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Mental Poise (1938)

Approved | | Comedy, Short | 10 December 1938 (USA)
When a look-alike patient visits a psychoanalyst, it soon becomes difficult to determine who is analyzing whom.


Roy Rowland


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Complete credited cast:
Robert Benchley ... Psychoanalyst / Mr. Ostegraf


At the psychoanalytic clinic, the doctor is interviewing a patient whose presenting problem is a fear of falling off of low objects. The rather baffled doctor asks the patient to fill in a questionnaire. Then another patient arrives for a first appointment, a Mr. Ostegraf. He is the doctor's spitting image. Both doctor and patient, though they try not to show it, are unnerved. Soon, more than information is exchanged. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Short








Release Date:

10 December 1938 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Decent Benchley Short
6 March 2011 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Mental Poise (1938)

** (out of 4)

Decent short has Robert Benchley playing a psychoanalyst who gets his toughest case when a look-alike named Mr. Ostegraft (also played by Benchley) comes in with a problem. These Benchley shorts have always been hit and miss with me and I'm not going to lie because the majority of them were misses. This one here certainly isn't the best but at the same time it's far from the worst. I actually thought the first few minutes of the film were entertaining as Benchley is trying to find the cure for another troubled man and the man's "problem" is that he's scared to fall off small heights. The second portion is when the trick shots come as we get both characters being played by Benchley. These early split screens were fairly well done but the print shown on TCM makes it obvious where the editing is taken place because the Mr. Ostegraf portion of the frame is a tad bit darker than the other side of the frame. These trick shots kept me interesting in the technical side of the film but it really didn't make me laugh or keep me that entertained in the "story" being told. The film ends on a cute twist though.

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