Series: Charley Chase

Director: James W. Horne
Producer: Hal Roach
Dialogue: H.M. Walker
Photography: Len Powers
Editor: Richard C. Currier
Sound: Elmer Raguse

Stars: Charley Chase, Carmen Guerrero, Edgar Kennedy
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 23 August 1930
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: C-32E
Filming dates: May 5-19,1930
Rating: 6/10

Girl Shock

Available on DVD:

See also Timide Malgré Lui and Huye-Faldas
The film opens outside with a party by a swimming pool. The butler comes to tell the young lady (Carmen Guerrero) that she is wanted by her father (Edgar Kennedy) indoors. Her father tells her that he wants her to change her mind about announcing her engagement to Charley, claiming that he didn't realise what a fool Charley has become over the years. The daughter admits Charley is a little bashful, but her father points out further faults in her fiancée. The daughter prepares to explain Charley's behaviour by telling her father of how Charley was stationed in Russia during the war.
In a flashback sequence, soldier Charley escapes from a crashed plane and is helped into the safety of a nearby trench by a large group of women soldiers, who then argue over who will nurse him back to health. In a strangely unusually serious scene for Charley, he tells them he has to focus on the war and tries to leave but they overpower him. In the present, and at the conclusion of the story being told, the father accepts that this experience must have been a shock to Charley. The butler announces the arrival of noted psychologist Doctor Lorenzo (Jerry Mandy), who has come to keep and eye on Charley, who is due to arrive later. Charley arrives shortly afterwards and demands to know where all the girls are. The butler tells him they are all in the garden, so Charley strolls into the house confidently. He embraces a group of guys in the hall before being accosted by three women who then mock him.
Charley's sweetheart (the daughter) breaks up the commotion and insists he shake her hand (something he is afraid of). He reacts badly and runs up the stairs, embarrassed. Charley is shown to his bedroom and is alarmed to find a naked cherub ornaments on the bed frame. He refuses to undress in the same room on account of this and covers them up with clothing in the appropriate places. Downstairs, the doctor declares his intention to cure Charley and goes upstairs to hide behind a curtain on the landing. He jumps out on the father, mistaking him for Charley, sending poor Edgar Kennedy flying down the stairs and causing the butler to unleash a cake into the face of one of the guests (Ellinor Vanderveer, who ought to be used to such incidents by now!) This sets off a string of events where the doctor gets a vase thrown at his face and Edgar Kennedy getting a bowl over his head.
Charley is eager to explain to the father that it was all his fault. Kennedy's left hook sends Charley flying through the house and out of the window! Outside, the doctor tells Charley that this was to provide a shock to his system, and then introduces Charley to another young lady, insisting they shake hands. Of course, upon doing so Charley flips out and runs off! He is stopped briefly at the hedge by a swimmer who asks if Charley is coming into the pool. A woman then pops up from underneath and it is revealed that the hand he has been shaking through the hedge belongs to her. Charley blows up once more, attacking guests seated at a table before composing himself just long enough before the doctor jumps out on him from behind a deckchair.
After a long chat, Charley agrees to go out and buy a dog in an attempt to 'cure' himself. He finds a big dog sitting on the sidewalk and encourages it to bite his rear, but the dog walks off, uninterested. Unperterbed, he tries to repeat this with another dog, a smaller dog that emerges from a large kennel. Charley barks in order to get the dog's attention but the lady owner throws a string of sausages out of her window to shut the dog up. This gives Charley the foolish idea of attaching the food to his trousers to attract the dog. The plan backfires when every dog in the neighborhood answers his whistles as they all come running towards him!
The father, daughter and the doctor watch and laugh from behind a wall as Charley's pants are ripped to pieces by the dogs. Charley arrives back at the house and is greeted by his mother. They shake hands and Charley responds well. Thinking he is cured, he then shakes hands with a lovely young lady by the side of the pool. Nope - not cured at all. The mother ends up taking a cold swim, courtesy of Charley's reaction. The doctor rushes over and announces that Charley will require an operation to cure him and that they need to find a man who isn't afraid of women and who would be willing to give one quart of his blood. The daughter eagerly volunteers her father as the candidate. She then shakes hands with Charley, who freaks out again and in the pool goes the doctor. The others follow as they try to pull out the mother!! At the hospital and Charley's operation is a success. Well, sort of - because now instead of being afraid of women, he is aroused by them. Screams of nurses can be heard through the hospital corridors as Charley chases them. Eventually nurses jump from windows in order to escape Charley.

Favourite bit
Charley Chase, Edgar Kennedy and Carmen Guerrero all end up in the pool on account of trying to pull out the girl's mother. It's a lovely moment of comedy, made all the more funny by the way Charley goes in!

Copyrighted August 25, 1930.
Spanish and French versions filmed between May 9-19, 1930.
The film was made in Spanish as Huye-Faldas and in French as Timide Malgré Lui.
The opening titles mis-spell Charley Chase's name as "Charlie". The cast credits are unusually shown after the film.
The opening scene with the swimming pool is located on the Hal Roach back lot.
Charley is rescued by female Russian soldiers who call themselves The Legion Of Death.
At the conclusion of the daddy-daughter chat in the library, as Carmen Guerrero gets up to leave, it looks like Edgar Kennedy's right hand very briefly brushes against her breast.
Two of the female cherub ornaments on Charley's bed have their nipples exposed.
Edgar Kennedy punches Charley in the face with his left hand.
At the hedge, Charley thinks he is shaking the hand of the man behind it and seems to have no problem. It is only when it is revealed to be a woman's hand that he flips out.
A total of eleven dogs rush towards Charley and his sausages.
When the mother is pushed into the pool, it is her left hand that is the first to touch the water.
At the end, Edgar and Carmen jump into the pool, whereas Charley does a comical dive!
Carmen Guerrero's character name is never revealed throughout the film.
My opinion

Charley Chase
Carmen Guerrero
Edgar Kennedy
Jerry Mandy
Dr. Lorenzo
Catherine Courtney
Ellinor Vanderveer
Guest who gets pie in face
Baldwin Cooke
Baggage carrier
Jack Hill
Hospital orderly
Evelyn Burns
Eleanor Fredericks
Legion of Death commander
Betty Mae Crane
Beverly Crane

Talking titles

CREDITS (click image to enlarge)

(click any image to enlarge)

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Smile When The Raindrops Fall by Brian Anthony & Andy Edmonds (book)
The Charley Chase Talkies 1929-1940 by James L. Neibaur (book) (Yair Solan)
Richard Finegan (help and assistance and 2 stills)
Jesse Brisson (identification in Girl Shock)
Cole Johnson (2 stills)

This page was last updated on: 03 June 2023