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The Panic Is On (1931)

 -  Comedy | Short  -  15 August 1931 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 33 users  
Reviews: 3 user

Charley's in love with the daughter of a financier who wants her to insist that Chas have a pile of cash before she marries him. But, the Depression is everywhere: Charley's behind on his ... See full summary »

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Title: The Panic Is On (1931)

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Charley Chase
Virginia Whiting ...
Miss Morgan
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Storyline

Charley's in love with the daughter of a financier who wants her to insist that Chas have a pile of cash before she marries him. But, the Depression is everywhere: Charley's behind on his rent and nearly everyone he meets is down on their luck. After reading a "how to" book on the power of a forceful will, Charley applies the lessons with mixed results, but he does land a job that includes delivering a shake-down letter to his girlfriend's father. Is the naïve Charley going to end up in jail? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Comedy | Short

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15 August 1931 (USA)  »

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(Western Electric Sound System)

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1.20 : 1
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Soundtracks

Cute Little Pal
(uncredited)
Written by Charley Chase
Performed by Charley Chase
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User Reviews

 
One of Charley's better sound shorts
2 February 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

In the 1920s and 30s, Charley Chase starred in many shorts and directed quite a few as well (using his real name, Charles Parrott). Because he made hundreds of films, by the time the sound era arrived, I think the quality of his output began to wane. Fortunately, however, this sound short from 1931 is one of his better shorts because it abounds with clever writing and wit.

Charley wants to marry a rich man's daughter, however the rich guy tells his daughter that any man who wants to marry her must be a real go-getter and have $50,000 before he'll give consent. Charley hasn't yet met his prospective father-in-law and through a misunderstanding he manages to rob him!! Later, fortunately, he is able to make things right and save the day.

What makes this film really unique is that during the Depression, very few films even mentioned it and those which did never considered using parody. The way this film made fun of the crash and its impact on America is very clever and gives rare insight into the era. Oddly, during 1930-35, the bulk of Hollywood's films seemed to show rich folks and the employed and you'd never have known by watching them that over 1/4 of all men of working age were unemployed. Here, at least, we have a film that dares to admit the truth AND make fun of it in a very clever fashion.


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