Although terrified of girls, Charley must take a job teaching at a girls school.

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(dialogue)
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Cast

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Charley
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Miss Evans
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Miss Tuttle, Principal
Fanny Cossar
Ida Shoemaker ...
(as Ida Schumacher)
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Storyline

Although terrified of girls, Charley must take a job teaching at a girls school.

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teacher | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy | Short

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Release Date:

8 October 1932 (USA)  »

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(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Won't cause any grief
11 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Robert Youngston observed that Charley Chase's life seemed to be "one long embarrassing moment," so it's not surprising that when this 1932 Hal Roach Studios short of his begins, he is thrust immediately into a situation that almost couldn't be designed to be more embarrassing -- he's a bashful man afraid of girls whose mother has arranged for him to substitute teach at an all girls school.

This is apparently a reuse of the premise of "What Women Did for Me," a silent short he starred in five years earlier and which I haven't seen, but this shouldn't detract at all. Chase and other comedians who transitioned to sound (such as Laurel and Hardy and Buster Keaton) made it fairly usual to take the premise of one of their silent films and rework it with material for talkies. In fact, one of the most fun sequences here, in which the girls surreptitiously start singing a jazzed-up version of "Seeing Nellie Home" instead of the one they have been given, and it slowly wins Charley over to the point of dancing along by the time his supervisors angrily arrive, depends very heavily on the audio element.

Charley is very funny playing up the bashful body language in contrast to his debonair appearance, and almost surprisingly most of the humor comes not from Charley being too timid to do is job but from the girls' having fun at his expense. It's in the vein of some of the freewheeling, structureless shorts that only someone like Charley could get away with doing. However, for much of it the girls' school is only a frame for a really hilarious gag sequence involving catnip covering a bed and, of course, all the cats it attracts. Having such a perfectly structured series of gags within such a loose short really works well.


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