Series: Charley Chase

Director: Leo McCarey
Producer: Hal Roach
Titles: H.M. Walker
Writer: Charley Chase
Photography: Len Powers

Stars: Charley Chase, Martha Sleeper, Helen Gilmore, Richard Daniels, Leo Willis, Jack Ackroyd, Jack O'Brien
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 26 April 1925
Length: 1 reel
Production No.: D-66
Filming dates: May 16-24, 1924; retakes May 26-27, 1924
Rating: 5/10

Big Red Ridinghood

Available on DVD:

Jimmy Jump (Chase) is a bookworm who has been offered 10,000 kronas by the Swedish government in order to translate "Little Red Ridinghood" into their langauge. He finds the book at a small book store on the corner of a street and begins reading it but runs away when the sales girl (Martha Sleeper) slaps his hand after Jimmy inadvertently grabs a hold of it. It is clear, however that the girl has some affection for him. Jimmy returns to the store and, after finding a policeman's badge on the floor and handing it to the grateful officer (Leo Willis), he continues to read the book. He envisions the events of the story in a daydream with the hefty Helen Gilmore running through a field dressed as the title character being pursued by a dog and with Jimmy as an incompetent woodsman, chopping down trees in the forest (or at least trying to!)
He is abruptly awoken from his daydreaming when a roadsweeper accidentally prods him with a pitchfork, sending Jimmy into the arms of Helen Gilmore outside the store. He somehow ends up in the awning above the store where he continues to read through his binoculars. Until a daring book thief (Charlie Hall) runs off with a book. The cop fires at him and gives chase. Meanwhile a guy (Jack O'Brien) pulls up at the store, purchases the Ridinghood book and throws it into his car. Two car thieves show up and when their attempts to steal the book-buyers car they flee. The driver gives chase, with Jimmy riding a bicycle besides the car and continuing to read the book. The thieves shoot the driver of the chasing car but Jimmy doesn't realise. The car then 'drives' off onto a country lane and eventually onto a pier and into the sea, with Jimmy following.

Favourite bit
Charley Chase's encounter with Helen Gilmore in the woods. He gets her attention by striking an axe across her backside!

Copyrighted April 2, 1925.
Prints of the film available on DVD are tinted red.
The correct spelling of the title is "RIDINGHOOD" (as one word). This is also evident in some intertitle cards throughout the film where we see exerpts from the book. It is also seen later when Charley reads the telegram.
When we first see the exerpt from the book, it begins with "Once upon a time..." yet the page number is 11. How many books do you know begin on page 11?
The shots of the book store were filmed on the Hal Roach backlot.
The intertitle cards refer to Charley Chase's character as "Jimmie" Jump, whereas other films call him "Jimmy". The telegram he receives during this film calls him "James Jump".
The advertising sign hanging outside the store reads Morgans Revelations $5.99.
When the book thief runs away the cop tries to shoot him. For stealing a BOOK? And the people of America don't understand why they have "a gun problem"?
The scenes with Charley so engrossed in his book that he is oblivious to his surroundings is the 1925 equivalent of idiots on their mobile phones nearly one hundred years later.
My opinion
Well it's definitely tight and fast flowing, which owes much to the flawless editing of the picture.

Charley Chase
Jimmy Jump
Martha Sleeper
Maid, book store clerk
Helen Gilmore
Red Riding Hood in fantasy
Richard Daniels
Maid's father
Leo Willis
Jack Ackroyd
Car thief
Dick Gilbert
Car thief with glasses
Jack O'Brien
Another scholar
Charlie Hall
Book thief

CREDITS (click image to enlarge) INTERTITLES (click image to enlarge)

(click any image to enlarge)

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Smile When The Raindrops Fall by Brian Anthony & Andy Edmonds (book)
Jim Dallape (Back Lot Tour shots)

This page was last updated on: 26 April 2023