A wealthy man wants his three free-spending daughters, who are in their twenties, to learn fiscal discipline. An attorney suggests that Charley, an efficiency expert, move in and provide guidance. The young women play a trick on the stiff-necked Charley by having Thelma, one of the sisters, switch places with Greta, their garboesque maid. Greta plays her part well, vamping and flirting with Charley, to the chagrin of her husband, the butler. Eventually, Charley smells a rat and, in his nightshirt, confronts Thelma in her bedroom. Lessons in frugality give way to farce as a shotgun and suit of armor provide the props of a dénouement. Written by
For some unknown reason, Charlie Chase has never enjoyed the lasting fame he deserved. One of the most talented and funny men at the Hal Roach Studio, he could sing, dance, write, compose, deliver lines and had comedic timing that would rival any of the greats. Charlie shines in The Nickel Nurser, playing an efficiency expert hired to teach an industrialist's three lovely daughters the value of money and the virtue of economy. Another brilliant comedienne, the luscious Thelma Todd - playing the most beautiful of the three - exchanges places with the Swedish maid, Greta (Belle Hare). Greta, an obvious - and hysterical - takeoff on Greta Garbo - is married to the insanely jealous butler (Billy Gilbert). This deception is the girl's idea to throw off Charlie's efforts to discipline their spendthrift habits. Instead it sets the stage for a series of mistaken identities, pitfalls, pratfalls, double takes and sight gags. By the end of the picture Billy Gilbert has been driven into a psychotic rage and is chasing everyone around with a rifle. Often wildly risqué, The Nickel Nurser is one of those comedies that you just don't want to have come to an end and is one of the finest of both its star and its studio. Never miss an opportunity to see a Charlie Chase (or Thelma Todd) comedy and certainly seek this one out. You won't be disappointed. This reviewer just watched it and is still snickering - a full hour later.
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