Pan Handlers
Series: Patsy Kelly & Pert Kelton Distribution: MGM  Director: William H. Terhune  Cinematography: Art Lloyd
Production: A-38 Type: Sound short Producer: Hal Roach  Editor: William Ziegler
Released: 29 February 1936 Length: 2-reels Sound recording: William Randall


"Why be a wage slave" a sign in a shop window asks, as the camera reveals the Anchor Aluminum Show with a free demonstration being offered inside the store. Pert and Patsy go inside to hear a representative, Miss Foster (Grace Goodall) giving her speech to an enthusiastic all-female crowd. She tells a sorry story of a poor customer, Maisie Schultz (Estelle Etterre) who came into the store with $50 and how it changed her life. Pert somehow manages to talk Patsy into spending their last fifty dollars into buying Anchor Aluminum so that they can sell it and make a small profit.
Their first stop is at a house where a man (Harry Bowen) has to get out of a bath to answer the door, only to reject the girls immediately. Their second house has a Chinese man (Chester Gan) answer the door. "Good morning Fu Manchu" quips Patsy as she proceeds to speak in broken Chinese to the potential customer, who tells them to scram! Attempt number three and after ringing the doorbell, Patsy falls through the door. A man (Jack Clifford) walks in and the girls pitch their product to him. Turns out he's hard of hearing! This leads to a loud, screeching discussion about kittens, kitchens and renting the property. The man is the landlord and reveals that he already has a large stack of aluminum. It seems Maisie has already been there. The girls try their luck for a fourth time only this time they encounter Miss Foster, the sales rep who sold them the stock to begin with. After a short, unfriendly discussion the girls leave empty handed. A fifth attempt - and they find a housewife (Rosina Lawrence) who willingly allows the girls to enter her home.
The housewife disappears into the kitchen where she is cooking food. Her screams alert the girls who come rushing in to see what has happened. The food has exploded on the stove and the newlywed housewife is distraught as she explains how she wants to cook dinner for her husband and two guests but has never done so before. The girls, desperate to make a sale offer to cook the dinner for the lady if she buys all their stock. The deal is done and the girls get to work using their Anchor Aluminum pans to cook the food. Patsy puts a turkey in a the pot and starts cooking. A while later and steam is shooting out of the pots, which are on the brink of explosion when Patsy notices how much the turkey has shrunk (somewhat!)
Patsy suggests stuffing the turkey with filling in order to make it appear more bulky to the guests. As luck would have it the girls notice the pompous sales rep in her own kitchen cooking a turkey and decide they will swap their small turkey for hers. Pert rings the doorbell to distract the lady whilst Patsy sneaks into her kitchen and makes the switch. Patsy is dumb enough to wave their new turkey up at their kitchen window which is seen by Miss Foster who comes knocking at the back door. The girls quickly hide the cooked bird on the window ledge but it is taken by a dog. All sorts of accusations and threats are made between the three of them as a new, bigger turkey inexplicably turns up at the woman's house in her oven (?) Patsy steals that one too. The woman comes back over to demand it back and they all end up chasing each other around the housewife's dining room whilst the guests are sitting there. Eventually the husband steps in and takes the damned turkey before the woman stabs it with a fork and it explodes. I guess none of them got to eat that night?!

Favourite bit
That's not my turkey!

Production A-38 - Patsy Kelly & Pert Kelton series.
Copyrighted May 1, 1936.
Filming dates
This was the only film in the series to be made/released. Pert Kelton replaced Thelma Todd in the series after Todd's death in December 1935, but her co-starring with Patsy Kelly was short-lived and she was replaced after just one picture by Lyda Roberti.
Rosina Lawrence, who was billed third, shows up after 10 minutes (halfway through the film).
When Patsy and Pert begin cooking in the kitchen the oven is much cleaner than it was when they first went in.
There is an animated scene where Pert opens the kitchen cupboard door and dry yeast falls into the bowl.
How did the exploding turkey find its way onto the sales rep's oven? There is no scene depicting this and it is not explained at all.
What the experts say
"Wow, Thelma's death left a massive hole in the series and certainly in terms of the quality of the films thereafter. This was bordering on awful on so many levels. Even Patsy Kelly is too much, and that is saying something for her. Pert Kelton is annoying and just doesn't fit properly." ~ Lord Heath.

Patsy Kelly
Pert Kelton

Rosina Lawrence
Grace Goodall
Miss Foster,
Anchor Brand Aluminum representative
Estelle Etterre
Maisie Schultz
David Sharpe
Harry Bowen
Man in bathtub
Chester Gan
Chinese customer
Jack (Rube) Clifford
Deaf man
Larry Steers
Dinner guest

The following scenes were filmed on the Hal Roach Back Lot and are included in the TOUR

Brent Seguine (identification of Chester Gan)

This page was last updated on: 05 February 2018