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What - No Beer? (1933)

Passed  |   |  Comedy  |  10 February 1933 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 309 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 3 critic

Two men decide to cash in on the end of Prohibition by selling watered down beer.



(original story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Elmer J. Butts
Jimmy Potts
Roscoe Ates ...
Schultz (as Rosco Ates)
Phyllis Barry ...
John Miljan ...
Butch Lorado
Henry Armetta ...
Edward Brophy ...
Spike Moran
Charles Dunbar ...
Charles Giblyn ...


Although he has never met her, Elmer Butts loves Hortense secretly and from afar. He dreams of making a million dollars so he can buy her a Rolls automobile and marry her. With prohibition apparently on the verge of ending, Elmer's friend Jimmy Potts gets an idea to make them both rich by opening a brewery just before the legalization of alcoholic beverages. Their timing is off, and the police raid them, but their inept brewing has created a beer with no alcohol, so they are let off. But it has also resulted in a cheaply made beer, and bootlegger Spike Moran realizes that he can vastly increase his profits by partnering with Elmer and Jimmy. But none of them reckons with the competitor, another bootlegger, gangster Butch Lorado. Butch has a girlfriend....Elmer's dream girl, Hortense. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


More Kick Than Real Beer! See more »








Release Date:

10 February 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What! No Beer?  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Featured in Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow (1987) See more »


Happy Days Are Here Again
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Milton Ager
Played by a band at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

Slap Dash Slap Stick
31 October 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Keaton followers know his decision to go to MGM was a disaster artistically and the smothering of his talent is apparent in this film. In some scenes he looks like he hasn't slept in days. Stick with it though, as with any chance to glimpse comic genius, you can spot the sparks. Durante, also a unique performer, and Keaton don't make a good team. Keaton was a cool presence, far more subtle and with much more depth of characterization than other comedians of the era. Durante was a hot performer, more verbal, but with a manic physicality. At times, you worry that he's actually hurting Keaton with his constant shoving, grabbing, poking and slapping. There is a rather sexy performance from Phyllis Barry as Keaton's amour and one wonders why she didn't go on to become, as they say. Everybody works very hard which usually kills farce, but there are moments of pure zaniness usually involving barrels, and some good lines satirizing the standard gangster picture. Anyone who loves these two men, as I do, should see this, if only in giggling tribute.

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