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Crazy Like a Fox (1926)

Two rich capitalists want to marry their children, but they don't like the idea at all. She tries to run away, and meets him at the station. They fall in love, unbeknownst to their real ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Wilson - the Groom
...
George - the Bride's Father
...
The Bride
Milla Davenport ...
Mother
...
Gov. Harrison
...
Butler
Al Hallett ...
Mr. Gloom - the Valet
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Storyline

Two rich capitalists want to marry their children, but they don't like the idea at all. She tries to run away, and meets him at the station. They fall in love, unbeknownst to their real identities, and decide each on their own that they have to wreck their parents plan. He asks his valet, to put a small postscript on his letter of introduction, stating that he's crazy and has sometimes (at least six times a day) crazy spells. To try this he uses an innocent victim, who promptly phones the insane asylum, that one of their patients is on the loose. At his future parents-in-law's home he acts crazy, till the moment he finds out, who the intended bride really is. Her completely shocked father asks the family doctor about how to behave with a lunatic and receives the advice to act crazy herself, follows it, and is promptly taken to the insane asylum. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

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Short | Comedy

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22 August 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zo sluw als een vos  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Don't Chase me, Charley.
3 June 2008 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

Charley Chase's films were highly variable. I'm always willing to watch a Chase movie I haven't seen before -- hoping it's one of his better ones -- but I'm not enough of a Chase fan to seek out his work. Usually, Chase tends to impress me intellectually with his professionalism rather than provoking me to laughter. However, 'Crazy Like a Fox' had me laughing several times. It's not as funny as Chase's classic 'Mighty Like a Moose', but it's definitely well above Chase's average.

Charley's character here is not named, although his unseen father is named John J Wilson. Charley and Martha Sleeper have never met, but their respective fathers have betrothed them in an arranged marriage. (Does such a thing happen among native-born Americans?) By coincidence, Charley and Martha meet without either knowing whom the other is; they fall in love, and Charley tries to get out of his engagement to his unseen fiancée so that he can marry Martha ... all unaware that they're the same woman.

Now, here's where it gets so contrived that it's not very funny: Charley tries to break his engagement by feigning insanity. That's unlikely enough, but it becomes even unlikelier when he establishes that he can be temporarily restored to sanity whenever someone blows a whistle. It's hard enough to believe that anyone would create such a ruse in the first place; why would he compromise his own ruse by allowing other people to control it? Every time Charley starts his loony routine, he has to stop it when someone blows a whistle.

Oliver Hardy (pre-Stan Laurel) shows up briefly in what would later be his "Ollie" bowler, but without his moustache. The family's black butler is played by white actor Max Asher in highly unconvincing blackface make-up. Since Asher was often typecast in Jewish or "Dutch" (German) roles, it's intriguing to see him here impersonating a black man ... intriguing, but not funny.

I laughed during a routine in which Charley shams insanity while he sports a wiggling cockade on top of his head. The cockade's movements complement his facial pantomime as Charley registers several different emotions in a single shot. Hilarious! Unfortunately, there's far too little of this sort of thing in 'Crazy Like a Fox'. I'll rate this 7 out of 10, which is higher than I'd rate most of Chase's output.


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