Series: Charley Chase

Director: Del Lord
Producer: Del Lord, Jules White, Hugh McCollum
Screenplay: Harry Edwards, Elwood Ullman
Photography: Lucien Ballard
Editor: Arthur Seid

Stars: Charley Chase, Helen Lynd, Ann Doran, Arthur Q. Bryan, Bud Jamison
Company: Columbia Pictures
Released: 17 May 1940
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: 473
Filming dates: January 16-19, 1940
Rating: 8/10
South Of The Boudoir


Charley is the branch manager of Korny Krunches Breakfast Food. He is on hold in a telephone call in his office whilst stuffing handfuls of the food into his mouth, crunching away when he unknowingly stuffs a toy horn into his mouth with the food (given away as part of the "prize in every package" offer). He speaks to his wife on the phone and tells her he is planning a special dinner at the Coconut Grove nightclub for their anniversary later that evening. However, things don't go as planned when Mr. Bailey, the boss of the company, shows up at Charley's office looking to appoint a new manager for their territory. In an attempt to impress the boss, Charley invites Bailey around to their house for dinner for a home-cooked meal; expecting his wife to cook it. Mrs. Chase is far from co-operative about it! After Charley gets his tie tangled in a meat grinder, and no small degree of major immaturity on both parts when they deliberately smash plates and cups on the floor to make their points, Mrs. Chase storms off out.
At a hotel Mrs. Chase accidentally bumps into Mr. Bailey and without realising who she is, he asks her out on a date. Bailey phones Chase to cancel his pre-arranged dinner with him and the maid answers the phone. Believing her to be Mrs. Chase, Bailey is about to cancel the dinner when Mrs. Chase becomes annoyed that Charley has a woman at the house pretending to be her. Mrs. Chase offers to be Bailey's date for the evening and go to Charley's house with him. When Charley discovers Bailey is bringing a date, he pleads with Hazel to pretend to be his wife so as not to disappoint his boss.
So Bailey arrives with Mrs. Chase who is wearing a veil over her face to disguise her identity from the unsuspecting Charley. Charley prepares the drinks whilst Bailey confesses he found love at first sight when he met his new date. Still oblivious to the fact that his wife is Bailey's date, Charley continues to make the drinks as Bailey flirts with Mrs. Chase on the sofa. As Charley goes to serve the drinks to his guests he finally sees that his wife is Bailey's guest. They go into the bedroom where she is outraged by his behaviour and threatens to leave unless he gets rid of Hazel. Charley tries to embrace his wife just as Bailey walks into the room (not very polite to walk into some stranger's bedroom whilst you are a guest in his house is it?) Bailey catches Charley trying to make out with his date and gives him a mouthful. With it too much for Mrs. Chase she throws a box at Charley which hits him in the face and sends him flying out of the window.
Later, a package arrives for Mrs. Chase from Charley for their anniversary but Hazel has to keep up the pretence and opens the package herself. Two fur minks, intended for Mrs. Chase are now Hazel's. Mrs. Chase is furious and storms off out (again). Charley again pleads with his wife but this time Bailey has seen enough and fires Charley on the spot. Charley then orders Hazel out of the house but she is comforted by Bailey outside who then brings her back into the house to confront Charley. And then Hazel's husband, a policeman shows up and witnesses it all. After a brief showdown between the lot of them, Mrs. Chase finally snaps with "If I had a gun I'd shoot myself!" Charley then hands her a gun (don't ask me where he got it from?) She instead aims at Charley and shoots him before chasing him out of the house.

Favourite bit
With so many strong scenes to choose from I am spoilt for choice here. I particularly liked the scene in the hotel lobby between Bailey and Mrs. Chase.

The nineteenth and penultimate film Charley Chase made for Columbia Pictures.
When Charley use the large kitchen knife to cut through his tie after it gets tangled in the meat grinder he cuts with the blade side facing him. Not sure that was such a good idea?
Helen Lynd clearly shows her underwear when she kicks Charley after Bailey arrives at the house with Mrs. Chase. See Risque section below.

What the experts say
"A thoroughly delightful comedy, which is well written and played out by the characters. A very interesting plot and despite the obvious 'that couldn't possibly happen in real life' scenarios, the viewer is intrigued by how it is all going to play out at the end. A strong outing for Chase in what was to be his second-to-last film." ~ Lord Heath.

Charley Chase
Charley Chase
Helen Lynd
Ann Doran
Mrs. Chase
Arthur Q. Bryan
Thomas Bailey
Bud Jamison
Hazel's husband
Hotel desk clerk
Dorothy Comingore
Mrs. Chase's friend
Bert Young
Food trolley man




(click any image to enlarge)

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 Dorothy Comingore and Bert Young)
Richard Finegan (2 stills)

This page was last updated on: 18 May 2019