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Why Pay Rent? (1935)



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Cast overview:
Roscoe Ates ... Elmer Whipple
Shemp Howard ... Henry
Billie Leonard Billie Leonard ... Billie
Ethel Sykes Ethel Sykes ... Betty Whipple
Roy Le May Roy Le May ... Junior


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Short | Comedy







Release Date:

4 May 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Big V Comedies (1934-1935 season) #12: : Why Pay Rent? See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?


Vitaphone production reels #1815-1816. See more »


Henry: Meet the wife, and don't laugh.
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The More You Hurt Me (the More You Make Me Care)
Music by Harry Warren
Played when Elmer has to get the hammer he left behind
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User Reviews

There are a few laughs in this one...but not many.
29 March 2017 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Back during the silent era, Buster Keaton starred in a real gem, "One Week". He marries a lady and decides to build a house from a kit. However, a jerk deliberately screws with the plans and this results in a bizarre mess of a house. It's very funny, very original.

In the 1930s, the Vitaphone division of Warner Brothers made a bunch of very uninspired and often unfunny comedy shorts. One of them, "Why Pay Rent?" is a bit like "One Week" but only if the folks building the house were dumber than a pile of bricks. In many ways, this might have worked better as a Three Stooges short...and which is interesting because Shemp Howard stars in this one as well as Roscoe Ates...and incredibly unfunny comedian whose shtick was stuttering...which was annoying AND rather cruel.

The overall film is like most Vitaphone comedies of the 1930s...rather unfunny and even a bit tedious at times (such as the two women sawing off the table legs bit that went on and on and one). The final sight gag is funny...but not enough to save this one. Overall, just watch Keaton...your brain will thank you for this.

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