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The Trouble with Husbands (1940)

 -  Comedy | Short  -  8 November 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 31 users  
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Lecturer Robert Benchley outlines some of the pet peeves that wives have with their husbands.


(as Leslie Roush)
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Complete credited cast:
Robert Benchley ...
Ruth Lee ...
Mrs. Doakes


Benchley, in his own unique way, starts to drive his wife crazy. First he waits until just as she is serving dinner before he goes to wash his hands and shave. Then she sends him to the store for some butter, and he comes back with everything - except butter. Finally, he decides to install a small shelf on the wall - and makes a major production out of it. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Short





Release Date:

8 November 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Woman's Angle  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Joe Doakes: We found in our survey at this point a great many women are tempted to put poison into the next plate of soup - which may account for the prevalence of indigestion among married men.
See more »


Edited into Robert Benchley and the Knights of the Algonquin (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Good Dry Domestic Humor
16 December 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This is the first of a pair of Robert Benchley features that use Benchley's dry humor to take a look at domestic relations between men and women. Both work rather well, because Benchley's satire is good-natured rather than belittling. The 'lecturer' format also suits his talents well.

This one depicts the domestic foibles of males, by illustrating some of the common things that a 'typical' husband does that frustrate his wife, from reading the news at an inappropriate time to inept home repair projects. Benchley is the lecturer, and he also plays the husband in the illustrative sketches. His sense of timing and his enjoyable low-key lecturing style work well as usual, and the lecture style forms a contrast with the somewhat broader actions and dialogue in the sketches.

All of the sketches are amusing ways of looking at familiar situations. The kitchen shelf sketch is probably the best, since it is particularly on-target. Some of the details of daily life would of course be different now, but usually not to the extent that they detract from the ideas.

Like many of Benchley's short comedies, this one is based entirely on well-known themes, yet it works because of his tone and because of the careful writing. It's not meant to have any big laughs, just a well-paced run of ironic humor, and in that it delivers pretty well.

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