Series: Thelma Todd and Patsy Kelly

Director: William H. Terhune, Jack Jevne
Producer: Hal Roach
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: Louis McManus
Sound: William Randall

Stars: Thelma Todd, Patsy Kelly, Grace Goodall, Fuzzy Knight, Ferdinand Munier, Gary Owen
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 21 December 1935
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: A-36
Filming dates: 1935
Rating: 7/10

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The film opens with the girls in their small apartment; Thelma (TODD) is reciting a poem whilst Patsy (KELLY) does the ironing. Patsy's sacrastic remarks end Thelma's poem reading as Thelma abruptly gets up and storms off out of the flat.
Thelma seemingly finds instant work as a French maid for a wealthy couple in a posh apartment complex. Her first duty is to take the mistress' fur coat down to Andre's and have it stored for the summer; Thelma dutifully obliges. Outside the building, a chance meeting between Patsy (dressed as a bellhop) and Thelma (looking prosperously well and dressed in the fur coat she is supposed to store) leads to some pleasantries between them, with Thelma inviting her former flat-mate to pay her a visit soon. She then conveniently forgets to tell Patsy the address, but Patsy acquires it from Thelma's chauffeur.
That evening, Thelma's wealthy employers leave their flat in charge of Thelma as they go out for the night. Patsy and her two male friends pull up outside the building and yell out Thelma's name so loudly that they attract the unwanted attention of a passing policeman (HARRY BERNARD). Thelma has dressed up for the evening and is hosting a dinner for her and some make-believe guests!
Thelma's psychotic episode is ruined (or rather, saved) by the harsh sound of the door buzzer. In walks Patsy and her two rowdy gentlemen friends. The noise level in the apartment is immediately raised when Fuzzy (KNIGHT) takes to the piano and Patsy dancing around the floor before Thelma breaks up their fun. She takes Patsy in the next room and tells her she has to leave, but Patsy wants to party. The noise being made is met by a warning telephone call (well, two calls actually - after the first attempt is cut off by a confused Patsy) from the building's night manager, telling them that tenants are complaining about the noise.
Thelma takes the two rude men out on the balcony for some fresh air, hoping it will stop the complaining, when Patsy helps herself to a strong drink inside the flat and ends up on all fours banging with all limbs on the floor over the reaction to the liquor. Meanwhile, the boys take to relieving their infantile minds by hurling waterbombs from the balcony onto unsuspecting passers-by down below.
Patsy, on the other hand, having asked for some water, takes more than a fair share of some - by getting into a bath, making a telephone call and inviting MORE of her friends over to the flat.

The owners of the apartment suddenly arrive back home unexpectedly and Thelma is forced to improvise in order to get Patsy out of the bath and getting the men out of the way. Mr. Lamont walks into the bedroom, and then the bathroom where Thelma is trying desperately to assist the stranded Patsy. After almost drowning Patsy, she does finally get her out of the bath, but unfortunately straight into the mistress' bed just as the husband is about to turn in for the night.
Then it gets confusing: Mr. Lamont finds his wife in an adjourning room powdering her nose whilst Thelma sees the opportunity to get Patsy out of the flat, but Patsy fails to make it in time before Lamont returns to the bedroom.
The two friends drop their last waterbomb onto policeman Harry and upon realising he has seen them, they panic as the cop makes his way up to confront them.  Mrs. Lamont (GRACE GOODALL) makes it into her bed but her husband thinks it is Marie, and blatantly chats her up. When his little scheme is realised, the wife reveals herself and chases him around the apartment. Thelma seizes the chance to get Patsy - and the two annoying men out of the apartment just as the policeman arrives to accuse Lamont of being at the cause of all the waterbombing.

Favourite bit
This may seem like a throwaway choice here, but I have always remembered this short for one rather hilarious scene. It goes to Patsy Kelly. And no, it's not the bit with her naked in the bath either... rather, with her answering the telephone call from the night manager and when he asks is this is Mr. Lamont's apartment, she replies "No!" and puts the receiver down on him. When Thelma asks Patsy, "No, what?" Patsy picks the phone up again and completes her sentence, "No - Sir!"

