Shy Charley tries to win his girl.

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Cast

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Charley
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Mary (as Nena Quartaro)
Gale Henry ...
Leader of Girls
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Storyline

Shy Charley tries to win his girl.

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Genres:

Comedy | Short

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Release Date:

25 May 1929 (USA)  »

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(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Charley Chase's First Talkie
22 July 2016 | by (New York City, USA) – See all my reviews

In his first talking comedy, Charley Chase plays a musician who is upset with his girlfriend's habit of flirting with other men. When his buddy suggests he flirt as well, Charley demurs, saying he's too shy around other women. Nonetheless, he agrees to pretend to be having affairs and heads out to an isolated cabin so his pal can bring Charley's lady friend and find him compromised...supposedly.

But Charley goes to the cabin on a stormy night, and there is a gaggle of scantily clad females seeking sanctuary in his cabin! Mayhem ensues.

This is a pre-code film, so the ladies all end up in their underwear, but it's all very chaste. (None of them are as sexy as Stanwyck and Blondell in "Night Nurse" two years later.) Chase's voice records well, and in one scene he has a dialogue with himself playing both male and female parts. He plays it well.

The gags are mostly visual, as befits an early talkie. There's one nice, phallic, running gag with Charley's necktie.

According to Richard Bann, who supervised the preservation of this rarity, Leo McCarey had already left the employ of producer Hal Roach and his screenplay credit was a contractual formality. Chase's angst over the transition to sound exacerbated his already heavy drinking problem so much that by the end of 1929 Chase would check into the Mayo Clinic and have part of his stomach removed.

This isn't one of Chase's strongest efforts, but it's decent and affords an interesting look at how one of the masters of silent comedy handled the transition to sound. Recommended.


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