Charley, frustrated by his office job, quarrels with his wife, after which they decide to switch jobs. She goes to the office and Charley does the housework. Having never done something ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Jimmie Jump
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sammy Brooks ...
Balloon man
William Gillespie
'Tonnage' Martin Wolfkeil ...
Hefty Salesman
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Storyline

Charley, frustrated by his office job, quarrels with his wife, after which they decide to switch jobs. She goes to the office and Charley does the housework. Having never done something like this in his life before, he starts a chaos, something his mother-in-law was expecting... Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

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Short | Comedy

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7 December 1924 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Not poor
15 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Poor Fish" is one of a series of one-reelers that Charley Chase made earlier in his career as "Jimmie Jump." Unlike some of the earlier entries in the series, Charley starts already married and dealing with a problem with his life, and he would go on to vacillate between being a bachelor and a henpecked husband throughout his long series of shorts.

He is working with very standard material here: Charley and his wife are fraught because of Charley's demanding job and her housework, so they decide to switch roles. Unsurprisingly, Charley is quite incompetent when it comes to cooking, cleaning and watching dishes, his wife comes home a wreck, and gender roles are reinforced.

It doesn't leave room for the kind of outrageous silliness or complex embarrassing situations that make many of Chase's other films so distinctive and brilliant, but there are a good number of laughs to be had from some very clever gags -- especially the sequence of gags at the end involving his disastrous attempts to wash a bird and what ends up happening instead. Of of the funnier gags is tied in which some tangible subtext -- politeness works on a traveling salesman because of Charley's fey little hat, emasculating him even more than the housework does.

Overall a funny little short but not among the entries in the series than take best advantage of Charley Chase's many talents.


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