Ready To Cut To Chase

Charley Chase was an acclaimed movie comedian of decades past.  The star of numerous two-reelers, in the silent 22-minute Be Your Age (1926), he plays a bashful nobody (or “nobody”) who, darn it, just has to resign himself to his boss’s, an attorney’s, objectionable plan.  He pays for his passivity, and it’s all richly amusing, a modest winner with an agreeable cast (especially Chase), with Oliver Hardy, not yet great, in a supporting role.

Even better is Chase’s sound film, the 18-minute The Grand Hooter (1937), wherein the amiable gent is, alas, a ninny of a husband.  His wife’s complaint that he spends too much time at the Hoot Owl Lodge and not enough with her prompts the two to go off together to a hotel, but Charley’s ninnyism won’t quit.  The piece is uproariously funny, suitably paced by director Del Lord, giving genuine proof that Chase was able to make a smooth transition from silent film to talkies.  And it was chivalrous to keep Charley’s wife (Peggy Stratford) from being mistakenly kicked in the rear end by a hotel detective.

Both movies are available on YouTube.

 

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