Series: Charley Chase

Director: Charles Parrott
Producer: Hal Roach
Photography: Francis Corby
Editor: William H. Terhune
Sound: William Randall

Stars: Charley Chase, Betty Mack, Ruthelma Stevens
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 22 December 1934
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: C-28
Filming dates: November 1934
Rating: -/10

The Chases Of Pimple Street

Available on DVD:

plot summary written by Robert A. Winslow:

Charley lives an apparently harmonious life with his wife, Betty Mack, sharing a duet with her on “You’ve Got To Give Credit To Love” in their modernistically-furnished Art Deco home. The only sour note in this harmony is Betty’s sister Celeste (played by Ruthelma Stevens), who sleeps late, has an annoying little Pekingese (who sleeps in Charley’s bed) and essentially has the household working around her schedule. Charley’s late to work, but Celeste has taken over the bathroom because her pooch has an appointment at the vet, so Charley must wash up on the back porch. Here he manages to get a tube of toothpaste in the washing machine wringer. Celeste then calls down via the heating duct that she has no hot water and asks Charley to re-light the pilot on the water heater. (There’s a funny exchange where Charley and Celeste try to out-do calling each other “dear” and “honey” through gritted teeth, showing how much each despises the other). Naturally, Charley’s efforts result in an explosion, but he evens the score by blowing into the heating vent (inflating his chest to gigantic proportions as he does so) and sending soot into Celeste’s face.
Charley’s efforts to get dressed in a hurry result in him wearing two pairs of pants simultaneously. It turns out that Celeste, far from needing the bathroom to get ready, was using it to bathe her dog after the dog fell into some unknown liquid, which Charley reveals to have been his expensive bottle of Napoleon brandy! The dog even takes a nip at Charley’s finger, prompting him to exact revenge by biting (thankfully, off-camera) the dog in retribution. “Now that’s news,” he tells Celeste. Man finally bites dog, apparently.
“Laugh and the world laughs with you,” Betty tells Charley as he sets off to walk to work. The world indeed does laugh with Charley – or at him, as neighbors (including Harry Bernard and May Wallace) get a glimpse of him strolling down the sidewalk with each leg in a different pair of pants. When Charley arrives at work, the secretary informs him the boss wants to see him and is “pretty sore.” “Don’t worry, I’ll hand him a laugh,” Charley says as he enters the boss’s office with his two pairs of pants on. The boss (Wilfred Lucas) is less than amused by the fact Charley’s late to work and even less by his attire. “And furthermore, Chase,” Lucas barks, “when you buy a suit of clothes with two pairs of pants, you’re only supposed to wear one pair at a time!” Only then does Charley discover his mistake. Charley overhears Lucas telling his fiancée (Gertrude Astor) and the maid (Hattie McDaniel, in a small role) he needs to arrange an evening with an out-of-town client, Mr. Housman, and decides this presents an opportunity to introduce Celeste and possibly marry her off.
Alas, Celeste refuses anything to do with Charley’s plan, so Betty offers to “entertain” the client in order that Charley can keep his job, though Charley’s not overjoyed by the prospect of loaning out his wife this way. However, when the boss shows up along with Mr. Housman, Charley has no choice but to introduce Betty as his sister-in-law, and compounds the problem when Celeste arrives a few minutes later and has to introduce her as his wife. Housman then discovers Charley’s home supply of liquor and helps himself while Charley dresses, so that by the time the six get to a nightclub he has quite a bun on, prompting Charley to ask Lucas if Housman gets “that way all the time.” (If he’s seen enough movies, the answer is Yes).
At the club, the couples dance (Charley with Gertrude Astor, Lucas with Celeste, and Housman with Betty), with Charley in some discomfort (he’s put on a cold plaster, it turns out), annoying Gertrude. Lucas suggests everyone change partners, so Charley ends up with Celeste and trying to remove the plaster without attracting too much attention. Charley then has difficulty discarding the sticky plaster, which ends up adhering to Gertrude’s bare back. Outraged, Gertrude breaks her engagement to Lucas, who fires Charley. Gertrude then exits in a huff, accompanied by an assortment of party balloons that have become attached to the hem of her dress courtesy of Housman’s drunken shenanigans. “At least I’ve preserved my dignity,” she states in dramatic irony, climbing into a taxi with her dress showing her legs.

Copyrighted January 5, 1935.
The release date of 22 December 1934 is according to the Rob Stone list. The Anthony/Edmonds book give 17 November 1934 as a release date, which seems unlikely.
Celeste is said to be from Walla Walla, Washington, while Housman is said to hail from Ashtabula, Ohio.
Charley’s phone number is Main 6789. His address is 4099 of an unknown street.
The front door of Charley’s home is the same one seen as Betty Mack’s front door a few months earlier in I'll Take Vanilla.
This was the last Hal Roach film appearance from Eddie Baker.

Charley Chase
Charley Chase
Betty Mack
Betty Chase
Ruthelma Stevens
Celeste, Betty's sister
Gertrude Astor
Herself (Lucas's fiancee)
Eddie Baker
Motorcycle cop
Charlie Hall
Driver arguing with cop
Harry Bernard
Harry Bowen
Arthur Housman
Mr. Housman
Carol Hughes
Wilfred Lucas
Mr. Hughes, Charley's boss
Hattie McDaniel
Hattie, Gertrude's maid
James C. Morton
Margaret Nearing
Check girl
David Sharpe
Nightclub extra
May Wallace
Neighbor on the corner
Jay Eaton
Nightclub dancer
Art Rowlands
Taxicab driver
Ham Kinsey
Pedestrian/Nightclub dancer
Mary Emery
Nightclub dancer
Ernie Alexander
Newspaper guy outside nightclub
Lee Phelps
Doorman for taxicab
Jack Hill
Charley Chase's double
John Binns
Grocery clerk
Nightclub dancer

CREDITS (click image to enlarge)

(click any image to enlarge)

Smile When The Raindrops Fall by Brian Anthony & Andy Edmonds (book)
The Charley Chase Talkies 1929-1940 by James L. Neibaur (book)
Robert A. Winslow (plot summary, trivia notes and identification of Charlie Hall, Jay Eaton)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Art Rowlands, Ham Kinsey, Mary Emery, Ernie Alexander, Lee Phelps)

This page was last updated on: 11 June 2023