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Getting an Eyeful (1938)

Approved | | Comedy, Short | 21 January 1938 (USA)
Henry Groper a struggling Optician, gets married to Eleanor to her Father's dismay. But on their wedding day, Henry is told he has 30 days to make a go of his business or else his Father ... See full summary »


William Watson (uncredited)


Billy K. Wells (story)


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Complete credited cast:
Charles Kemper ... Henry Groper, Optician
Danny Kaye ... Nikolai Nikolaevich
Sally Starr ... Eleanor
Clyde Fillmore Clyde Fillmore ... Buddy
Jack Squires Jack Squires ... Stooge
Jack Hartley Jack Hartley ... Stooge


Henry Groper a struggling Optician, gets married to Eleanor to her Father's dismay. But on their wedding day, Henry is told he has 30 days to make a go of his business or else his Father In-law will set him up in a Rag and bone junk trade to support his daughter. With an early appearance of Danny Kaye as one of Henry Gropers patients. Written by dbond201

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KEEP BOTH EYES ON THESE TWO (original poster - all caps)


Comedy | Short


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

21 January 1938 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Eleanor: I don't believe you know an eye from an oyster.
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Edited into The Birth of a Star (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

An early peak at Danny Kaye's mastery of tongue-twisting and gibberish
20 February 2019 | by SimonJackSee all my reviews

"Getting an Eyeful" is just the second film that Danny Kaye made. It was one of four shorts he did for the Educational Film Corp. in 1937-1938. But it would be another six years before he would star in a feature film ("Up in Arms" of 1944) that launched his film career.

In this film, Kaye plays Nicolai Nikolaevich, a Russian emigre, accent and all, who is so near-sighted that he can't see people or things a foot in front of him. His character is a scream and was so well liked that he kept it in the next two shorts for the Education Corp.

Kaye didn't have top billing in this film. That went to Charles Kemper. Kemper didn't make it as a comedian - his whimpering, clumsy, nervous comic character just didn't take with audiences. But, he did do well as a serious actor in other films. He had significant supporting roles in several dramas, and in crime and Western films. Movie buffs would have seen much more of Kemper in the mid-20th century if he hadn't been killed in a 1950 car accident. He was just 49 at the time.

This is a funny short film. Kemper's Henry Groper has just graduated and is a licensed "eyetestomorist." The title of the reference book he checks for things is, "The Eyes Have It." This film has some good scenes with funny dialog. Kaye has a few exchanges in which he uses the tongue-twisting and nonsensical type of dialog for which he was the master. Here are some sample lines.

Henry and his girlfriend, Eleanor (played by Sally Starr) tell her father they are married. Her dad (Buddy, in the credits) says, "It's preposterous. It's unheard of. Married! Married to a rubber-brained ninny with the intelligence of a sausage and the personality of a herring - a dead herring."

Eleanor, "I don't believe you know an eye from an oyster."

Henry Groper, "Oh, there's something wrong with your eyes? Oh well, that's why you thought I wasn't who I was." Nicolai Nikolaevich, "Oh, you are who you are, aren't you?" Henry, "Certainly!" Nicolai, "Uh huh. I thought she was not who she was. Was she who she was not and you was who you are? Are you?" Henry, "What's the matter with you anyway?" Nicolai, "My near sight is getting too close to my far sight."

Henry Groper, "When did you first see that you couldn't see?" Nicolai Nikolaevich, "When did I first see I couldn't see?" Henry, "Yes." Nicolai, "When I tried to see what I saw and I saw I couldn't see it -- see?"

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