Series: Charley Chase @ Columbia

Director: Del Lord
Producer: Jules White
Story & Screenplay: Churchill Ross
Photography: Henry Freulich
Editor: Arthur Seid

Stars: Charley Chase, Ann Doran, John Tyrrell, Ben Taggart
Company: Columbia Pictures
Released: 14 July 1939
Length: 2 reels
Production No.:
Filming dates:
Rating: 5/10

Rattling Romeo


Judy (Ann Doran) is having breakfast with her mother whilst her boyfriend Charley is walking towards her house. Along the way he inadvertently steps on a hose which is laying across the sidewalk and this causes the water to shoot up into the face of the neighbour who is holding it. Judy tells Charley that she was out the night before with another man because he has a nice car, which Charley dismisses as irrelevant. She is then picked up by the man in question in his car. Charley goes to wait for his streetcar when his postman comes running down the street brandishing a letter for him. Charley manages to bring the streetcar to a halt and arouse the interest of all the passengers when he reads the letter telling him he has won first prize in a competition he entered. With a cheque for $250 he passes a car showroom and sees the owner altering the price of a car from $250 to $450. Charley buys the car.
He then waits outside Judy's house to pick her up. It's not long before Charley starts to understand why the car was so cheap. It starts falling apart, starting with the bumper, followed by the door and then the wing mirror. Charley gets out of what is left of the car before the tire explodes in his face. He has seen enough and after falling through a hole where the seat should have been Charley decides to take the whole mess back to the Fleece Car Company from where he purchased it. He threatens not to pay off the balance owed on the vehicle but the owner counters him by saying that Charley will then lose his equity. It's a no win situation for Charley but he keeps to his word and three months later the company are forced to repossess it.
Charley takes Judy out for a drive and puts on a fake beard to avoid detection from the finance company but they catch up to him when they recognise the car. Charley manages to evade them and heads off to work still wearing his disguise. In the office his boss Mr. Buttle (Ben Taggart) assigns Charley with delivering an envelope containing a large amount of negotiable bonds to the bank. As Charley makes his way there his car is rammed from behind. When he gets out to investigate he finds that it was a deliberate ploy to have his car repossessed. This leaves Charley on foot as he hails a streetcar and boards it with a bundle of accessories from the car.
On board is Judy and when Charley attempts to talk with her he accidentally drops his bumper onto a passenger's foot. When the passenger angrily protests he pushes the bumper over which then lands on another passenger. It's not long before all the passengers are pissed with Charley and the conductor has to intervene. Charley's boss gets on the streetcar and berates him for not delivering the envelope which is overheard by another passenger. Charley is promptly fired. As Charley tries to apologise he lets go of his bumper which falls onto his boss and slices open his jacket, causing the envelope he has just reclaimed from Charley to fall to the floor. A shady-looking passenger grabs the envelope from the floor and makes a run for it. Charley saves the day by throwing his bumper at the man which takes him out. The boss is happy and offers Charley his job back and with a raise. Charley and Judy declare they now have enough money to get married. As they get up to leave Charley's pants are ripped off after he sits on some shelac. It's a really poor ending.

Favourite bit
When Charley falls through a hole in the car and we see his legs sticking straight up in the air!

This was the fourteenth film made by Charley Chase with Columbia.
Charley earns $24.75 a week. According to Charley's boss, any employee earning less than $25 is in no position to have an automobile Adjusted for inflation, that would be approximately $468 in 2020's money.
Charley drives his car down the street where he passes a movie poster advertising You Can't Take It With You. The film was produced by Columbia Pictures and released in 1938.

What the experts say
"A bit of a mixed bag, this one. It feels rushed and sloppy and the ending was very unsatisfying." ~ Lord Heath.

Charley Chase
Charley Chase
Ann Doran
John Tyrrell
Mr. Burt
Eva McKenzie
Judy's mother
Bruce Mitchell
Man with garden hose
Harry Bernard
Bud Jamison
Friendly conductor
Kernan Kripps
Mr. Fleece
Ben Taggart
J. Banning Buttle
Stanley Brown
Office worker
Richard Fiske
Angry conductor
Chuck Callahan
Angry commuter
Cy Schindell
Charley Phillips
John Rand
Al Thompson
Office worker
Lorna Gray
Office worker
Bert Young
Cab driver


(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)
Brent Seguine (identification of Bruce Mitchell)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Charley Phillips, Bert Young, Lorna Gray, Al Thompson and John Rand) (The Three Stooges)

This page was last updated on: 13 December 2020