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Hotel Anchovy (1934)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Short  |  13 April 1934 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 112 users  
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The Ritz Brothers cause chaos in a bankrupt hotel.



(story) (as Art Jarrett) , (story)
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Complete credited cast:
Al Ritz ...
Al - Hotel House Detective (as The Three Ritz Brothers)
Harry Ritz ...
Harry - Hotel Manager (as The Three Ritz Brothers)
Jimmy Ritz ...
Jimmy - Hotel Bellboy (as The Three Ritz Brothers)
Doris Hill ...
Miss Whitney - Hotel Owner
Robert Middlemass ...
Mr. Kane - Potential Buyet
Harry Short ...
E. L. Pierce - Potntial Buyet
Eddie Roberts ...
Sucidal Hotel Guest


Miss Whitney's bankrupt hotel is for sale; she hires the Ritz Brothers to keep guests in for appearance's sake. They do so and manipulate rival bidders in slapstick fashion. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Short






Release Date:

13 April 1934 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Wide Range Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Nothing fishy here
14 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In 1934, Educational Pictures hired the stage act of the three Ritz Brothers to make this comedy short for its second-string "Coronet" series. They were a good fit for the studio since both were based in New York and Educational was often quick to try new starring acts due to its typical low budgets (belied once in this film where somebody bumps into a wall and the whole room shakes). This short was the first film appearance by the Ritz Brothers, and my first time seeing them.

They're probably most famous today for not being the Marx Brothers, and it's clear that they're akin to that more famous team in comedy style. I don't think they're as funny as the Marxes, but that doesn't mean I don;t think they're funny. They are here, and so is this short, which has the same kind of manic energy and illogic-logic that makes the Marx Brothers films special.

The Ritzes, who almost remind me of three Grouchos in their characterization, are hired to keep guests in a hotel, and the gags and pieces of business follow with increasing rapidity and silliness. They're not above a physically impossible gag or too either -- for instance a request for water leads to it being poured through the phone at a guest. His "You dirty..." leads to "The water's dirty? We wash it twice a day!" If some of the gags are too silly or don't work, it doesn't matter because another one is coming by the time you have the chance to react. Sometimes one can tell they are formerly a musical act, as in the funny and surreal bits when they convince guests to stay by building the rhythm of their complaints into the rhythm of some music, and their timing with the fast material is great and certainly quasi-musical. There's a great macabre scene where they try to keep their commission (they get $100 for every guest who stays and lose $100 for every guest who leaves) by trying to convince a man to commit suicide other than by jumping out the window, and it all leads to a wild, funny, and very well-executed conclusion with all three Ritzes impersonating the same mustachioed man.

There isn't much plot to this short, but there is just enough of a basic story to leave room for the antics without seeming intentionally mysterious or negligent about what on Earth is going on. It seems too bad from this evidence that the Ritz Brothers moved on from short subjects. This one was highly funny, and I'll be looking for their other films in the future.

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