Series: Charley Chase

Director: Leo McCarey
Producer: Hal Roach
Titles: H.M. Walker

Stars: Charley Chase, Katherine Grant, Lucien Littlefield
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 07 June 1925
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: E-16
Filming dates: March 9-18, 1925
Rating: 6/10

What Price Goofy?

Available on DVD:

Katherine Grant is the jealous wife of Charley Chase, who is out in the street when he sees a young lady in distress. She is concerned for a dog who is stranded in the middle of a busy street so being the honorable gentleman that he is, Charley rescues it for her. But she confesses the dog does not belong to her. Along comes a friend of Charley's wife who sees him with the young lady and wastes no time in telephoning his wife to stir up gossip (she's what we here call a 'shit-stirrer'). Charley can't get rid of the dog after it follows him. His jealous wife looks outside her door to see Charley with another woman who gives him some perfume to use on the dog. She then promptly storms off out after confronting him over it. But Charley seems to bond more and more with his new four-legged friend.
An attractive woman, Professor Brown turns up at the house with a letter from a friend instructing Charley and his wife to entertain her for the week. She goes upstairs and prepares to take a shower whilst she and Charley take turns in entering the bathroom from either side and managing to avoid bumping into one another. She gets undressed and into the shower, wrapping the curtain around her. Charley somehow manages to not see her despite him being in the same room. Charley's wife then arrives back home having received a pep talk from her interfering friend who advised her to order Charley to leave before initiating divorce proceedings.
Charley tells his wife that he cannot leave because he is entertaining Professor Brown. She demands to meet 'him' but when Charley goes upstairs he discovers that the professor is actually a woman. As luck would have it (if you call catching a burglar climbing through your window 'luck'), Charley's predicament is answered when Noah Young suddenly appears in the room. Without any questions being asked of him, Charley grabs him and gets him to dress up in clothes that conveniently fit him perfectly before introducing him as the professor to his wife who is angrily waiting outside the bedroom. The three of them go downstairs and are seated at the table where they are served bread and soup. The dog finds Professor Brown's dress after Charley discards it and helpfully keeps trying to bring it to his new master.
Charley and his butler communicate through sign language whilst trying not to attract the attention of Charley's wife at the table. Eventually Charley makes the fatal mistake of using the woman's dress as his napkin and is spotted by his wife who calls him out on it. When banging is heard from upstairs it reaffirms Charley's wife's suspicions that another woman is in the house. She marches upstairs to find the eccentric butler jumping on the floor (he is aware of the situation and is covering for Charley). After a few times she realises that the sound is not the butler and begins searching upstairs; meanwhile the burglar begins loading up with items to steal downstairs! A passing cop enters the house to find Charley trying to escape with the professor in a blanket, whilst his wife's gossip friend arrives. The burglar accosts her at gunpoint and steals her clothes and makes his escape, grabbing the wrong sack in the process (the one that contains the professor). Charley discovers the gossip in the closet and with his quick thinking he blames it all on the butler. But the dog gets the last laugh.

Favourite bit
In a fairly satisfactory twist ending, the film is wrapped up nicely with Charley talking his way out of trouble, saving his marriage and doing the dirty on his ally the butler. Karma is on hand though thanks to the dog.

Copyrighted May 18, 1925.
Premiered May 25, 1925.
The scene where Charley rescues the dog from the road was filmed outside the Hotel Hunt, Culver City.
When Charley stands at the gate with the dog begging for him on the other side, there are some garden hose sprinklers in action behind him. Pointless trivia but I wanted to mention it!
Charley calls the dog Rin-Chin-Chin, an obvious reference to the famous dog Rin-Tin-Tin.
According to an intertitle card, Charley's wife has one hundred and eight million, three hundred and thirty-seven thousand, nine hundred and forty two words to say to him!
Notice when Charley is playing hide and seek with the dog he lifts up the seat cushion to trick the dog but when the dog comes to find the item Charley has hidden the seat cushion is slightly more raised than in the previous shot even though Charley hasn't altered it. You have to be really observant and have the advantage of being able to compare the two shots side-by-side but it's a fact nonetheless! See here for comparison shots.
This was the first of many Roach film appearances for Lucien Littlefield. He is memorable as the slightly nuts butler.
Doesn't it strike anyone as a bit strange that Charley entertains, feeds and clothes a complete stranger he catches trying to break into his home, just to cover himself?
The brief scene where Noah Young tries to break into the house via the window outside was the only exterior shot filmed on the Hal Roach back lot.
My opinion
I'm not going to deny, the dog is cute and steals the film. Lucien Littlefield makes a memorable first impression as the odd butler and Katherine Grant is as beautiful as ever. The film plays at a relatively decent pace but gets a little stretched in the second reel.

Charley Chase
Katherine Grant
Jamison's jealous wife
Lucien Littlefield
Speck, Jamison's butler
Jane Sherman
The wife's gabby best friend
Marjorie Whiteis
Professor Brown
Kathleen Collins
Girl with dog
Noah Young
Omaha Oscar
Fay Wray
Concerned girl with perfume
Robert Page

INTERTITLES (click image to enlarge)

(click any image to enlarge)

(click any image to enlarge)

Acknowledgements: (Los Angeles Record, 11 Apr 1925) [confirms Kathleen Collins in cast]
Smile When The Raindrops Fall by Brian Anthony & Andy Edmonds (book)
Jesse Brisson (information; identification of Robert Page and Kathleen Collins)

This page was last updated on: 24 April 2022