy

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 May 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Casa Internacional  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During the filming of one of W.C. Fields' scenes, a mild earthquake struck Los Angeles. The earthquake was supposedly captured on film. In the film clip, Fields and his co-stars are speaking their lines on the hotel lobby set, when the picture begins to shake as if the camera is vibrating. A chandelier on the set begins to swing back and forth, and a lamp suddenly falls over. Fields calmly ushers his co-stars off the sound stage, telling them to stay calm and walk slowly. The "earthquake footage" of Fields was played in newsreels across the country in the weeks following the 1933 quake. Nearly forty years later, however, director A. Edward Sutherland admitted that the "earthquake footage" was a hoax concocted by Fields and himself. It was done by rigging wires on the lamp and chandelier, and shaking the camera to simulate an earthquake. Sutherland claimed that he and Fields were amazed when the "earthquake footage" was accepted as genuine by newsreel distributors. "We shared a big laugh and an even bigger drink," the director recalled. To this day, the fake "earthquake footage" is occasionally broadcast and accepted as genuine by entertainment TV shows such as "Access Hollywood." The footage appears in the film Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage (1983). See more »

Goofs

The hole in the roof of Prof. Quail's car disappears and reappears during the chase. See more »

Quotes

Professor Quail: Hey! Where am I?
Woman: Wu-Hu.
Professor Quail: Woo-Hoo to you sweetheart. Hey Charlie, where am I?
Hotel Manager: WU-HU!
[Professor Quail removes the flower from his lapel]
Professor Quail: Don't let the posey fool you!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: W.C. Fields (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

My Bluebird's Singing the Blues
(1933) (uncredited)
Lyrics by Leo Robin
Music by Ralph Rainger
Copyright 1933 by Famous Music Corporation
Sung by Rose Marie with a dual piano accompaniment and played in the background
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Don't let the posy fool ya!
11 August 2005 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

International House is the cinematic equivalent of a root beer float: not exactly nutritious, but it sure makes you feel good. This is the kind of movie that somehow creates an atmosphere of great comedy, even when the comedy isn't so great. Of course, it helps if you enjoy flicks of the Pre-Code era, the jazz and pop of the early '30s, and performers such as W.C. Fields, George Burns & Gracie Allen, Cab Calloway, etc. (Personally I love these folks, and relish seeing them in practically anything.) Even so, you may find that some of the punch-lines fall flat, either because they're based on obscure topical references or because they weren't all that funny in the first place, or maybe because the jokes are supposed to be dumb and the dumbness itself is the joke. In the end I have to conclude that whatever success this film achieves is due almost entirely to the charisma of the larger-than-life personalities of stage, screen, and radio assembled to put the material across. I can't think of another comedy with so many dead spots and missed opportunities that is so defiantly enjoyable anyhow.

Our story concerns the demonstration of a new invention, television, in a luxury hotel in Wu Hu, China. Dr. Wong, the inventor of this device (quaintly termed a "radio-scope" here) is entertaining bids from various international companies for the rights to his invention, and the competition for this prize forms what little plot there is. Clearly, the premise is just a flimsy excuse to throw together a batch of comic skits, songs, and star turns of one sort or another. Some of the stars have lost their luster with the passage of time; the male lead is a rather unappealing comic named Stuart Erwin who was mysteriously featured in several Paramount films of the period, while the leading lady is a once-famous celebrity named Peggy Hopkins Joyce who plays herself. Joyce was a former showgirl who was better known for marrying and divorcing millionaires than for her acting skill: the Zsa Zsa Gabor of her time. Happily, however, Erwin and Joyce quickly fade into the woodwork while we enjoy the antics of the more appealing players.

There's a lot to enjoy here: Gracie Allen as the ditsy dame, hotel manager Franklin Pangborn in full fuss-budget mode, a strangely out-of-place Bela Lugosi as one of Miss Joyce's jealous ex-husbands, and of course W.C. Fields as the drunken lecher Professor Quail. I've always enjoyed Fields a great deal but must confess I have mixed feelings about his work here. Quail isn't the long-suffering Dad of It's a Gift or the lovable rogue of The Old Fashioned Way, he's sour and generally obnoxious. For me this characterization plays better in some scenes (i.e. his confrontation with Gracie) than in others (his destruction of the telephone switchboard). Fields' funniest sequence is one in which he and Miss Joyce temporarily share a bedroom suite, while each is unaware of the other's presence. I also have mixed feelings about Burns & Allen's routines on this occasion, but even when their jokes are lousy they punch 'em across with sheer panache.

Who else is at the party? Well, Cab Calloway's music is great, and his number in the uncensored version of this movie, an up-tempo tribute to marijuana called "Reefer Man," is a real jaw-dropper -- no wonder it was cut from the T.V. prints! Baby Rose Marie, already a seasoned trouper at age 10, is downright eerie belting out her torch ballad like a low-down, red hot mama. Rudy Vallee's number has always been my cue to head for the john. And then, there are a couple of lingering mysteries: why is Dr. Wong is so doggedly determined to tune-in the six-day bicycle race at Madison Square Garden? And how did the two guys who call themselves Colonel Stoopnagle & Budd get into this movie? Their brief scene is a total dud, and their appeal escapes me completely. On the other hand, that musical number with the giant teacups, Sterling Holloway, and dancers with spoons in their hair makes me feel like I've suddenly ingested hallucinogenic mushrooms. In a nice way, I mean.

If nothing else this movie has given the world a notable punch-line, the one found in my subject heading above. This, of course, is Professor Quail's immortal retort to the fussy little hotel manager when he assumes the fellow is making a pass at him. I went to a public screening of International House recently and overheard two different people quoting the line in the lobby beforehand. If you find that line funny -- and I certainly do -- then this oddball comedy may suit your palate. After all, a root beer float now and again never killed anybody.


18 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
One of the best movies ever made mathteachermike
Similiar film ray-441
Stoopnagle + Bud NewtonFigg
IMDb correct the cast! Not Marie Osborne, but Rose Marie! BooBoo516
Discuss International House (1933) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?