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All Wet (1924)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 46 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

Jimmie Jump is a boarding house resident who receives a telegram telling him to pick up an important shipment at the train station at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday. No good deed goes unpunished, ... See full summary »

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Title: All Wet (1924)

All Wet (1924) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Jimmie Jump
William Gillespie ...
Other Driver
'Tonnage' Martin Wolfkeil ...
Garage Mechanic (as Martin Wolfkeil)
Jack Gavin ...
Piano Mover
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gale Henry
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Storyline

Jimmie Jump is a boarding house resident who receives a telegram telling him to pick up an important shipment at the train station at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday. No good deed goes unpunished, and Jimmie has a whole lot of trouble getting to the depot. Written by Silents Fan

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Genres:

Short | Comedy

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Release Date:

23 November 1924 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Trempé jusqu'aux os  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Fallen Arches (1933) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Charley's having One of Those Days
12 May 2006 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

All Wet represents 10 minutes or so of pure, undiluted Charley Chase, that is, 10 minutes of expertly constructed comedy based on frustration and embarrassment. Those emotions are at the heart of his work: Charley always seemed to be struggling to get somewhere or to achieve something that was forever beyond his grasp. He'd usually wind up in public places surrounded by unfriendly people, flustered, at a loss, and/or humiliated in his underwear. That's Charley Chase in a nutshell.

I've read conflicting things about All Wet: in an article about Chase in the old Film Fan Monthly magazine it was reported that this was originally a two-reel short, and that the second reel is missing. More recently I've heard that Charley didn't start making longer comedies until 1925, and that this film is complete in one reel. Either way, in its surviving form it's a complete entity with a beginning, a middle, and an end. The story begins at a boarding house. A telegram arrives for Mr. Jimmie Jump, as Charley's character was known in these early films. It's assumed to be bad news, so all of his fellow boarders gather around, ostensibly to show sympathetic support, but it's clear they're a pack of nosy busybodies. Charley plays the scene beautifully, striking melodramatic poses worthy of Edwin Booth. But when the news turns out to be good -- he's got an important package arriving at the train station -- Charley is wildly excited. He even punches out the crown of his own hat in his enthusiasm, while his fellow boarders look decidedly disappointed. Next, Charley must drive to the train station, and that's where the trouble starts, when his car gets stuck in deep mud.

I don't want to say too much about what follows, except that the sequence is a beautifully executed essay in frustration. At times I was reminded of Harold Lloyd's comedy Get Out and Get Uunder, which also involved car trouble, and at other times there were gags suggestive of Buster Keaton (i.e. the workman who casually hoists a piano onto his shoulder like Big Joe Roberts in One Week, or the sinking of the car itself into a very deep pothole, which suggests the infamous launch of Buster's Damfino). Still, Charley always managed to put his own personal stamp on his work. Even when he didn't receive directorial credit, Chase, like Stan Laurel, was a first-rate comedy director who knew precisely how best to line up shots, time his effects, and edit scenes for maximum impact. For example, watch the gag in this film when the laborer "helps" Charley by pushing his car out of the mud and into an even deeper, water-filled hole. The placement of the camera is everything: the viewer doesn't see the hole until the camera reveals it, after it's too late to save the car. In reality, the two men would've seen the hole easily, but the way the scene is composed and edited it comes as a surprise to them as well as to us. And this is followed by the comic high point, Charley's underwater repair job, where only his hands are sporadically visible as he signals to a helper which tool he needs next. This is a great sequence that can't be described, you have to see it.

Comic frustration isn't for all tastes. Some people like their comedians aggressive or at least assertive, and lose patience with scenarios based on mild mannered types faced with unending disaster. To each his own, of course, but for those who can appreciate the comedy of catastrophe, Charley Chase's All Wet deserves special mention alongside other classics of this special sub-genre, including Laurel & Hardy's Perfect Day and Harold Lloyd's Hot Water, comedies where things get off to a bad start and just keep getting worse. Life's like that sometimes, and it helps to laugh.


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