Series: Musical Comedy

Director: Billy Gilbert
Producer: Hal Roach
Photography: Hap Depew
Editor: Louis McManus
Sound: James Greene

Stars: Billy Gilbert, Billy Bletcher
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 06 January 1934
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: M-1
Filming dates:
Rating: -/10

Rhapsody In Brew

The opening sequence is a row of beer mugs being filled up by machines and then being consumed by two men in close-up. A singer performs her song as two dancers tap dance on top of barrels. A couple of guys collect their hats from the hat-check girls as peanut vendors offer additional lyrics to the song being sung by the cast.
The two Billy's (Gilbert and Bletcher) enter the establishment and Bletcher swipes a mug of beer off the waiter's (Charlie Hall) tray. When the waiter notices the glass gone he takes a shot at Gilbert, believing him to be the guilty suspect after he is caught with the glass in his hand. Two bouncers are just about to evict the two Billy's when the owner intervenes and takes them to a table for a drink. The Billy's are there to buy the restaurant and are seated with the owner and his attorney (Stanley Blystone and Hooper Atchley respectively).
Beers are brought to the rotating round table and again poor Gilbert ends up with nothing but empty glasses due to comic timing. When he does finally get his hands on a full glass Gilbert protects it with his life, but of course it is short lived as the lawyer distracts him whilst discussing the contract he is about to sign.
No sooner is the contract signed then everybody in the joint gets up and leaves, with the former owner telling Gilbert "well you can always make a garage out of it!" Outside Gilbert climbs up a ladder to cut down a sign whilst Bletcher complains that the ladder is on his foot (very Laurel & Hardy) with inevitable consequences.
Inside, a group of women cabaret dancers dressed in clothing which leaves little to the imagination take to the stage and perform a routine with a lot of flexibility!


Copyrighted September 8, 1933.
Originally titles "Symphony In Suds".
Also listed for September 30, 1933.
The singer in the opening scene is wearing a half revealing dress which makes it hard for the viewer (!!) to concentrate on any particular part of her body as she does that subtle wiggle.
You have to hand it to Charlie Hall - he doesn't care how big they are, he will always smack them in the mouth!
When Billy Bletcher sits down and Gilbert sits on top of him, it is a very deliberate reference to Laurel & Hardy.
The owner summons the waiter for two more beers to br brought to the table. He arrives within a second and with the beers. Service like that is just unheard of!
When the waiter places the second batch of beers on the table, the table is rotated counter-clockwise so that Gilbert's drink ends up in front of Bletcher. Having viewed the scene repeatedly and slowly, it is hard to determine who moves the table.
As Billy Gilbert is trying to drink his beer there is an inconsistency in the amount of beer in the glass from scene to scene.
After several failed attempts to drink his beer Billy Gilbert remarks "this is getting monotonous". He probably formed that opinion having worked side by side with screen partner Ben Blue for so long the previous two years.
Billy Gilbert performs his trademark sneeze.

Billy Gilbert
Louie Schmaltz
Billy Bletcher
Meyer Schmaltz
Hooper Atchley
Mr. Atchley
Stanley Blystone
Mr. Blystone
Sammy Brooks
Charles Dorety
Man at hat check counter
Charlie Hall
Sydney Jarvis
William Gillespie
Sam Lufkin
James C. Morton
William J. O'Brien
Bobby Dunn
Dick Gilbert

CREDITS (click image to enlarge)

(click any image to enlarge)

Jesse Brisson (identification of Dick Gilbert, William Gillespie)

This page was last updated on: 07 January 2023