Series: Patsy Kelly & Lyda Roberti

Director: William H. Terhune
Producer: Hal Roach
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: Ray Snyder
Sound: Warren B. Delaplain

Stars: Patsy Kelly, Lyda Roberti, Al Shean, Robert O'Connor, Joe Twerp, The Avalon Four
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 04 April 1936
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: A-39
Filming dates:
Rating: 5/10

At Sea Ashore


Patsy is preparing dough to make doughnuts when Mr. Rumplemeyer (Al Shean), the owner of the patented doughnut machine stops by and asks her to help him button up his shirt. A slight accident has him lose his pants in the machine. Unable to go out without his pants, he sends Patsy out to get his niece Lyda. Lyda gets off a ship at the dockyard to a singing quartet which she joins in with both in voice and feet. Patsy arrives at the immigration office in a taxi (driven by Harry Bowen), which she cannot pay for. He agrees to wait for her but with the meter running. Patsy runs into the immigration building to find Lyda with only a brief description of what she looks like. After slipping past a guard, she seeks out her target among dozens of foreigners waiting to be admitted into the country.
One man takes the liberty of picking Patsy up and swinging her around to the delight of the onlookers. When she gets to her feet she finds Lyda sitting on a trunk. They introduce themselves and Patsy takes Lyda away with her. Meanwhile the cab driver who is still waiting for her outside is accosted by a policeman (Fred Kelsey) for parking next to a "No Parking" sign and tells him to leave. The fare has now risen to $14. Unconvinced with the driver's story, the officer accompanies him into the immigration building and Patsy is pointed out to him. Patsy, fearing the presence of the cab driver and the cop fakes a foreign language and pleads ignorance to the suggestion she has ripped off the cab fare. The cab driver, unable to convince the officer with his story, gets a ticket for his troubles, whilst Patsy shares a joke with Lyda about a Brooklyn gag.
Unfortunately Patsy's act of pretending to be a foreigner backfires when the immigration officer (Robert Emmett O'Connor) questions her over why she doesn't have a passport on her. He tells her she cannot leave the building without her passport. She pleads her case about how she came down in the taxi and couldn't pay her fare whilst picking up her friend, but her pleas fall on deaf ears and a young officer (Joe Twerp) is told to deal with the ladies. Patsy climbs inside Lyda's large trunk as Lyda sits on it when the young man comes over to talk with her. Lyda flirts with the officer before asking for his help in loading her trunk onto a dolley. He does so violently, unaware of course that Patsy is trapped inside it, being shaken about.
He wheels the trunk outside onto the sidewalk, with Lyda walking beside him (she walks straight out without having to provide a passport or without anyone even realizing Patsy has suddenly vanished from sight!) The clothing inside the trunk causes Patsy to sneeze and draw attention to herself before the trunk rolls off the dolley, down a ramp and is picked up and thrown into a warehouse. The senior immigration officer investigates Patsy's whereabouts just as she emerges from the trunk. Just then the cab driver stops by (you know, despite being moved on earlier by the cop) and he confirms he knows Patsy as the fare who couldn't pay him. Then Rumplemeyer shows up and is urged to identify Patsy, but upon learning that she has run up a taxi fare of $20 which he is expected to pay, he declares he has never seen her before. Patsy collapses into the trunk.

Favourite bit
The combination of Kelly/Roberti just doesn't gel for some reason, though the scenes with Harry Bowen and Fred Kelsey offer a much-needed injection of humour into the film.

Copyrighted July 21, 1936.
This was the first of two short films starring Patsy Kelly and Lyda Roberti to be made, following the death of Kelly's co-star Thelma Todd in December 1935. The second was Hill-Tillies (1936).
When we first see Lyda Roberti she runs down the gangway off the ship. Her breasts bounce very noticeably.
Patsy's cab ride costs $1.65.
When Patsy first enters the immigration office the officer tells her, "You can't go in here"... but his mouth doesn't even move!
The text as seen in the opening titles is a mixture of both capital and lower case letters.
The viewer cannot fail to notice how background extra Jack Hill positions himself between the cab driver and the cop in order to be seen in the immigration office.
On several occasions Patsy Kelly makes reference to herself being from Brooklyn; which she was.
What the experts say
"A bit of a let down, with Patsy Kelly trying too hard to maintain the humour. Roberti offers little as the new co-star of the series. Harry Bowen wins the scenes he appears in, but ultimately the film fails to deliver." ~ Lord Heath.

Patsy Kelly
Lyda Roberti
Al Shean
Adolph Rumplemeyer
Robert Emmett O'Connor
First immigration officer
Joe Twerp
Joe, second immigration officer
Harry Bowen
Cab driver
Fred Kelsey
Sidney Kibrick
Kid at boat dock
Jack Hill
William J. O'Brien
Immigration officer
The Avalon Four
Singing group
Don Brookins
The Avalon Four
Art Green
The Avalon Four
Walter Trask
The Avalon Four
Chill Wills
The Avalon Four
Lew Davis
Man at immigration office


The following scenes were filmed on the Hal Roach Back Lot and are included in the TOUR
(click any image to enlarge)

(click any image to enlarge)

Acknowledgements & sources:
Matthew Lydick (identification of Sidney Kibrick)
Brent Seguine (identification of Lew Davis)

This page was last updated on: 25 March 2020