WHAT, NO MEN? (1935)
Article 3889 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-29-2012
Posting Date: 4-7-2012
Directed by Ralph Staub
Featuring El Brendel, Wini Shaw, Phil Regan
What it is: Musical comedy short
A team of scientists send a bill collector and a policeman into the stratosphere in a rocket ship. When they come down, they find themselves in the hands of an all-woman Indian tribe, and then a western town which is also devoid of men.
Believe it or not, this silly short subject was nominated for an Academy Award. There’s really no plot to speak of; it’s a series of musical numbers (some of them pretty bizarre) interspersed with comedian El Brendel (an acquired taste) making jokes. The biggest surprise is that it’s pretty racy, especially with the scanty costumes of the Indian women; this one must have gotten in just before the Hays Office went into effect. The rocket into the stratosphere is the only real fantastic content here, but since they land right back on Earth, it has no real effect on the – well, I was going to say “story”, but let’s just say “the ensuing action”. It’s little more than a curiosity nowadays.