|Series:||Charley Chase||♦||Distribution:||MGM||♦||Director:||Charley Chase||♦||Cinematography:||Len Powers|
|Production:||C-16||♦||Type:||Sound short||♦||Producer:||Hal Roach||♦||Editor:||William H. Terhune|
|Released:||03 June 1933||♦||Length:||2-reels||♦||♦||Sound recording:||James Greene|
|UNAVAILABLE ON DVD|
|Charley and his buddies are (supposedly) in Paris, France attending an American Legion convention. During the parade, Charley finds himself standing next to a beautiful woman (Muriel Evans), whom he believes to be French. His failed attempts at chatting her up result in him getting his first (of many) kick in the pants. When she stubbornly asks him, "what are you doing to do about it?", he puts on a brave face and replies that he will see the American consul.
Charley walks off to find his pals and marks a "V" on his jacket. When asked what it is, he replies that it's a "wound strike". A bearded man walks by and the group all point at him and shout "Beard!" The startled man, with an outrageously unconvincing French accent is unsure of how to respond, but when a second bearded man walks past, the two French men salute one another. Very odd.
Charley and his group enter a French restaurant, but whilst waiting for a table, Charley accidentally steps on a lady's shoe. It turns out to be the same woman (Muriel) from the parade. Kick number two was inevitable. The rowdy group order 4 beers and sing whilst they await their order. Charley is summoned outside by an excitable Frenchman, who offers him some naughty postcards. Charley buys them, but realises he has been conned when he receives a bunch of more tasteful pictures instead. He offers the postcards to the restaurant owner (Rolfe Sedan) as payment for his bill, but is chased outside when it is discovered Charley has tried to pull a fast one.
|Charley and his pals are pursued by the owner until they reach the recruiting offices of the French Foreign legion, where commander Eddie Baker takes them under his wing. Charley thanks the officer for getting them out of the scrape, but doesn't realise that he has just signed up for five years service! The officer demonstrates his point by shooting the cockrel on a weathervane into the air.
Cue the unforgiving desert, with Charley marching under the hot sun and in full uniform, having to punch himself on the chin to keep himself conscious! His three buddies spot some dancing women at a nearby oasis and break off from the marching pack, with Charley joining them soon after. The lead woman embraces Charley warmly before leading him away on a camel. When they arrive at a fort, the women take off their veils to reveal they are all men with (fake) beards, who capture Charley's group. The ruffians sentence the guys to death, but first reveal they are holding both the American consul and Muriel Evans in chains. Charley and the boys sing a farewell song to the beautiful Muriel, which even gets the Sheik and all of his palace rocking in rhythm!
The Sheik is so impressed with the singing that he summons the guard to bring the men to him (wait until you get a load of his voice!) A dance ensues, involving the released prisoners, during which Charley replaces the violin-player's broken string with a strand of hair. The Sheik and Charley discuss going into business with one another, then open an amusement park back in the States.
Some poor, innocent old man just happens to be walking along minding his own business when all of a sudden Charley Chase and his buddies harass him for no other reason than the fact the man has a beard.
• Production C-16 - Charley Chase series.
• Copyrighted May 8, 1933.
• Two songs in the film are "Mademoiselle from Armentières" and "I'll Forget You".
• No director was officially credited for the film.
• Charley likes shouting "Bravo!" at the opera to shouting "Beard!" to any passerby who has a beard. Strange.
• Muriel Evans appears to be wearing an ankle bracelet on her left leg.
• When the 4 beers arrive at the table, two of them have a considerable amount of froth (head) on top.
• Charley pays $5 for the postcards.
• During the course of the film, Muriel Evans kicks Charley in the pants three times, though one of those kicks backfires when he hides a metal plate inside his trousers.
• Laurel and Hardy regular co-star Baldwin Cooke makes a background appearance in the film. He is first seen waiting tables in the restaurant, and later outside the French Foreign legion headquarters when Charley Chase is enlisted by the commanding officer.
• When Charley and his friends are picked up by the French Foreign legion, they are escorted on the back of a truck which is shown with a rear-projected film of London, England, approaching St. Paul's Cathedral. Now, if this was deliberate, then why would Charley have paid the postcard seller in American currency if he was in England?
• When the group of legionnaires are first seen marching through the desert, there is an unnatural light that reflects from Charley's glasses. It is obvious that this is not from the sun, but from the filming equipment.
• The voice of Abdullah, the guard is that of Jiggs the chimpanzee. It was later used in the Our Gang short, Divot Diggers.
• The Sheik asks Charley, "what kind of a chap is this Bing Crosby?"
What the experts say
• "Decent." ~ Lord Heath.
Private Charley Chase
French Legion commander
French postcard seller
Adbullah, keepr of the harem
|SHOT ON THE LOT
The following scenes were filmed on the Hal Roach Back Lot and are included in the TOUR
Gene Sorkin (3 lobby cards/posters)
Max Lanzisera (help and assistance)
Steve Massa (help and assistance)
Richard Finegan (poster)
Brian Anthony (poster)
Richard W. Bann (identification of Wallace Howe)
"Smile When The Raindrops Fall" by Brian Anthony & Andy Edmonds (book)
"The Charley Chase Talkies 1929-1940" by James L. Neibaur (book)
This page was last updated on: 03 June 2017