Series: Charley Chase
Released: 19 December 1931
Type: sound short
Filming dates: September 21-28, 1931
Director: Gilbert Pratt
Producer: Hal Roach
Dialogue: H.M. Walker
Photography: Walter Lundin
Editor: Richard C. Currier
Sound: Elmer Raguse
Alfalfa: Charley Chase
Ma (Kitty's mother): Lillian Elliott
Pa (Kitty's father): James Finlayson
Kitty: Gay Seabrook
Eddie Jenkins: Eddie Dunn
Streetcar conductor: Harry Bowen
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|Kitty (Gay Seabrook) is sitting at the breakfast table with her 'Pa' (James Finlayson) when her fussy mother (Lillian Elliott) starts the conversation over Kitty's choice of boyfriends. She clearly disapproves of Charley (Chase), but instead recommends Eddie (Dunn). Soon after, Eddie arrives unannounced at the house and is invited to sit with them at the table. He helps himself to all the leftovers and engages in chat with Pa.
Charley arrives at the house shortly after, but the mother tells him that Kitty is busy - with Eddie. Charley skulks off and phones a pay-phone and calls the house, asking for Eddie and pretending to be Eddie's boss. Eddie buys it, but becomes slightly suspcious when Charley offers to sing for him down the phone in order to obtain Eddie's opinion. Still pretending to be Eddie's boss, Charley puts on a gramophone record and plays it down the phone, then makes his way to the house.
As Eddie is still listening to the song on the phone, Charley climbs through the window and is welcomed into the house by Kitty and her father. His presence is soon discovered by the disapproving mother and Charley makes a quick exit with Pa. Pa falls through a concealed hole in the porch (caused by Charley earlier upon his arrival).
|Charley arrives at the office to apply for a job but is told by the superintendent that the company is only hiring married men, on account of the Depression. Charley is told to bring his wife - and marriage certificate into the office as proof of his maritial status. He leaves and boards a streetcar, driven by his girl's Pa but is kicked off by Eddie for talking to the driver, which is against the rules. Charley sneaks back on to the streetcar by climbing up onto the roof and once again engages in conversation with Pa. Eddie is wise to it and pulls the emergency brake, sending Charley crashing down to the ground.
The car comes to the end of the line and Charley is hidden in the luggage carrier at the front of the car, where hs is systematically covered in flames, water and paint by various people. Eventually Charley manages to tell Pa that the only way he can get the job is to marry Pa's daughter. Pa is happy but stresses that his wife would not be so. Eddie once again intervenes and sends Charley on his way.
The day of the wedding comes, with Charley dragging his bride to the registry office, before returning to the office to claim his job offer, which has now been taken by someone else.
|So, Charley, Kitty, Eddie and Kitty's mother decide to go on a picnic, with the hasty marriage still concealed from the mother. Pa's streetcar picks them up and they all board. The niggles between Eddie and Charley continue, and mother gives Charley a piece of her mind over him lacking the ingredients to be a suitable boyfriend for her daughter.
Soon tensions rise and a fight breaks out between Eddie and Charley, first with food and then followed by fists. All the other passengers vacate the streetcar (some through the open windows!) and the fight continues until one big punch from Eddie sends Charley through the front of the car and out onto the baggage rack. Pa tells Eddie that Eddie has killed Charley and sends him back to headquarters to fetch Mr. Foster, the boss.
The boss arrives with Eddie back at the scene and Eddie is fired on the spot, Charley wins $10,000 compensation and all of a sudden the mother and Kitty seem to take a particular interest in Charley. Charley protests to Pa that he was not hurt in the accident, so Pa has to explain that in order to make it look real, Pa clonked Charley over the head with the driver's handle.
James Finlayson reacting to Eddie Dunn's food-taking liberties is a joy to watch. Fifteen seconds of hilarious facial expressions over Eddie's rudeness are one of the highlights of the film.
• Copyrighted November 30, 1931.
• Released with Spanish subtitles as Casamiento fulminante.
• As Eddie enters the house at the beginning of the film he throws his hat right onto a coat peg. Great shot! I wonder how many takes that took to get right?
• When Eddie starts helping himself to all the food on the table, James Finlayson's facial expressions are hilarious.
• Fin claims to have been with his company for 15 years.
• Charley Chase doesn't appear on screen until almost 3 minutes into the film.
• Charley calls Kitty's house to speak with Eddie. This is a bit rude, to tie up their phone line to talk to somebody who doesn't even live there!
• 'Consolidated Street Railways - Superintendent' is printed on the door of Mr. Foster's office.
• The streetcar that Charley boards is number 27. I wonder if this was the same streetcar that was boarded by Charlie Hall in "Taxi For Two"?
• Kitty claims that she and Charley have fifteen children to Mr. Foster. Wow, I bet that must have stung a bit!
What the experts say
• James L. Neibaur - "The situation humour in [this film] and Charley Chase's firmness of character make it one of the comedian's best from this period."
'Pa', Kitty's father
Painter on streetcar
|CREDITS||FILM CLASSICS CREDITS|
|BLACKHAWK FILMS CREDITS||SPANISH CREDITS|
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Smile When The Raindrops Fall by Brian Anthony & Andy Edmonds (book)
The Charley Chase Talkes 1929-1940 by James L. Neibaur (book)
Movie Publicity Showcase Volume 23: Charley Chase In "Nurse To You" And Other Selected Shorts by Irv Hyatt (book)
Stan Taffel (original title card and credits)
Lorenzo Tremarelli (still)
Rose Duelly (identification of Lyle Tayo)
This page was last updated on: 21 June 2018