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Sh-h-h-h-h-h (1955)

A mild-mannered man whose nerves are shot from incessant noise is sent to an exclusive, silent retreat with hilarious results.

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
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Mr. Twiddle / Doctor / Hotel Manager (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

A mild-mannered man whose nerves are shot from incessant noise is sent to an exclusive, silent retreat with hilarious results.

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6 June 1955 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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(Technicolor)

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The sounds of the trumpet player and the laughing woman who keep the man awake through the night are taken directly from the novelty OKeh Laughing Record, which was released in 1923. See more »

Goofs

Mr. Twiddle takes a flight to Switzerland, but the airplane's interior is actually that of an old railroad passenger car. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Doctor: Mr. Twiddle, you are a very sick man. You have a serious case of trombonosis. Now, I would suggest complete relaxation at some quiet, remote hideaway, because if you do not get away from these noisy horns, your entire nervous system will shatter. You will just blow up!
[Mr. Twiddle recoils in shock]
Doctor: My wife here will give you our recommended travel folders.
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Soundtracks

Laughing Record
(1923)
Produced by Okeh Record Company
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Tex Avery's bizarre masterpiece
11 January 2008 | by See all my reviews

As we all know Tex Avery has made more than his share of great animated works. From "Symphony In Slang" to "Who Killed Who?" to one of the best of the Droopy cartoons "Three Little Pups". But those were all with MGM. Avery was canned after MGM's animation department was shut down, so he found employment for MGM rival Walter Lantz."Sh-h-h-h-h-h" is the undisputed Master of the Crazed Cartoon's brilliant masterpiece. It was also his last animated short.

Our story tells us about a Mr. Twiddle, a little man who works in a VERY noisy nightclub playing percussion while the horn section blows their trumpets right in his ears, making him a nervous wreck. He goes to see psychiatrist, Dr. I.M. Jittery (get it?), who tells him that his nerves are shot and unless he goes away so he can get some quiet rest he'll just blow up. So Mr. Twiddle goes to The Hush-Hush Lodge in the Swiss Alps, a place that prides itself on absolutely no sounds made whatsoever. Not long after Twiddle hits the hay, the people in the next room start to badly play a trumpet while howling with laughter. Twiddle tries to get them to stop but no avail. Each effort he makes is met by an even ruder response from these pests who seem to be enjoying torturing him. For example: Twiddle slips a note under the door saying to please stop the noise. The people in return instantly slip a note under the door telling him to "Aww shutup". And it goes on. That's the source of the cartoon's gags and sure, you get the usual Avery-styled barrage of them. But the main thrust is that Twiddle - along with us the viewers - never see who these sadistic noisemakers are. They are kept a complete mystery until being reveled in the cartoon's ingenuous twist ending (which I downright refuse to tell you here). We also see the unfortunate fate that befalls poor Mr. Twiddle.

This is also one of the most downright bizarre and weirdest cartoons ever made. For starters the cartoon's underlying atmosphere concerning Twiddle's ordeal seems dark and the ending, while it is great, itself feels macabre. There is also little dialog spoken throughout - for the most part all we get are a sparse array of sound effects. But mostly it's that laughter that gets to you. It goes on and on and on. Even as the cartoon fades out in it's final seconds we hear absolutely nothing but that crazed laughter. You're left with a very strange, and even creepy, feeling after Sh-h-h-h-h-h is over. And this is what makes this cartoon brilliant. Only Avery could take something plain like a laugh recording and frame a cartoon around it in such a way that he not only makes us smile with his trademark sight gags but chills our blood at the same time with a vivid weirdness. And to me this is the genius of Tex Avery, of his being able to easily twist the viewer around, to make us laugh but instead of leaving us smiling we're creeped out. And this was the last cartoon Avery ever made. After Sh-h-h-h-h-h was finished it was semi-retirement with some occasional television work for him until his death in 1980. He definitely saved his best short for last.

For those of you who have been trying like hell to see this one (it used to play occasionally on television among the other Walter Lantz cartoons, but now it's seldom - if ever - played anymore) it is on the Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection (Volume 1) DVD boxed set. So now you can watch Tex Avery's brilliantly comedic and macabre final film and see just what made this man the legend he has become.


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