Series: Charley Chase

Director: Nick Cogley
Producer: Mack Sennett

Stars: Charley Chase, Virginia Chester, Frank Opperman, Fritz Schade
Company: Keystone/Mutual
Released: 26 January 1915
Length: 1 reel (silent short)
Production No.:
Filming dates:
Rating: 3/10

Colored Villainy
Okay before we start here, yes every character in the film appears in blackface - which wasn't a problem back in 1915. People weren't so sensitive then.
Rastus (there's your first clue!) lives on a farm with his daughter, where he keeps bees. Her boyfriend works as a farm hand and plays a blindfolded game with her before he promptly falls over a rake. He then climbs up and falls down a bale of hay. A colored traveler stops by the farm on his bicycle (this is Charley Chase believe it or not) and takes an immediate liking to the daughter whilst her father drives the boyfriend into slavery on the farm, beating him just for good measure. The boyfriend tries to wedge himself between his girl and the new stranger but ends up getting a bucket of water over his head for his troubles.
When the farmer and his daughter go into the house, the boyfriend observes as the traveler sneakily spies on them putting a cash box into the wall. The boyfriend throws a rock at the traveler but it hits the farmer instead. Meanwhile the traveler enters the house and steals the cash box from the wall and hides it in the well. The boyfriend sees and retrieves it and replaces it with the bees. The traveler takes what he thinks is the cash box and hides it in his suit and it isn't long before he starts itching. The daughter tries to escape (apparently you have to climb up onto a roof and then back down a ladder to do this?) but her father takes aim with his shotgun and she falls off the ladder and into the well. She is rescued by the boyfriend as the traveler is chased away on his bicycle wearing a potato sack by the father.

Mack Sennett comedy featuring Charley Chase.
The farmer likes to throw his weight around, hitting everybody - including his daughter with a stick (he even threatens her at one point by motioning to smash her face in with it!)
What the experts say
"The word 'racist' is overused these days, mostly by oversensitive people who take offence to just about every little minor indescretion. This film is just out and out blatant in its racism! I would have said this film was black & white, but it's just black!" ~ Lord Heath.

Charley Chase
Virginia Chester
Farmer's daughter
Frank Opperman
Rastus, the farmer
Fritz Schade
Farm hand

Acknowledgements & sources:
John Benson (help with print)

This page was last updated on: 11 October 2018