The Still Alarm (1930)

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Written by George S. Kaufman for a Broadway revue, The Still Alarm concerns two businessmen (one of whom is played by Clifton Webb) who are sharing a hotel room. They are a fairly placid duo, concentrating on whatever matter is at hand without getting duly excited. This becomes quite clear when they discover that smoke is coming into their room and that the hotel's alarm bells are ringing furiously. Rather than panic, they treat this as if it were an everyday occurrence and begin making preparations for dealing with the emergency without a hint of panic. Soon, a group of firemen (including Fred Allen) nonchalantly make their way into the room, ready to evacuate the proceedings if necessary, but not in too great a hurry -- one of the firemen has even brought his violin along and so everyone pulls chairs together and listens to an impromptu recital, even as the fire rages stronger and fiercer on all sides.