Series: Charley Chase
Director: Warren Doane
Producer: Hal Roach
Dialogue: H.M. Walker
Photography: George Stevens
Editor: Richard C. Currier
Sound: Elmer Raguse
Stars: Charley Chase, Thelma Todd, Edgar Kennedy
Released: 01 February 1930
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: C-27
Filming dates: October 14-21, 1929
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Charley is driving his car at full speed, pursued closely by cop Edgar Kennedy on a motorcycle, through country roads and dust tracks whilst innocent pedestrians jump out of the way in fear of their lives. Along the way, Charley spots a young maiden (Thelma Todd), who gives him a smile from the side of the road. Charley's distraction leads him to crash through a warning sign and straight into a small creek. The cop soon joins him. As they sit in the water, Charley confesses that he intends to find the girl he just saw if it takes all summer, but the cop laughs at him and tells him that the mountain folk won't have anything to do with city folk like him.
Out of the water and changed into dry clothes, Charley and Ed discuss Charley's intentions when a young lad comes running into the small town to inform his father that an explosion has been heard down at the mill. His father thinks it's cops snooping around and vows to get revenge on all cops he encounters, though he makes exceptions for cripples.
Charley immediately fakes a limp and walks away, before getting his hat shot off from hunter Sammy Brooks behind a fence. Charley picks up what he thinks is his hat and continues on his way, little realising that what he has put on his head is in fact a skunk instead.
He knocks upon the door of the local school teacher (Todd) and she invites him in. He tries to invite her to a dance but she is overwhelmed by the smell of the unseen animal he has brought in with him. When Charley finally notices what he is holding behind his back, he tosses the skunk out of the window - and into a crate where a man is sleeping. Well, he ain't sleeping much longer after that!
Later, Charley and Ed spot Thelma walking along the track and stop her to ask again if she would be willing to accompany them to the dance later that evening. Charley rips his pants when he bends forward and has to excuse himself. He and Ed go behind a bush to pin his trousers together - using Ed's patrol badge.
Charley and Ed arrive at the dance, already in full swing, when they are stopped by the mountain man and told to sing a "mountain song" to prove his identity. Charley obliges, playing banjo, harmonica and violin just for good measure. After the song, Charley takes Thelma to one side and confesses his affection for her, but she tells him that he is "not her kind". As they compare watches, it turns out they are both from New York. Realising that Thelma is not "one of them", they embrace and the dance begins.
Charley takes to the floor, hogging a lot of the limelight as others clap along. As Charley takes off his jacket, he inadvertantly exposes the cop's badge he is wearing to hold his pants together. It doesn't take long before it is seen by the others. The dance is stopped and Charley is asked to explain why he has a cop's badge. He wastes no time at all in pointing out that it belongs to Edgar Kennedy.
As the mountain men gather to discuss Charley's fate, Charley and Thelma escape through an open window and into the night, then hiding in some bushes. Ed slips out unnoticed and gets on his motorcycle which is sort-of repaired, except for the fact it is badly mis-firing. Charley, on his hands and knees, crawls out of the bushes holding onto a pig, believing it to be Thelma. The couple run for the car (which mysteriously has been pulled out of the creek) when they hear what they think is the sound of gunshots (it's Ed's bike).
Ed gets the last laugh though, as he pulls up alongside Charley's car (who is stuck in a puddle) and writes him up a ticket for the accident caused earlier that morning! Charley rips up the ticket and tells Ed he has no authority to punish him on account the cop has no badge. Ed pinches his badge back from Charley's pants and writes him another ticket.
A brief moment of hilarity in an otherwise mediocre comedy sees Charley toss the skunk out of the window. It lands in a crate which is occupied by a sleeping hillbilly, who quickly vacates!!
• Copyrighted December 26, 1929.
• This was the fourth film that Charley Chase and Thelma Todd appeared in together.
• The 'creek' that Charley Chase and Edgar Kennedy end up in at the start of the film was in fact Hal Roach's pool on the back lot.
• Some sources credit Eddie Dunn in the film as a "mountain man". I haven't been able to verify this as a fact.
• Sam Lufkin has a small role as one of the mountain men.
• When Charley throws the bottle out of the car and hits Edgar Kennedy on the head with it, it is clear that Kennedy's shot is against a rear-projection.
• As Charley approaches the "bridge out" sign, the handwriting on the warning appears to be very similar to that seen in the Our Gang comedies.
• Edgar Kennedy makes a reference to Daniel Boone when he describes Charley Chase in his new attire. Daniel Boone was an American pioneer and folk hero.
• Some unrelated similarities to observe: At around 7 minutes 32 seconds into the film, Edgar Kennedy whistles for Charley to come out of the door. It is the identical whistle sound he uses to summon Stan Laurel out into the hallway in Unaccustomed As We Are. Thelma Todd plays Kennedy's wife in that film. Also, shortly after in the next scene, Charley is talking to Thelma on the dusty road when he tears his pants. In Charley's previous film, Snappy Sneezer, he is talking with Thelma Todd at the railroad station when his pants are torn by a goat.
• The song Charley Chase sings is called "Naomi Wise". It last 3 minutes and 25 seconds.
• Both Thelma and Charley say they bought their respective watches at Tiffany's.
• Thelma says she is from Syracuse, New York and Charley says he is from Elmira (the birth place of Hal Roach).
• The soundtrack jumps several times during the barn dance, throwing the music out of sync.
What the experts say
• "Average." ~ Lord Heath.
Cicero the cop
Man at dance
Square dance caller
Man in wagon/
Man at dance
Mother at dance
Man at dance
Smile When The Raindrops Fall by Brian Anthony & Andy Edmonds (book)
The Charley Chase Talkies 1929-1940 by James L. Neibaur (book)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Ham Kinsey, Robert Milasch and Helen Gilmore)
Matthew Lydick (help identifying Jack McHugh)
Ed Watz (poster)
This page was last updated on: 07 February 2019