Charley finds himself having strange spells during which everything around him seems to stop.


(as Charles Parrott),


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Complete credited cast:
Charley Chase
James Finlayson ...
Dr. James Finlayson
Brooks Benedict ...
Boy at Soda Fountain


Charley barges into the office of a psychiatrist whose avocation is competitive lying. Charley's tale, told with flashbacks and urgency, is odd: sometimes his world just stops in mid-motion. During those freezes, he has brief conversations with someone nearby who doesn't remember the exchange once things move again. A young woman invites him to her house; he arrives, she denies inviting him, and, worse, she's with her fiancé. Charley persists, the fiancé gets mad, and Charley gets the girl on the rebound. A few months later, they run into her ex at an amusement park; several freezes later, Charley is on the outs. Can the doctor do anything? Written by <>

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Comedy | Short





Release Date:

18 November 1935 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Nothing Compares to It! Quirky, Sophisticated Short!
5 June 2002 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

"Life Hesitates at 40" showcases the brilliant comic timing and writing of Charley Chase. The photography and sound are ingeniously integrated into the plot(in an avant-garde manner)way beyond the standard for two-reel comedies of any period. The chemistry between Charley Chase and Joyce Compton makes for an enjoyable, quiet verbal parrying that is reminiscent of the banter found in screwball comedies that were just beginning when "Life Hesitates at 40" was filmed. Charley Chase (in this and other shorts) displays such a mastery of comic situation, dialogue, and slapstick that no one else in short subjects equalled. He could truly be called the "father of screwball comedy". Joyce Compton showed in "Life Hesitates at 40" that she could play a smart, charming, knowing comic heroine, a role she rarely got to play.

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