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No Father to Guide Him (1925)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 23 users  
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Charley's battle-axe mother-in-law breaks up his marriage and tries to separate him from his son. Charlie abducts the boy for a father-son outing to the beach. The mother-in-law pursues and comedy ensues.

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Title: No Father to Guide Him (1925)

No Father to Guide Him (1925) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Jimmy Jump
Katherine Grant ...
Jimmy's Wife
Mickey Bennett ...
The Jump Son
Josephine Crowell ...
Jimmy's Mother-in-Law
Duke Kahanamoku ...
The Lifeguard
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Storyline

Charley's battle-axe mother-in-law breaks up his marriage and tries to separate him from his son. Charlie abducts the boy for a father-son outing to the beach. The mother-in-law pursues and comedy ensues.

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Genres:

Comedy | Short

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Release Date:

6 September 1925 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
I guide you to watch it
27 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"No Father to Guide Him" is another of Charley Chase's consistently excellent short subjects, from early his career as a star of two-reelers, and it's quite hilarious, taking Charley's comedy of embarrassment forte to some absurd and very funny extremes. It casts him as a father -- a more domestic role in theory than the go-getter types he was playing at this juncture in his career. The opening is actually rather poignant as Charley the milkman is seen desperately sneaking into his ex-wife's house so he can see his little son.

It soon develops into surreal farce, though, with this rather touching underpinning, as a series of gags revolve around Charley nabbing his son. Then, in the real highlight of the short, there is a central bravura sequence in which Charley ends up at sea without his clothes, then paraded around the street wearing a woman's kimono. In some odd-looking shots that are maybe indicative of Los Angeles at the time, the beach seems to run right up to a city street. In a cameo role from Duke Kahanamoku as a lifeguard, there is a risqué gay joke about the danger of the two leaving the water together with Chase naked. Child actor Mickey Bennett gets a whole lot to do, and he handles the comedy very well indeed.

This short as funny as you might expect from the two-reel farce artist of the absurd that was Charley Chase, but it deals with a somewhat more grim and potentially-sentimental subject than he usually essays in it story about an estrangement leading to what is technically a kidnapping. That humanistic backing works very well in compliment and contrast to the wacky comedy elements, actually -- and this is as effective as the later Chase shorts that took place in a self-consciously effervescent, musical world.


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