Series: Charley Chase

Director: James W. Horne
Producer: Hal Roach
Dialogue: H.M. Walker
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: Richard C. Currier
Sound: Elmer Raguse

Stars: Charley Chase, Thelma Todd, Dorothy Granger, Dell Henderson
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 15 November 1930
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: C-34E
Filming dates: August 7-16, 1930
Rating: 8/10

Looser Than Loose


See also Garde la Bombe and Una Cana Al Aire
Thelma (Todd) is at home waiting for her boyfriend Charley (Chase) to arrive. She gets her mother to fix her dress before ushering her parents out into the hallway. Charley arrives and after giving Thelma a speech about something being missing from their relationship, he gives her a ring. Her initial excitement quickly turns to disgust when she sees that the ring is a cheap solitaire. The telephone rings and it's Charley's boss Mr. Gillstrom who tells Charley that one of the company's biggest buyers, Mr. Henderson is due to arrive later that evening and that he expects to be entertained. Two nice ladies and a big wild party are demanded of Charley as Gillstrom reads the names of the ladies over the phone.
Despite Charley's best efforts to not give too much away in front of his finacee, he excuses himself but the suspicious Thelma, who is on to him, berates Charley for going out with two women on a wild party. Charley assures Thelma that is just business, but instead of stopping him from going Thelma decides she is going to go with him! Later at the nightclub, Charley and Thelma are seated at a table opposite Mr. Henderson and another young lady, Maisie Johnson (Dorothy Granger) and Thelma voices her displeasure over Henderson's behaviour but Charley insists that as Henderson is the customer then he 'is always right'. Maisie draws some attention - not only with that eye-popping, cleavage-bulging dress of hers - but also in pointing out to everybody present that Mr. Henderson is wearing a toupee. Charley quickly tries to avert having his guest upset by playing down the accusation.
Finally Mr. Henderson takes Charley to one side and asks if they can swap girls. Before Charley can explain that Thelma is really his finacee, Henderson sits himself down next to her, as Charley is left to sit with Maisie. Thelma cannot contain her fury with Charley and so to get even with him she begins flirting with Henderson by pinching his cheek, cuddling up to him and ultimately kissing him. Charley repeats the exact same routine with Maisie. Henderson makes matters worse by taking Thelma's hand and commenting on the cheap rubbish she is wearing as a ring on her finger as something that came out of a bag of popcorn. Charley becomes more and more agitated.
They all take to the dancefloor when the music starts up, with Charley taking Maisie whilst Thelma dances with Henderson. Thelma gives Charley the evil eye at every opportunity she gets until Henderson drags her into a vacant booth. After their dance, Charley takes Maisie into the adjoining booth so that they can evesdrop on them. Unfortunately, another man (Edgar Kennedy) and his girlfriend occupy the booth Charley mistakenly thinks is Thelma and Henderson. After Charley misinterprets their discussion and thinking they are talkintg about him, he discards his cigar which pops several balloons. A fellow patron thinks it is the police firing their guns and suddenly everybody discards their liquor bottles (due to Prohibition being in force) and runs for the exit. Charley grabs a vase and smashes it over Henderson's head, except he gets the wrong man. Kennedy's girlfriend wrongly points the finger of blame at Henderson and a policeman arrives. Surprisingly, Thelma then opts to leave with Charley, leaving Henderson with Maisie, and a wounded Kennedy with his girlfriend.

Favourite bit
The scene in the nightclub where Thelma flirts with Henderson to annoy Charley, who in return does likewise with Maisie just to annoy her is brilliant.

Copyrighted October 6, 1930.
Also filmed in Spanish as Una Cana al Aire, which was released in Los Angeles on November 21, 1930, and in Barcelona, Spain, on March 26, 1932. Also filmed in French as Garde la Bombe.
Why does Charley's boss, Mr. Gillstrom telephone Thelma's house in order to talk to Charley? Why doesn't he do what most normal people do and ring him at his own house? A bit rude isn't it?
During the scene at the nightclub, Thelma Todd isn't wearing a bra. You can clearly see her nipples in this shot. And not to be outdone, Dorothy Granger isn't embarrassed about revealing quite a bit of cleavage either! You can't take your eyes off them.
When Thelma leans over to kiss Henderson on the cheek she doesn't actually make contact. But when Charley does the same to Maisie he definitely does make contact!!!
Dorothy Granger spends the entire time chewing gum. How classy.
When the patrons of the nightclub begin filing out of the venue, I think that is Ham Kinsey who falls down the steps on the right hand side at the beginning of the shot. It would make sense too because he often acted as a stuntman.
There is a blink-and-you'll-miss-him shot of Silas Wilcox in the large crowd of people inside the club just as everybody starts making for the exit.
What the experts say
"A very good film. Charley is generous in giving up so much screen time to accomodate the supporting actors, especially Thelma Todd, Dell Henderson and Dorothy Granger. Nice cameos from Edgar Kennedy and Eddie Dunn as well. The battle of the boobies is a closely-fought contest between Todd and Granger, with Dorothy coming out on top. One of Chase's better two-reelers from this period." ~ Lord Heath.

Charley Chase
Thelma Todd
Dorothy Granger
Maisie Johnson
Dell Henderson
Mr. Henderson
Edward Dillon
Thelma's father
Edgar Kennedy
Night club patron
Wilfred Lucas
Mr. Gillstrom
Eddie Dunn
Night club waiter
Edward Hearn
Gillstrom's assistant
Silas D. Wilcox
Night club patron
Pat Harmon
Police officer
Charlie Hall
Man who over-reacts!
Gordon Douglas
Nightclub patron
Charles Dorety
Nightclub patron
Evelyn Burns
Nightclub patron
Charley Lloyd
Nightclub patron
Clara Guiol
Nightclub patron
Lyle Tayo
Nightclub patron
Ham Kinsey
Nightclub patron who falls down steps
William J. O'Brien
Betty Mae Crane
Beverly Crane

Talking titles



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Smile When The Raindrops Fall by Brian Anthony & Andy Edmonds (book)
The Charley Chase Talkies 1929-1940 by James L. Neibaur (book)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Charles Dorety, Wiliam J. O'Brien, Clara Guiol, Evelyn Burns, Charles Lloyd, Gordon Douglas)
Richard Finegan (still)

This page was last updated on: 04 November 2021