Series: Charley Chase

Director: Leo McCarey
Producer: Hal Roach
Titles: H.M. Walker

Stars: Charley Chase, Ena Gregory, Noah Young
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 20 July 1924
Length: 1 reel
Production No.: D-64
Filming dates:
Rating: 5/10

A Ten-Minute Egg

Available on DVD:

The film opens with the landlady's daughter (Ena Gregory) walking down a hotel hallway whilst sweeping with a broom, and reading a book at the same time. In a side room, Jimmy Jump (Charley Chase) is contemplating suicide by hanging. The daughter freaks out when she somehow manages to hear through the closed door what Jimmy is doing (!), bringing her mother (Emma Tansey) out into the hallway to see what all the fuss is about. When the two women barge into Jimmy's room they discover he was only trying to set up the rope in order to remove an aching tooth. Everybody is relieved and Charley leaves.
Outside on the sidewalk, Jimmy is accosted by a tough-looking gentleman by the name of Danny Dugan (Leo Willis) who offers him a personal 'business' card and roughs him up a little. Danny's wife (Martha Sleeper) appears from around the corner and whacks Danny over the head with her umbrella before walking off. Jimmy then puts in an order with a card printer who is seated next to the building. The landlandy and her daughter are in the lobby of a hotel when a con man sells them some stock in an oil company before fleeing. Nearby in another part of the lobby, an argument has broken out between two men shooting a game of pool. Jimmy, who happens to be nearby, intervenes and pulls the tough man (Noah Young) aside for a chat, shaming him for picking on a weaker man. Jimmy seems to be enjoying his false sense of power when the hotel manager (James Gavin) interjects.
Jimmy gives a business card to the manager, who is pleased to see the man is a bouncer from the 'Barrel of Blood' cafe, and lets him go about his business in sorting out the pool table fight. A policeman walks briskly into the mix and without looking up, Jimmy just hands the cop one of his business cards and the cop walks away. A janitor confronts Jimmy for deliberately kicking over a rubbish bin, but one business card later and the janitor walks off without complaint. The landlady and her daughter distract Jimmy and the three sit down together when they witness a short man (Bynunsky Hyman) seemingly abusing a dog near the telegraph office.
Jimmy confidently approaches the man and reprimands him, but realises he has run out of his intimidating business cards. The pint-sized man squares up to Jimmy and kicks him in the pants (with the aide of a chair that he has to stand on to get the desired height!) The con man who sold the two women the dodgy oil stock earlier in the lobby recognises Jimmy and the two men warmly embrace. But the con man needs to complete his plot and summons a messenger boy to deliver a fake telegram when he gives the signal. Jimmy watches on with suspicion as the con man parks himself next to the two women and tells them the bad news that his oil company has failed. Jimmy is wise to him and tells the man to give the women their money back, as he intends to marry the daughter. The con man refuses and the two men become embroiled in a fight until the hotel manager brings it to a temporary end by ringing the bell at the front desk and the two men go outside.
The con man jumps onto a moving dump truck, whilst Jimmy tries to pursue on a bicycle but doesn't get far when he realises there is a padlock on the wheel. As luck would have it, a guy on a motorcycle picks Jimmy up and carries him down the road to a point where Jimmy can jump onto the back of the truck. The fight continues briefly before the truck stops at the edge of a cliff and dumps its load. After emerging from the rubbish, the two men continue their argument until the con man momentarily gets the upper hand on Jimmy, with Jimmy hanging on to dear life at the top of another cliff. Eventually both men go over the cliff together, but as luck would have it Jimmy gets entangled on a tree branch. He drops the con man to the ground far below (we don't see what happens to him).
The two women arrive by car to observe (well, they certainly don't do anything to actually help the situation!) As they stand on top of the cliff, Jimmy throws them the bundle of money he has recovered from the con man. Jimmy is left dangling high above the ground, and do you think he gets any thanks for it?

Copyrighted July 20, 1924.
Ken Gordon, Steve Massa and Yair Solan provide an audio commentary track on the "Becoming Charley Chase" DVD for this film.
This was Martha Sleeper's first of 17 appearances in a Charley Chase film. She appears for approximately 19 seconds.
The stunt where Charley Chase leaps from the front of the motorcycle onto the back of the dump truck was performed by Chase for real.
There are 14 intertitle cards in the film.  They are listed below.
The opening scene shows an intertitle card introducing Ena Gregory as "sweet sixteen" and having taken eighteen years to get that way. In reality, Ena was in fact 17 at the time of filming.
Less than thirty seconds into the film, we see Charley Chase setting up a hanging-suicide situation in what can only be described as a "dark scene".
When Charley leaves his hotel room at the beginning, he exits through the door to the right of the screen. However, this is not the door the two women enter the room through.
Leo Willis hands Charley a card outside the apartment which reads, "Dreadnaught Danny Dugan - Bouncer - Bucket of Blood Cafe". Later in the hotel lobby, Charley hands Noah Young a similar card which reads, "Juggernaught Jimmy Jump - Bouncer - Barrel of Blood Cafe".
The guy seated outside the building offering 1000 cards printed for just $1 is Richard Daniels, the father of Our Gang kid star Mickey Daniels.
Two of the bystanders around the pool table are Jack Hill and Sammy Brooks.
The date shown on the wall at the hotel desk says "Tuesday the 25th". I checked the calendar for 1924 and if this date was correct at the time of shooting, it would have been the month of March. March 25th, 1924 was a Tuesday.
Just after the hotel manager confronts Charley for roughing up Noah Young, a policeman walks straight into the argument. How was he even alerted to the situation in the first place?
There is a nice gag used when the hotel manager breaks up the fight in the hotel lobby by ringing the bell repeatedly. This is how a round in boxing is brought to its conclusion.
The dump truck that is used for the continuing fight between the two men at the end of the film is "???el-Webb Company - ?? Coast Distributors - Los Angeles Rock Gravel Company".

Charley Chase
Jimmy Jump
Ena Gregory
Landlady's daughter
Noah Young
Man shooting pool
Jack Gavin
Desk clerk
Emma Tansey
Joe Forte
Con man
Martha Sleeper
Mrs. Dugan
Bynunsky Hyman
Man beating dog
Sammy Brooks
Lobby bystander
Richard Daniels
Card printer
Charlie Hall
Andy Samuel
Second bellhop
Leo Willis
Dreadnaught Danny Dugan
Jack Hill
Bystander at pool table
Chet Brandenburg
Pool hall crowd
Ed Brandenburg
Pool hall crowd
Carlton Griffin
Hotel male desk clerk


CREDITS (click image to enlarge) INTERTITLES (click image to enlarge)

Smile When The Raindrops Fall by Brian Anthony & Andy Edmonds (book)
Brent Seguine (identification of Carlton Griffin)
Jesse Brisson (identification of the Brandenburg brothers)

This page was last updated on: 13 April 2022