Other Sellers on Amazon
The Charley Chase Collection: Volume 1
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Welcome to the funny and frenetic world of Charley Chase, the top box office comedian in short subjects in the mid-to-late 1920s. It's a place of mad-cap adventures and wild misunderstandings. In a series of one and two reelers at the Hal Roach Studios, he elevated the style of situation comedy to an art form. In 1923, after a decade of working in front of and behind the cameras, he was persuaded to short work on a new series of one reel comedies. From the first release, Charley Chase was a hit with the public. "America's New Joy Boy" filled theaters with laughter from coast to coast. Chase discovered that by starting with a simple predicament that any average person could get into, the public could identify with him. Then, gradually, by building a once plausible situation into a fiasco, he could take them to a riotous conclusion that is unbelievable, yet, somehow conceivable. Charley Chase was the master of the comedy of embarrassment. His collaboration with director Leo McCorey (The Awful Truth) proved to be fruitful. Their 45 films together showcase two comic geniuses in perfect tandem with each other After decades of languishing in film vaults, several of their best appear in this collection. Charley Chase was the proverbial comic with good looks, who almost always got the girl (he usually had her at the beginning). He was what the '20s were all about. Carefree, frivolous, wild and woolly, he was the "Good Time Charley" that we all wished we could be.
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
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 !
Slender, dapper and handsome, with great comic timing & reactions, Chase practically invented what is known today as "situation comedy" on T.V. Chase liked to take a premise--a situation that could very well happen to anyone--and expand it; make it overblown & farcical. His collaborations with the equally-imaginative director Leo McCarey (the man responsible for teaming Laurel & Hardy) was a momentous occasion.
My favorites from these six shorts? "Mighty Like A Moose" is irresistably charming, foreshadowing today's trends in plastic surgery. "Crazy Like A Fox" is daffy fun as Chase gets to cut loose here, using insane behavior to get the girl. But the others show flashes of comic brilliance: "All Wet" has Chase maneuvering his car into a ridiculously deep & wide puddle...then making repairs underwater! "Long Fliv The King" makes use of the "fish-out-of-water" plot device by having death-row inmate Chase being rescued from the gallows to rule a small country. Look for a then-stock player Oliver Hardy in a supporting role as a servant. "April Fool" is a brief short in which Chase--calling himself Jimmie Jump--takes the fad of playing pranks to hilarious heights.
It's a shame that Mr. Chase died too young in 1940, from a heart attack attributed to heavy drinking. What he created with these shorts helped push the envelope of comedy invention to the next level.