Be Your Age
Series: Charley Chase Distribution: Pathé  Director: Leo McCarey  Cinematography: Len Powers
Production: B-13 Type: Silent short Producer: Hal Roach  Editor: Richard Currier
Released: 14 November 1926 Length: 2-reels Titles: H.M. Walker Supervising director: F. Richard Jones


Lawyer Mr. Baylock (Frank Brownlee) informs a middle-aged widow (Lillian Leighton) that she will receive everything from her late husband's will, an amount of over $2 million, in a years time due to the delay of processing it.  He assumes she will settle down with it but instead she tells him that she plans to re-marry.  The lawyer gets excited with the prospect that this woman with all this new-found wealth may just be interested in him and turns on the charm.  She refuses his advances saying she doesn't need anyone to lean on, but he continues his pitch.  Just then the office clerk (Charley Chase) walks in on them but quickly tries to leave and finds the door has locked behind him.
Chase retreats back into his office and behind the closed door mocks the lawyer's show of affections, which is seen by a pretty young secretary (Gladys Hulette).  He sists at his desk and opens his mail.  The letter, from his mother, instructs him to come up with $10,000 immediately because his father has broken his leg trying to put out a fire which had been started by the cook after she has shot his uncle for choking his aunt!  There's more: the aunt had gone mad from a dog bite and was trying to poison the children.  The young lady asks Charley what is wrong.  Meanwhile the lawyer continues to harrass his client into considering his proposal of marriage as they walk into the office.
Charley confides in Baylock that he needs a lot of money quick.  Baylock siezes the opportunity to set Charley up with the wealthy widow.  He gives Charley the money he needs and Charley mails it to his folks.  It then becomes apparent what the lawyer is up to.  He tells Charley that in order to repay the debt he must marry the wealthy widow and allow the lawyer to handle the estate.  Charley refuses, stating that the woman reminds him of his grandmother.  Baylock asks for his money back.  Charley returns to the mailbox to retrieve the letter with the cheque inside but the postman beats him to it and puts it into his sack.
The dejected Charley returns to the office to receive his first instruction from the lawyer: to escort the widow home and try to make an impression.
On the journey home, Charley hints to the widow that it is a nice day for lovers.  She agrees and signals the young woman from the office (who has tagged along) that she should take heed of the suggestion.
Another car passes by them with the driver affectionately embracing himself with his fellow female passenger.  Charley tries to immitate the man and casually slips his arm around the widow but lacks in confidence to execute the bold move.  They reach her house and disembark the car.  The secretary seems to be flirting with the oblivious Charley, but he is either too blind to notice or isn't interested, as he is under strict instruction to woo the widow in order to repay the large loan he has borrowed from the lawyer.
Mrs. Schwartzkoppple instructs Charley to tell the lawyer to come to her party tomorrow evening, and to come along himself.  She and the secretary go inside the house, where the young lady tells the widow she is the object of Charley's desires.
The next evening, the party is in full swing at the widow's house when Charley arrives.  Charley has brought a gift for the widow's son as a surprise - toy drum.  He goes in search of Oswald (Oliver Hardy), who is sitting in a chair reading a book.  The chuffy faced, clean shaven adult Oswald announces that he is the intended recipient of the gift, much to the surprise of Charley, who had assumed Oswald was a child.  Embarrassed, Charley instead offers Oswald a pocket watch as an alternative gift.
Charley sneaks off to the front door and throws the drum outside - right into the lawyer, who has turned up as invited.  He insists Charley propose to the widow that evening.  Charley follows her out into the garden and engages in some whistle-calling to Mrs. Schwartzkopple.  Oswald also follows.

Favourite bit

Production B-13 - Charley Chase series.
Copyrighted October 26, 1926.
Filming dates
According to Rob Stone, this was filmed August 13-24, 1926. According to Anthony & Edmonds, the filming lasted all the way to September 24, 1936. Surely the year is an error.
Charley's uncle is called Wilbur and his aunt is Mollie.
When Charley arrives at the party and the door is opened for him, the house in the background is the same one as seen in several other Hal Roach comedies.
Oliver Hardy first appears after 8½ minutes, sitting in a chair as Charley seeks him out with the toy drum.

What the experts say
"comments here" ~ Source here.

Charley Chase
Charley, the bashful clerk
Gladys Hulette
The widow's secretary
Lillian Leighton
Mrs. Schwartzkopple
Frank Brownlee
Mr. Baylock
Oliver Hardy
Oswald Schwartzkopple
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - Wilson Benge
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - William Courtright
The Minister
Harry Bowen


Acknowledgements & sources:
Eric Schultz (identification of Harry Bowen)

This page was last updated on: 23 May 2020