3 user 1 critic

Little Stabs at Happiness (1960)

| Short
A film in four parts. In "In the Room", a man and a woman in outlandish garb are sitting in a claw-foot bathtub smoking, while the man abuses a doll in various ways. In "They Stopped to ... See full summary »



On Disc

at Amazon


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Go! Go! Go! (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Director: Marie Menken
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

With full disturbing and weirdo graphic plus sexual scenes, Flaming Creatures is one of most daring and controversial film of all time, According to Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures is a comedy in a haunted music studio.

Director: Jack Smith
Stars: Francis Francine, Sheila Bick, Joel Markman
I, an Actress (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Student Barbara Lapsley had wanted a short film to launch her acting career, and the class at the San Francisco Art Institute obliged by staging a classic Hollywood screen test.

Director: George Kuchar
Stars: George Kuchar, Barbara Lapsley
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Essential, integral experimental work from the late 1950s is an incredible dance of montage and super-imposition starring none other than New York City's various bridges, transforming them ... See full summary »

Director: Shirley Clarke
Pas de deux (1968)
Animation | Short | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two ballet dancers perform a dance enhanced with surreal multi and after-image effect visuals.

Director: Norman McLaren
Stars: Margaret Mercier, Vincent Warren
Animation | Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A dance of shapes. A title card tells us this is an experiment in conveying the mental images of music in a visual form. Liszt's "Second Hungarian Rhapsody" is the music. The shapes, all ... See full summary »

Director: Oskar Fischinger
Cat's Cradle (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Images of two women, two men, and a gray cat form a montage of rapid bits of movement. A woman is in a bedroom, another wears an apron: they work with their hands, occasionally looking up. ... See full summary »

Director: Stan Brakhage
Stars: Jane Brakhage, Stan Brakhage
Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An army of gay/nazi bikers make their engines roar and ride the way to pain/pleasure as sexual and sadistic symbols are intercut into the dazing chaos and rhythmic experiences of this ... See full summary »

Director: Kenneth Anger
Stars: Ernie Allo, Bruce Byron, Frank Carifi
A Movie (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Clips of atomic explosions, pornography, and B-movies are spliced together to evoke certain emotions.

Director: Bruce Conner
Stars: Theodore Roosevelt
Autumn Fire (1931)
Short | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A story told with few words. We see a solitary man and a solitary woman, each alone with their thoughts. She is in the country, staring out a window. Nature is quiet, waiting for spring, ... See full summary »

Director: Herman G. Weinberg
Stars: Erna Bergman, Willy Hildebrand
Rhythmus 21 (1923)
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Black and white rectangular images fade in and out of the screen. Their movement make them sometimes look like they're panning from side to side. Their movement also make the black and ... See full summary »

Director: Hans Richter
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A quotation from Aristophanes, "The desire and pursuit of the whole is called love," precedes views of a man and a woman's bodies, often in extreme close up. Off-screen, a voice recites ... See full summary »

Director: Willard Maas
Stars: George Barker, Willard Maas, Marie Menken


A film in four parts. In "In the Room", a man and a woman in outlandish garb are sitting in a claw-foot bathtub smoking, while the man abuses a doll in various ways. In "They Stopped to Think", the filmmaker focuses on a woman trying to position a stool upon which to sit next to a wall. The filmmaker, in voice over, talks about filming the scene, and his current relationship with the people shown in the film, who were his friends at the time of filming and who are now largely out of his life. The scene shifts to a pier where a man and woman are filmed, they playing to the camera. In "It Began to Drizzle", a man and woman are lounging in a street side outdoor patio. They have to decide what to do. The scene then shifts to a man and some children doing chalk drawings on the sidewalk, and how other respond to what they are doing. In "The Spirit of Listlessness (Jack Smith)", a man lounging on an urban rooftop is playing with balloons while he plays to the camera with other items around ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



See  »

Did You Know?


Referenced in Divine Trash (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Wow.....all I can say is wow.
3 May 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This Ken Jacobs film can be found on "American Film Treasures/Avant Garde Film: Disc 2"--a compilation of mostly forgotten art films of the 20th century. This DVD set is NOT for the casual viewer and sometimes I wonder why I watched the films--as some of them were VERY artsy and weird! It is interesting that the commentary on the DVD said that when it was first shown, half the audience loved it and half became hostile and screamed and booed through the film. I can understand this. Imagine a film scored by a scratchy old 78rmp song with some images that often make no sense--such as a guy putting out a cigarette into the eye of a baby doll and then performing an oral act on the dolls crotch. Disney this certainly ain't!! The film shows a man and a woman--the man with a gray nose and scarf and a woman in a plastic scarf. The woman mostly does nothing and the guy acts really goofy throughout. Then, in the middle, the film maker begins talking in a rambling manner for a bit as you see feet. He then plays various annoying sounds as you see odd images of a woman (perhaps the one from earlier in the film) as he continues to ramble. Finally, the guy talks about how the folks in the film don't like him any more. Then, like the first portion, it consists of similar stuff from the first portion--with no sound at all this time. Either this is great art or he's crazy...I'd go for the latter. As is true of most of these films, it's really impossible to rate this, but this one is probably one of the least enjoyable and rambling in the collection.

4 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Little Stabs at Happiness (1960) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page