I think the curtain of oblivion fell onto Charlie Chase for two reasons. One is noted by Walter Kerr in his THE SILENT COMEDIANS, where he points out that Chase always is too nattily dressed (unlike Chaplin's Tramp, Keaton, Langdon, Fields, Laurel and Hardy). The other is the similarity of his film name to Chaplin's. In the pantheon of Silent Comics, there was room for only one "Charlie", not two. If so it was a stupid reason. So Chase was recalled (if at all) for being a brother to the director James Parott, who directed many L & H comedies, and he played Ollie's brother-in-law in THE SONS OF THE DESERT. Chase was a clever and inventive comedian, who deserved better response from posterity. It is coming now, some six decades(!) after his death...but it is coming.
May I recommend for those who would like to see Chase in a good comedy, turn to YOU-TUBE and see "A ONE MAMA MAN". In this half hour short, Charlie plays an American (his real name, is of all things, Willie Shoemaker - but there is nothing prescient involving horses here), who turned out to be the heir to a European title (Count Tosky). He is returning to the U.S. by steamship, and he is deluged by invitations from socialites. He chooses one from the wife of Burr McIntosh, a millionaire meat packer. McIntosh is against European royalty, and hires thugs to make sure the Count does not show up. But Charlie manages to get away from the thugs, and McIntosh (needing to present someone to his guests) hires Charlie to pretend to be the Count.
Charlie comes to the party, and even (at McIntosh's insistence) puts on aristocratic airs he does not normally have. But he soon finds himself involved with the daughter of his host (Eugenia Gilbert) and her oafish suitor (Vernon Dent). Dent is the sort who tells jokes like, "What is it that elephants have, but no one else has?" (Answer: Baby elephants!). The film shows how Charlie manages to win the girl from Dent, discredit the latter, and avoid being revealed as the genuine Count by a young woman who photographed him on the ship (Gale Henry). Henry has an interesting psychological/physical problem: she falls into a trance every time she hears a bell ring due to a traumatic accident she was in. The film uses this for comic effect frequently).
It is actually a very good short film comedy, and well worth watching. It is also a good way to rediscover Chase's comic skills.
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