Series: Charley Chase

Director: James Parrott
Producer: Hal Roach
Titles: H.M. Walker

Stars: Charley Chase, Edna Marion
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 09 October 1927
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: B-22
Filming dates: April 13-22, 1927 [Rob Stone];
April 20-25, 1927 [Randy Skretvedt]

Rating: 5/10

Now I'll Tell One
The second reel opens with Charley Chase aimlessly firing a gun at a mantle piece when a police officer (OLIVER HARDY) enquires as to what he is doing? "I'm getting ready to shoot my wife!" he replies. Ollie remarks jokingly, "Pardon! I thought it was something serious" before asking if the gunman could change a dollar. Chase throws the dollar up into the air, shoots it and it lands in his hand as coins. This is followed by a risque piece of humour when he then places a target over his wife's breast and fires a shot at her from between his legs, seemingly injuring her in the process.
She then takes the issue to the courts, with Lincoln Plumer presiding as the judge and Stan Laurel playing Chase's lawyer. Laurel inquires as to how her husband supposedly shot her through the heart and yet she is still alive? The defendant looks rather pleased with the lawyer's almost-perfect question, so much so that he shakes the lawyer's hand. Even the judge is interested to hear how the wife will respond to that remark... until lawyer Laurel adds a possible excuse about a Bible being inside her clothing to contain the bullet.
Of course, the wife (EDNA MARION) accepts that was exactly how it happened, which doesn't sit well with husband Charley, who then throttles the lawyer for putting the get-out answer into her head!
At this point Stan walks around to the judge's bench, helps himself to a glass of water then returns to his seat. The judge asks the wife at what point did her husband start coming home drunk? The action cuts away to a flashback of her doing her washing in such a comical fashion that her whole body seems to be bouncing in the rhythm of the hard work of washing the clothes by hand. Her husband is then seen staggering home along the dark street with his cane, trying to jump over shadows created by the trees before falling through a crack in the sidewalk. Back in the court a disagreement between the lawyer and the husband breaks out and Laurel threatens to walk out but he is pursuaded to stay after a swift apology from Chase.
The flashback continues as the wife observes her husband staggering along the street and jumping over the shadows created by the trees, then through the hanging washing outside and getting lost and all tangled up in the sheets before eventually falling through the entire lot and bringing down all of her hard work in the process. Upon seeing this she passes out in the kitchen from the shock. The maid and butler (presumably) rush to assist the fallen wife along with two gentlemen who have emerged from a wagon on the street.

Meanwhile outside Charley is still staggering home and inadvertently ends up in the back of the wagon in his state of utter drunkenness.  Believing it to be his boudoir he starts to undress and is about to get into the cot which is in the back of the vehicle before opening the door and ending up on his back in the middle of the street.  Back in the courtroom the husband claims he has only ever drank buttermilk all his life when the judge asks the wife to tell him about the time her husband kicked her in the patio.  She replies with how the judge ought to have seen her bruises afterwards at which point a spectator in the court shows his feelings about a man hitting a woman, gets up and punches poor Charley on the chin.  Outraged at this, the wife suddenly leaves the witness stand and assaults the gentleman before the judge declares the case as dismissed.
An eager reporter asks for a photograph of the reunited couple but the flash from his camera brings half the ceiling down on everyone's heads.  He is happy he got his intended shot, as we see the equally happy lawyer Laurel sitting among the rubble with the courtroom clock which has fallen into his lap.

Favourite bit
The judge asks the wife when her husband started coming home drunk, and she replies that she was doing her washing. The next scene shows her rhythmically bouncing her head and body up and down in such a violent manner that she tires herself out. What is so funny about the scene is we go from a pretty slow-moving courtroom discussion into a complete opposite pace of a scene.

Copyrighted July 8, 1927.
Contrary to popular belief, reel 1 of this film DOES exist. The second reel was discovered by film historian David Wyatt at the National Film Theatre in London, in 1990.
Other sources list the release date as October 5, and October 29, 1927.
When Charley Chase falls down the cliff he passes a billboard advertising the Pacific Electric Trolley.
When Edna Marion gives her testimony in the courtroom she claims that Charley Chase tries to shoot her in the heart, yet he is seen placing the target on her body over the right-hand side of her chest (on the left as we see it). Also, during the same scene Edna Marion tries not to laugh as Charley Chase pins the target on her.

Charley Chase
Edna Marion
Stan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
Lincoln Plumer
Wilson Benge
Budd Fine
Courtroom spectator
Charles Lloyd
Courtroom spectator


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Smile When The Raindrops Fall by Brian Anthony & Andy Edmonds (book)
Kenneth Runyan (help)
John Carpenter (still)
Richard Finegan (still)
Peter Mikkelsen (help and lobby card)
Trevor Dorman (2 stills)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Budd Fine)
The ID of Charles Lloyd is my own observation

This page was last updated on: 09 October 2023