Copyrighted November 18, 1935.
This was the 20th film in the series to be released.
The film was released five days after Thelma Todd's death.
Thelma hasn't earnt any money in six weeks.
Patsy gets a weekly pay raise of 75 cents. She wears a cap with the word "STACY'S" on it.
The name of the building in which Thelma works as the maid is The Warwick.
Patsy arrives in Thelma's apartment in a wheelbarrow and holding a round placard which reads "Men At Work".
Although Fuzzy Knight plays the piano in the apartment, at no time do we see his face and hands playing the keys at the same time.
The night manager telephones Thelma to advise her the tenants in the apartment below are complaining about the noise.  Not surprising really, given that a total stranger has just waltzed in, sat down at a piano with no regards for the time of night or the fact that he is playing one of the loudest instruments known to man, without any permission, and rudely making all the racket.  The cheek of some people.
When the two men are dropping waterbombs from the apartment, you can clearly see a horizontal crease in the middle of the background image of the night sky/buildings.
The rowdy boys throw a total of seven waterbombs from the balcony, with six hits and one miss.  A small continuity error here too: having dropped so much water from the same position, you would think that traces of the last drop would be seen on the sidewalk when the next victim gets hit, but alas no.
Bobby Burns gets hit by a waterbomb and subsequently does a forward roll/flip. He did the exact same stunt in the Laurel & Hardy short, Helpmates after being hit by a flying plant pot.
There is a hint that Patsy Kelly is actually nude in the bath, but after she re-emerges from her dunking at the hands of Thelma, she comes back to the surface and you can clearly see she has a towel with a stripe down the middle wrapped around her chest.  However, watch how Thelma improvises the scene by using a tissue to conceal a nipple-slip from Patsy.
When Patsy sees the size of the bathtub, she asks where is the diving board!
•The waterbombs dropped from the balcony are made up of brown paper bags, filled with water from a fountain on the ledge.
Fuzzy tells Thelma, "Ah, you've got no sense of humor". Someone ought to have told him, that as an univited guest in the apartment, that he has no sense of respect either. He's got a bloody nerve complaining about anything considering he is causing all the problems.
When the boys drop the waterbomb onto David Sharpe, a total of five seconds elapse between the drop and the hit.  Sharpe (walking below with a cane) has time to hear the guys whistle to warn him, stop in his tracks AND look up before he gets hit.  The sheer logistics of this sequence could not have been real.  Personally, I think it is the best stunt of the film.
When Mr. Lamont walks into the bathroom, Thelma pushes Patsy's head under the water and holds it there for nineteen seconds!  Of course, this is not all done in one take.
When Patsy gets out of the bath, Thelma conceals Patsy's supposedly naked body with a towel.  That's when I looked into the mirror on the wall behind them to see if I could catch any glimpse of... er... anything!
Mr. Lamont asks his wife (Patsy, under the bed covers) to help him with his shoes.  When she shrugs the suggestion off, he says in response, "Well I think that's very inconsiderate."  Hang on a minute matey... can you hear yourself?  Seriously?
The last waterbomb dropped by Fuzzy Knight hits Harry Bernard (the policeman) on the head.  Fuzzy boasts to his friend, "I hit a cop" with a degree of satisfaction.  What a jerk.
Ferdinand Munier (Lamont) thinks he is talking to Thelma Todd (Marie, the maid) in the bed.  He suggests the two of them go out and "make whoopee".  He is 19 years her senior and wanting to openly commit adultery?  Did he seriously think he stood a chance?
My opinion
Definitely one of the strongest entries in the series.

Thelma Todd
Thelma/Marie, the French maid
Patsy Kelly
Grace Goodall
Mrs. Lamont
Fuzzy Knight
Fuzzy, Patsy's friend
Ferdinand Munier
Mr. Lamont
Garry Owen
Garry, Patsy's friend
Harry Bernard
Bobby Burns
Water bomb victim
Henry Hall
Night manager
Buddy Roosevelt
Andre, the chauffeur
David Sharpe
Water bomb victim
Jack Hill
Water bomb victim
Harry Wilde
Betty Danko
Bath stunt double for Patsy Kelly

CREDITS (click image to enlarge)

Jesse Brisson (identification of Jack Hill, Harry Wilde, Betty Danko)

This page was last updated on: 23 December 2023