|One Of The Smiths
|Director: James Parrott ♦ Producer: Hal Roach ♦ Dialogue: H.M. Walker ♦
Cinematography: Art Lloyd ♦ Editor: Richard C. Currier ♦
Music: Leroy Shield ♦ Sound recording engineer: Elmer Raguse
Released: 23 May 1931
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / 3-reels (sound short)
|Tubas and trombones are being sold in the region, but customers are making the first payment and then not making any more. The company who manufacture the instruments send Charley by train to collect the due money from the people who owe. As he attempts to board, the porter informs Charley that his luggage is too big to fit on the train. Charley declares that the items (which include a large tuba) must not leave his sight. He calculates where his sleeping berth will be and knocks on the window next to his from the outside. A sleepy passenger (Lyle Tayo) opens the window, and Charley asks her if he can pass his tuba to her through the window and collect it from her in the aisle when he boards the train. She takes the instrument in through the window but then promptly falls asleep again.
On the train, Charley calls out to the lady to pass the tuba through the curtain to him in the passageway, but he has the wrong woman. An argument ensues before Charley realises he has made a mistake:
There is a very risque scene with Charley Chase and Louise Carver as he tries to get his tuba from her. He stands in the aisle whilst she is behind the curtain, where he cannot see her:
Charley: "Can I have my horn please?"
Woman behind curtain: "What horn?"
Charley: "Why, the horn I just gave you, lady"
Woman behind curtain: "You didn't give me any horn"
|Charley does finally find his berth and after loading all of his bags into the confined space, he manages to get his foot stuck in the tuba! As Charley sleeps, his mouth makes contact with the large instrument and he unwittingly begins to blow it. The alarming sound wakes everybody up and the train is brought to a halt as the conductor investigates. The passengers complain and Charley is ejected with his tuba.
A passing woman on a horse inadvertently comes to his rescue and takes him to a den where men smoke pipes, dance and play music. She tells the crowd that he is the son of respected man around those parts, but a group of rough-looking guys are suspicious of Charley and ask him to play a song to prove his singing voice. The highlight of the film is when a drunken onlooker (Harry Bowen) watches the performance, seeing four Charley's, singing as a quartet.
The angry mob chase Charley from the room, but he disguises himself with a wooden leg to avoid detection. He escapes by jumping out of the window. It's then he discovers where all the tubas have been going - a room full of them on the wall, being used to brew home made wine.
Charley and his female companion flee on horse and cart and catch up with the train, but when the conductor sees them he steams off ahead so that Charley cannot get on board.
•Filmed February 18 - March 2, 1931.
•The featured song is "Handsome Jim".
•The IMDb list Max Davidson as being in the film, though there is no mention of his name being attached to the film in the Charley Chase book, "Smile When The Raindrops Fall".
Did you notice?
•Charley's berth on the train is at location "Upper 8, 3rd on the right".
•Charley works for the Murdoch Company, manufacturers of musical instruments.
•Lyle Tayo (the sleepy woman on the train) looks really cute when we first see her - especially that look she gives to the camera!
•After Charley does his double-take on the train (when he sees Louise Carver), look at the porter's reaction behind him! His face says, "whoah, was that woman's face real?!"
•After seeing Laurel and Hardy being squashed like sardines in their train berth in Berth Marks, I didn't think it was possible for anyone to be any more uncomfortable in the same setting. I was wrong! Charley has to share a berth with so many cases that he is literally pinned against the side of the wall!
•At 7:46 - as Charley is struggling with the tuba in his berth, a sound is heard that is reminiscent of a ship's horn! It's a very funny moment. This is followed by a fantastic piece of comic timing when Chase removes his right shoe and ends up with his leg in the horn!
•The number 3529 is on the side of the train.
•A large map of South America hangs on the wall in the barn.
•The dog is none other than Laughing Gravy.
•The very last scene of the film shows Charley's carriage trying to fit through the narrow gap between the train track and the side of the building on the right. It looks as though it was a genuine accident as the wheels of the carriage get locked into the tracks as the picture fades out into the end titles.
Zeb Smith Jr.
Harrassed woman on train
|Silas D. Wilcox
Sleepy woman on train
Man in search party
Peter Mikkelsen (help locating a copy of the film)
Smile When The Raindrops Fall by Brian Anthony & Andy Edmonds (book)
Richard W. Bann (identification of Peggy Howard; Hayes Robertson)
Brent Seguine (help with identification of cast)
Matthew Lydick (identification of Artye Folz)
This page was last updated on: 27 December 2019