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Many Sappy Returns (1938)

 -  Comedy | Short  -  19 August 1938 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 15 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

Charley mistakes a lunatic as the father of the girl he's interested in.

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Title: Many Sappy Returns (1938)

Many Sappy Returns (1938) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Charley Chase
...
Mary Benson
John T. Murray ...
Mental Patient
Fred Kelsey ...
Finnegan
John Sheehan ...
Mr. Benson
Vernon Dent ...
Minor Role
Lane Chandler ...
Policeman
Kernan Cripps ...
Policeman
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Storyline

Charley mistakes a lunatic as the father of the girl he's interested in.

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remake

Genres:

Comedy | Short

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Release Date:

19 August 1938 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Connections

Remake of Fast Work (1930) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Worth returning to
2 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Charley Chase is given the opportunity to take credit for the story and screenplay of this short, produced later in too-short life for Columbia Pictures, as well as associate producer. At Hal Roach he had become a well-known screen personality but usually taking credit only for acting, and using the name Charles Parrot when he directed. It seems Columbia was more willing to capitalize on his well-liked name by giving more credit where credit was due.

I'm not sure Chase had more actual influence over this short than he did over most of his other work, and the title is very likely attributable to some in-house Columbia people (who seemed to love referring to people as "saps" in short subject titles), but certainly bears his hallmarks -- including that of being very funny indeed.

"Many Sappy Returns" starts with some slower-developing scenes of Charley as a new cab driver for whom things generally go wrong, which allows for some very nicely witty writing and the setting up of some great running gags. Soon enough the central problem of the short occurs -- the father of Charley's prospective father-in-law is mistaken for an escaped madman and vice versa. This leads to some very funny situations, and since in this case Charley remains totally unaware of the humiliation that should be being heaped upon him, the film becomes almost a classic farce folded into twenty minutes. A lot of humor comes from dramatic irony as Charley unknowingly keeps digging himself deeper and deeper. It's becoming cliché, but it's hard not to see shorts like this as antecedents of some better modern comedies such as "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Of course, sue to the nature of the story we get the a double sources of comedy of the situation and gags on their own, plus that generated by the presence of a madman (and Charley's second perspective, seeing his ramblings as wise or charmingly eccentric). Fortunately he's played in a very good, funny manner, with a glib deadpan the enhances the humor or whatever's saying.

The direction of comedy veteran Del Lord keeps this well-timed and -paced, and in the end Charley Chase, a naturally funny farce story, and an amusing madman come together to make an excellent two-reel short.


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