6.5/10
457
15 user 3 critic

How to Sleep (1935)

Approved | | Comedy, Short | 14 September 1935 (USA)
A humorous look at the problems people have trying to sleep.

Director:

Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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

A sly business manager and two wacky friends of two opera singers help them achieve success while humiliating their stuffy and snobbish enemies.

Directors: Sam Wood, Edmund Goulding
Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx
Duck Soup (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A man and his wife have a less-than-enjoyable time at the movies.

Director: Roy Rowland
Stars: Robert Benchley, King Baggot, Jack Baxley
How to Read (1938)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Humorist Robert Benchley offers a tongue-in-cheek lesson on how to avoid eye strain while reading.

Director: Roy Rowland
Stars: Robert Benchley, Barbara Bedford, Marie Blake
How to Behave (1936)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Benchley, a newspaper columnist who writes on issues of etiquette, receives a telephone call from two men working deep in a manhole, they who are arguing about what to do if a woman fell ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Ripley
Stars: Robert Benchley, James P. Burtis, James Flavin
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A humorous look at the trials and tribulations of fatherhood.

Director: Roy Rowland
Stars: Robert Benchley, Margaret Bert, Ricardo Lord Cezon
Short | Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Humorist Robert Benchley illustrates the fine points of attending an American football game.

Director: Roy Rowland
Stars: Robert Benchley, Eddie Acuff, Ernie Alexander
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After a new dog owner decides on which dog to buy at the pet store, this short soon becomes a lesson in how NOT to train a dog.

Director: Arthur Ripley
Stars: Robert Benchley
How to Eat (1939)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Humorist Robert Benchley discusses the issue of food and how different situations can affect one's ability to consume and digest food, using his stock everyman and slightly bumbling ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Rowland
Stars: Robert Benchley, Ruth Lee, George Lessey
Short | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

The Brian Sisters are also featured in this short.

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Reginald Denny, George Hamilton, Louis & Celeste
Remarks on Marx (Video 2004)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A documentary about the Marx brothers' films, personas, and careers as told by Hollywood writers, actors, and insiders.

Director: Karen Hillhouse
Stars: Dom DeLuise, Robert B. Weide, Irving Brecher
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

In this Pete Smith Specialty, we see clips from several unidentified silent movies that are woven into a story, with humorous commentary by Smith.

Stars: Pete Smith
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Edit

Storyline

A lecturer seated at a desk promises an informative film about how to sleep; it's a sequel to and inspired by "How to stay awake," which put his audience to sleep. He plans to examine the causes of sleep, the causes of insomnia, and recent research on sleep, including a time-lapse film of a man changing positions 55 times during an 8-hour rest: why exercise, he asks, when you can sleep like a top? The film instructs one on how to get a drink of water during the night without waking completely, and other useful skills for the insomniac. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Short

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 September 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Как заснуть  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Featured as an extra on the DVD of the Marx Brothers film A Night at the Opera (1935). See more »

Connections

Featured in Added Attractions: The Hollywood Shorts Story (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Robert Benchley at his sleepy-eyed best
22 August 2004 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

This is a delightful short that packs more laughs into ten minutes than you'll get from some feature-length comedies. Although it's been shown occasionally on the Turner Channel, How to Sleep was hard to find in a home-viewable format until recently, when it was included as a special feature in the new DVD release of the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera. Robert Benchley's low-key, whimsical humor serves as a nice lead-in to the Marxes' more aggressive style of comedy.

Mr. Benchley acts as our affable host/narrator, covering such topics as 1) the causes of sleep, 2) methods of inducing sleep, 3) methods of avoiding sleep, and 4) how to wake up, which, we're told, "is very important." But this is no dry academic lecture. Our host, who happens to sport the most outlandish pajamas ever designed, helpfully serves as actor as well, demonstrating various positions such as the Supine Curl, the Ventrolateral Sprawl, and the Sleeping-Sitting Standing Crouch. He is aided in his analysis of sleep by some highly amusing animated segments.

This is a film better seen than described. I only wish I could enjoy it with a large audience in a theater, as it must be a real crowd-pleaser. How to Sleep won the Oscar for Best Short Subject of 1935, and led to Benchley's series of how-to short comedies for MGM and Paramount (including How to Read, How to Eat, etc.), but this one may well be the very best of his output. Heartily recommended.


25 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page