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Time Out for Trouble (1938)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Short  |  18 March 1938 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 27 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

Charley Chase is engaged to be married and while in a department store, shopping for his fiancée, saves a woman from being hit on the head by a heavy box, but his fiancée only sees a ... See full summary »



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Title: Time Out for Trouble (1938)

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Complete credited cast:
Dick Curtis ...


Charley Chase is engaged to be married and while in a department store, shopping for his fiancée, saves a woman from being hit on the head by a heavy box, but his fiancée only sees a newspaper-published picture of Charley holding the girl in his lap. His angry fiancée breaks off their engagement. The girl is the wife of a notorious gangster who lives in the same apartment building as Charley, and the heart-broken and despondent Charley asks the gangster to bump him off. But he no longer wants to be bumped off after his fiancée finds out what really happened and forgives him. Since the gangster is a very honorable guy indeed and believes a contract is a contract, Charley is in his usual dilemma. Written by Les Adams <>

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Comedy | Short


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Release Date:

18 March 1938 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
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Featured in Off Again, on Again (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

Take time out for it
22 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There's quite a strain of matter-of-fact black humor running through this Charley Chase short: most of the plot revolves around Charley either trying to commit suicide or evading being murdered, and the humor of it is augmented by how deadpan it is played in this respect; it's presented as if suicide were a perfectly natural course of action for Charley to take, and the short moves along from there.

This is a very funny comedy, and has a somewhat different feel to it than a typical Charley Chase two reeler, though not really to its detriment. Instead of building a mini-farce up slowly and carefully constructing a funny plot, it sets up Charley's sticky situation (caught in a photo that makes him look like he's cheating right before his wedding) rather perfunctorily and randomly, and uses it to move right into an extended and very funny gag sequence (the one featuring Charley's attempts at suicide).

Instead of proceeding from a crazy premise to reasonable developments, this is pretty fast paced and full of crazy plot developments, spurred on by turns of events like Charley's elaborate suicide mechanism accidentally flinging him into the apartment window of the gangster he has just randomly befriended.

This one is also notably well produced and directed, with a very clever and stylish visual opening gag, and a great outdoor tracking shot of the amusing image of Charley walking don the road in a top hat and his underwear. Of Charley Chase's Columbia Pictures shorts this might be a better example of him adhering to a Columbia style rather than purely bringing his own, but he adapts that style to his own strengths as a performer in a very funny way.

Incidentally, there is no boxing in this movie, nor any sporting event at all. I can't quite figure out the title.

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