Series: Charley Chase

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

Stars: Charley Chase, Katherine Grant
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 06 September 1925
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: E-19
Filming dates: June 4-19, 1925; retakes July 2-3, 1925
Rating: 7/10

No Father To Guide Him

Available on DVD:

Poor Charley is separated from his wife on account of his interfering mother-in-law and delivering milk to the neighborhood in the dead of night. He is seen climbing through a window by two policemen, but they show some sympathy for him, knowing it is the only way he can get to see his little boy. Unfortunately Charley is caught when his wife and her mother enter the room, forcing him to flee.
The next day, the mother-in-law seeks the help of detective LEO WILLIS and tells him that she will not let Charley see his boy. In the garden, the son sees his father trying to communicate with him but when the detective shows up, he is chased off. The detective pushes the boy on a swing so hard that he conveniently ends up in the awaiting arms of Charley, who has positioned himself on top of his milk wagon. They drive off together towards the beach. Wanting to impress his son, Charley attempts to dive into the sea, but makes a fool of himself. When a wave somehow manages to rip off the boy's bathing costume, Charley removes his own to give to the boy, leaving Charley naked in the sea. The boy walks off to fetch his father some clothes, whilst onlookers laugh at his comical appearance.
The helpful boy goes to the nearby pier and throws down a dress he has stolen from a clothing store. Then a group of young bathing beauties on the beach spot Charley in the water and send the lifeguard in to fetch him out. But Charley doesn't want the help and the two end up fighting in the water, resulting in the lifeguard being knocked out cold! Charley escapes the sea wearing a stolen dress and attracts the amused stares of onlookers before being confronted by the store owner who exchanges the dress for a barrel! Charley and the boy return to their milk cart and are met by the family with the detective. Charley and the boy flee once more - back into the sea. The detective heroically rushes in to rescue the boy (after first buying a bathing costume!) and they leave together. Charley picks up the tag dropped by the boy from the detective's pocket and steals the detective's belongings from the cubicle using the ticket. He goes one better when he lures a dog behind a hut and steals the fur from its tail so that he can use it as a mustache!  After witnessing an appalling act of cowardice with his mother-in-law spanking his son, Charley uses his disguise to 'arrest' her. Unfortunately, Charley's disguise exposes his true identity when the mustache falls off. But all ends well when his wife forgives him.

Copyrighted August 20, 1925.
The phone number for the Clover Dairy milk company is AXridge 3211.
At the beginning when Charley climbs through the bedroom window in order to see his son, observed by the policemen, is a very touching scene.
What a breathtaking and extremely dangerous stunt that is when Leo Willis pushes the young boy on the swing for Charley Chase to catch from on top of his wagon! Upon seeing it for the first time I said to myself, "did he really just do that?!"
The cop stands outside a business that sells fireworks: "Willson's Fireworks (since 1887) - The Standard of Quality, Manufactured by Los Angeles Fireworks Co."
It takes six policemen to restrain the mother-in-law. Six!
The cop who was looking for the kidnapper never did find his man, did he!
My opinion
One of my favourite Charley Chase silent films. From a personal point of view, I think it is intolerable that a mother would allow her own mother to dictate that a father would not be permitted to see his own son. Later, the grandmother is seen spanking the boy in the car. This is disgusting and made my blood boil watching it. How can any woman allow someone else to control the upbringing of a child? I know it's only a film but....

Charley Chase
Katherine Grant
Mickey Bennett
Josephine Crowell
Duke Kahanamoku
Lyle Tayo
Milk customer
William Colvin
Jack Gavin
Clothing store manager
Leo Willis
Fay Wray
Beach house cashier
Bull Montana
Wanted kidnapper
[photograph only]
Bathing beauties

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

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Smile When The Raindrops Fall by Brian Anthony & Andy Edmonds (book)
Jorge Finkielman (help with lobby cards and posters)

This page was last updated on: 06 September 2023