6.5/10
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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.

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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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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>

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Comedy | Short

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Approved | See all certifications »
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14 September 1935 (USA)  »

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(Western Electric Sound System)

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1.37 : 1
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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

Referenced in How to Start the Day (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The type of short film that is not replicated at all in present times
24 November 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Nick Grinde's How to Sleep is an instructional video on the common practices of winding down, falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, and, finally, waking up in the morning to start another day, written with a brilliantly wry comedic focus. Our subject is played by Robert Benchley, as he narrates over an average person's (also played by Benchley) sleep routine, poking fun at the many positions we tend to contort ourselves in while resting, and even mocking the conventions of taking a hot bath with pine fragrance, drinking warm milk, and counting sheep.

During the short, Benchley treads the line of being serious while being playful, creating a short film that merges both approaches into a devilishly fun short. Benchley exerts a great deal of energy, striving to be all that he can be in a short film that demands a lot of energy despite the fact that it's about the process in which one falls asleep. How to Sleep is a short that, when you watch it, you laugh heartily until you recall how there are far too few of these kinds of shorts being replicated in the present.

Starring: Robert Benchley. Directed by: Nick Grinde.


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