Yes--here he is folks--"Good Time Charley, Playboy of the Flapper Age" ! These six shorts starring silent comedian Charley Chase add up to a couple of hours of highly amusing entertainment. When you mention silent comedy to most people, they think of Keaton, Chaplin, Lloyd, and maybe Arbuckle and the Keystone Cops. Somehow, to all but the most dedicated enthusiast, Charley Chase has been forgotten, and that's a shame. For this viewer at least, he was the equal of any of the great silent comics, and actually made a successful transition to sound. Many of his sound shorts are just as funny, especially when he was paired with the lovely Thelma Todd.
On this disc, we have two one-reelers from 1924 and four two-reelers from 1926 :--
April Fool--1924--the title tells all as the gang at the office play tricks on Charley, and vice versa--tricks that sometimes backfire very badly.
All Wet--1924--Charley is driving to the train station, and meets the "pothole from hell"--wonderful gags.
Mum's the Word--1926--Charley pretends to be a butler--not exactly his "true calling".
Crazy Like a Fox--1926--Charley pretends to be a lunatic, and the laughs just keep coming--not the last time he would play this kind of role. Oliver Hardy has a cameo.
Long Fliv the King--1926--to become Queen, a princess must marry any man within 24 hours, and she picks Charley. Some nasty people back at court are "not amused"--watch out for the hilarious sword-fight.
Mighty Like a Moose--1926--Charley and his wife, without telling one another, have radical facial surgery, don't recognize one another, and try to "cheat" with each other. One of the best, with Charley's famous "fight with himself". If I explained any more, I'd spoil it. This one is a gem !
I must salute Kino for making these, and other silent classics, available on DVD. When you watch these comedies, you are looking at film that is 80 years old ! So--yes--you may see some wear and tear, and a few "splices". Personally, I think we are lucky that these still exist ! At the same time, I really hope we will see more of Charley Chase's work--silent and sound--released on DVD.
This type of comedy may not be for everyone--it is definitely slapstick--a world where people stop pies with their faces, get "accidentally" soaked with hoses, have messy adventures with unpredictable fountain pens and so on. I guess it's a flaw in my character, but I find this brand of comedy--and Charley Chase in particular--funny in the extreme.
So--had a tough day at work ? problems with your relationship ?
the taxman wants more than you expected ? If you need a smile and a laugh desperately--have no fear, Chase is here !