Fast Work
 
Series: Charley Chase Distribution: MGM  Director: James W. Horne  Cinematography: Art Lloyd
Production: C-31 Type: Sound short Producer: Hal Roach  Editor: Richard C. Currier
Released: 28 June 1930 Length: 2-reels Sound recording: Elmer Raguse

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Charley is in his office reading some newspaper cuttings on Miss June Marlowe when an angry female customer comes in to complain about his taxi service.  Without looking up from his desk, Charley practically ignores the woman until he realises she is Miss Marlowe herself.  The embarrassed Charley apologises to her and explains why he has a whole book full of clippings and photographs of her, telling her he thought she had a pretty face and has collected articles on her ever since she was young.  As he pays her insults intended as compliments, she finally slaps him around the cheek and storms off.
Charley's father, the President of the taxi cab company enters the room and Miss Marlowe tells him she wishes to register a complaint.  Initially thinking Charley has got the woman into trouble, she quickly explains that it has to do with one of the cab drivers - much to the relief of both men.
An asylum patient (Dell Henderson) is seen escaping through the gates of a psychiatric hospital when he runs around a blind corner and bumps into the manager of the local bank (Charles K. French).  The banker takes the blame for the accident and offers to help the man "if there is any damage".  Shortly after, a policeman (Pat Harmon) is stopped by the asylum attendant (Baldy Cooke) and told of the patient's escape, who goes by the name of 'Old Faithful'.
Charley drives Miss Marlowe back to her home and asks her out for a date.  She tells him she never goes out with anyone without her father's consent, and if Charley can obtain that then he has a date!  The persistent Charley offers the lady one last goodbye before joyfully wandering off onto the lawn and flirting with a naked Venus statue.  The passing cop, who is already on the lookout for a mental patient naturally believes he has located him and gives chase.
Charley runs away and bumps into the mental patient.  The two men end up on the floor and the patient claims responsibility for the accident, pulling out his name card (which he stole from the bank manager - Mr. Marlowe).  When Charley sees the name "Marlowe" on the card he asks if the man is June Marlowe's father?  Of course, the patient plays along and says that he is, and agrees to Charley's dinner offer.
Charley and 'Mr. Marlowe' are at a restaurant and the patient orders first - a whole ham, a gallon of ice cream and a raw chicken... oh, and two dozen frogs legs.  And a suckling pig.  Charley looks on with bemusement, disgust and intrigue.  Charley then tells 'Mr. Marlowe' that he is going to call up 'his' daughter June.  Charley phones her up and tells her he now has the blessing of her father, whom he is currently dining with at the restaurant.  When June puts the phone down and sees her father standing behind her she realises something is screwy!
Charley returns to his table to see the massive spread of food has arrived.  After his initial shock, Charley asks if his guest will carve the meat, but he is told "we haven't had our pie yet" and then proceeds to pour ketchup on his dessert!  Fortunately, the other diners take to the dance floor, which breaks the distraction of the food incident.  'Mr. Marlowe' asks Charley if he would care to dance - with him?!  "Well that would be a little unusual, wouldn't it?" replies Charley (see 'Favourite bit').
After a short discussion, Charley obliges his unusual dinner guest and dances with him (depsite the rude sniggering and laughter from the other patrons).  In fact the pair receive a generous round of applause for their exhibitionism from the fickle observers.  As the gentlemen return to their table, the psychiatrist turns up to take his patient away, confusing Charley even more.
Later Charley bumps into the real Mr. Marlowe in the hotel foyer.  When the two men get up off the floor, Marlowe hands Charley his business card and Charley, thinking he is another imposter, assaults the man, makes fun of him and in a final act of indignant disrespect, pushes him into a water fountain.  June turns up and angrily pushes Charley into the fountain for his actions.  She soon joins him as the mental patient shows up and ensures that she joins both her father and Charley in the fountain!

Favourite bit
Dell Henderson (DH) proposes that he and Charley Chase (CH) share a dance on the dance floor... and you know, he does have a good point...

DH - "There's the music, let's dance"
CH - "We haven't any ladies"
DH - "Let you and I dance together"
CH - "Well that would be rather unusual wouldn't it?"
DH - "Why should it be unusual?  Men box together don't they?"
CH - "Yes?"
DH - "Men wrestle together don't they?"
CH - "Sure"
DH - "Then why shouldn't men dance together?"

Facts
Production C-31 - Charley Chase series.
Copyrighted May 22, 1930.
Filming dates
April 3-19, 1930.
Trivia
Also filmed in Spanish, with added scenes May 23-24, 1930 and released as Locuras de Amor, which was prod. C-31-S and five reels in length.
Also filmed in French as Timide Malgré Lui, which was prod. C-32-F. Both foreign versions were filmed May 9-19, 1930.
Charley runs the Excelsior Taxi Cab Company.
June Marlowe tells the switchboard operator that "she wishes to speak with someone in authority, someone with brains". The operator replies, "try the President".  At the time of the film being made, the American President would have been Herbert Hoover (Republican).  Of course, she could have been referring to the president of the taxi cab company - in which case that would have simply been Charley Chase's father.
June Marlowe's scenes in the office when Charley is explaining why he has all the photos of her look like a prelude to Thelma Todd's teaming with Chase which was soon to come.  Many close-up shots of Marlowe, with her expressing herself facially through smiles and camera looks are almost an identical match to those which Todd became familiar with.
Charley takes Dell Henderson to The Golden Lion Café.
When Dell Henderson's food arrives at the table, what is it with the people on the table behind them?  The women in particularly are so damned rude and nosey!  Mind your own business!!!  One of the women actually STANDS UP to get a better look.  That is just rude.  In fact the people on that table ruin the scene by being so distracting.
With such obvious homosexual overtones on show in the scene where Dell Henderson proposes to dance with Charley Chase, it was quite brave of the filmmakers in 1930 to put that on screen.

What the experts say
"Good." ~ Lord Heath.

Charley Chase
Charley Chase
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/ June Marlowe
Herself
Dell Henderson
Old Faithful
Charles K. French
J. Addison Marlowe
Broderick O'Farrell
Wm. C. Chase
Pat Harmon
Cop
Baldwin Cooke
Insane asylum attendant
William Gillespie
Dr. C.E. Akins
Gus Kerner
Waiter
Clara Guiol
Office worker
Dorothy Granger
Switchboard operator
(*my personal opinon)
Charlie Hall
Waiter
Charles Dorety
Waiter
  Bill Elliott
Restaurant patron
   

CREDITS POSTER & LOBBY CARD


Acknowledgements:
Smile When The Raindrops Fall by Brian Anthony & Andy Edmonds (book)
Stan Taffel (poster)
James L. Neibaur (lobby card)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Charles Dorety)

This page was last updated on: 03 February 2018