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 »
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 into their manhole while they're eating. One argues that they should stand up, the other arguing that they should tip their hat. Although they don't ask, Benchley also gives them advice on the proper etiquette surrounding telling a story that someone wants to hear, making introductions of people at church functions, and how to treat weekend guests in your home. Written by
This MGM-Benchley short was the follow-up to the Academy Award Winning "How to Sleep". While the first film had a unifying theme, this film is a group of unrelated scenes that are lazily tied together with the theme "How to Behave". This short was early in the Benchley series and the right formula for the Benchley one-reeler hadn't been perfected yet. The shorts do get better as the series developed. Benchley is at his best addressing the audience in an embarrassed way. These one-reelers are the best opportunity to see what Benchley was all about. In features, he seems to get lost in supporting roles and his droll comedy is often overshadowed by the feature. These shorts are pure undiluted Benchley. This short is not bad, but I hope it is not the viewer's first exposure to Benchley.
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