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Should Husbands Be Watched? (1925)

Mr. Jump has come into some money and informs his wife that they can now hire a maid and won't have to do anymore housework. Circumstances cause Mrs. Jump to suspect that Mr. Jump is ... See full summary »




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Credited cast:
Jamison Jump
Katherine Grant ...
Mrs. Jump
The New Maid
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Beat Cop (unconfirmed)
Jack Gavin ...
Robbery Victim
Al Hallett


Mr. Jump has come into some money and informs his wife that they can now hire a maid and won't have to do anymore housework. Circumstances cause Mrs. Jump to suspect that Mr. Jump is cavorting with the new maid. Written by Tommie Hicks, Jr.

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Comedy | Short




Release Date:

14 March 1925 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to some print sources the police officer who appears briefly at the end of this short is played by William Frawley. Although the actor in this scene admittedly resembles Frawley he appears to be 55 to 60 years old, as Frawley was when he played Fred Mertz TV's I Love Lucy in the 1950s. In 1925 when this short was made, Frawley was in his mid-30s and touring the country in vaudeville with his wife. See more »

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User Reviews

Maid to order
8 January 2010 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

In his best comedies Charley Chase is not only funny, he also paints a vivid picture of what daily life was like for the typical middle-class family of his time. All films from the silent era give us a glimpse of history, to some extent at least, but when it comes to the comedies we tend to get a distorted, exaggerated sense of American domestic life from, say, Keystone domestic farces or the cartoon-y works of Larry Semon. Chase, however, usually grounded his humor in the real world as he and his contemporaries knew it, which gives his shorts added interest nowadays for those viewers with a particular interest in the culture of his time, the 1920s and '30s.

Should Husbands Be Watched? is a good example of this kind of thing. It's an enjoyable comedy in its own right, but also offers a little sociology lesson of sorts. When this film was made it was considered a special status symbol for middle-class families to have a servant in the house; it was a visible demonstration to the outside world that you'd risen a notch in the social hierarchy, that is, that you'd "made it." What makes this comedy interesting is the suggestion that for some young couples this rite of passage was not a comfortable or pleasant one.

When the story begins, Charley (still known as "Jimmy Jump" at this point, although he's addressed here as "Jamison") comes home to tell his wife (Katherine Grant) that he's gotten a raise, and that they can therefore hire their first maid. And in the next scene we see her, played by the exquisitely sexy Olive Borden. She wears the classic French-style maid's uniform, and slinks about the house with cat-like grace. Right away we expect that Mrs. Jump will become jealous of this rival for her husband's attention, and eventually she does, but first we notice the couple's fidgety, tense behavior around the newcomer. The maid seems perfectly at ease, but her employers practically cower before her, uncertain of how to act! The sequence is played as if the maid has taken over the household. Later, when Jimmy rescues her from a holdup man who is terrorizing the neighborhood, her gratitude takes the form of overt flirtation. This twist in the story, and the inevitable jealousy of Jimmy's wife, feels more conventional and familiar, though it all plays out in amusing fashion. This is a cute comedy over all, funny right down to the final gag, but it's of particular interest in the first half due to the social observation on display.

Incidentally, although it's certainly a pleasure to gaze upon Olive Borden, I was especially taken with the under-appreciated Katherine Grant in this short. Her reactions are nicely calibrated and funny, and she takes an impressive fall at one point when Charley abruptly swings open a car door. I always enjoy Grant in her appearances opposite Chase, Stan Laurel, and other comedians at the Hal Roach Studio, but recently I was saddened to learn that the reason her career came to such a sudden end in the mid-1920s was due to injuries she received in a traffic accident. Information is sparse, but it seems that although the accident was not fatal she was unable to work in films afterward. It's a shame: she was a gifted actress with a genuine flair for comedy.

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