A man desiring to join the Grouch Club describes the terrible experience of trying to check out a book from a public library.



(originated by), (originated by) (as Jack Lescoulie Jr.) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Jack Lescoulie ...
Grouchmaster (as Jack Lescoulie Jr.)
Arthur Q. Bryan ...
Mr. F.T. Smith
Nancy Evans ...
Detmar Poppen ...
Library Manager


The executive committee of the Grouch Club meets in the office of the Grouch Master to review an application for membership from Mr. F.T. Smith. As the Grouch Master reads Mr. Smith's letter, we see the events enacted. He's been in the city two weeks and goes to the free public library to check out James Hilton's "We Are Not Alone." The librarian explains to what he must do as a new resident to get his card: complete an application, have a property owner vouch for him, be in the phone book, or own a home are four ways to qualify. Mr. Smith tries strategy after strategy: will he ever get to read Hilton's book? And what about his application to join the club? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy





Release Date:

10 September 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Grouch Club in 'The Great Library Misery'  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Grouch Club started out as a popular program on Warner's KFWB radio station. See more »


Music by Lee S. Roberts
First tune played during the opening credits
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User Reviews

Awful Comedy That's More Annoying Than Anything Else
18 July 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

The Great Library Misery (1938)

* (out of 4)

Awful "comedy" has Mr. Smith (Arthur Q. Bryan) moving to a new town where he hears about a free public library. He goes there to try and get a card but the frustration is so bad that it makes him write a letter to a "Grouch" club where he hopes to join. I love all sorts of films and I especially love watching Turner Classic Movies, which means I watch quite a few shorts each month. In fact, if they play one that I haven't seen then I make sure to watch it. Ever so often you come across one that is beyond bad and that's where this thing belongs because it was so annoying and painful to watch that I wanted to jump through the screen and just start breaking things. The biggest problem is that the entire thing is just so annoying that you can't have fun with it because it really is torture to watch. The annoying librarian, the annoying manager and then we've got the annoying lead character who keeps doing dumb things to try and get this free card. Of course, all of this torture is just going to lead to a very obvious and annoying ending. Thankfully this thing only ran 12-minutes or else it would have been much worse but there's still no question that this is among the worst shorts I've ever seen. The only mildly interesting thing comes from this being Bryan's first film. He's best remembered for the voice of Elmer Fudd and you can hear some of that here.

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