"Hasty Marriage" is another breezy, fun, and cheerful two-reeler from Charley Chase, with a couple of great twists on the comedy of frustration that he was a master of. It's also one of the funniest shorts from him that I've seen so far. Every gag works beautifully, they set each other up for extra humor, and Charley's at the top of his humiliated but determined-to-be-debonair game.
It's in three distinct segments, and each is beautifully choreographed. The first and probably best involves Charley, his girlfriend, and her father foolish her mother and the suitor she prefers into getting Charley into the house for dinner. It's beautifully choreographed, very, very funny, and full of vicarious satisfaction as Charley fools the streetcar conductor suitor into sitting and listening to a record on the phone.
In the later two segments, in which Charley must get married within minutes to get a job, and then tries to go on a picnic with his new family, are both also packed with laughs and timed with an almost musical brilliance. In the first there is a glorious sequence in which Charley peeks at his streetcar-conductor father from every angle of the moving car's window while the suitor, obsessed with his job of making sure conductors do not speak with passengers (a premise for a running gag that's sued in ways that make it funnier each time) insists on stopping them.
This sort also has the benefit of the very eccentric and comic performance of the false-mustachioed, bald-headed Scottish frequent Hal Roach foil James Finlayson. Above all it demonstrates Chase's hand for timing comedy beautifully and bringing back recognition of earlier gags for maximum effect. Did I mention it also made me laugh a lot?
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