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The Charley Chase Collection, Vol. 1 (Slapstick Symposium)
The Charley Chase Collection Vol 1
Slapstick Symposium
Actors: Charley Chase, Oliver Hardy, Vivien Oakland, Janet Gaynor, Martha Sleeper
Director: Leo McCarey
Genres: Classics, Comedy, Kids & Family
NR     2004     2hr 1min

Bringing a collection of seven 2-reeler comedies from the golden period of this acting/producer legend, the CHARLEY CHASE DVD is a fantastic introduction to the funny and frenetic world of Charley Chase and a rare chance t...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Charley Chase, Oliver Hardy, Vivien Oakland, Janet Gaynor, Martha Sleeper
Director: Leo McCarey
Creators: Charley Chase, Floyd Jackman, Len Powers, Richard C. Currier, Hal Roach, Charles Alphin, H.M. Walker
Genres: Classics, Comedy, Kids & Family
Sub-Genres: Silent Films, Romantic Comedies, Classics, Family Films
Studio: Pathé Exchange
Format: DVD - Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 08/03/2004
Original Release Date: 07/18/1926
Theatrical Release Date: 07/18/1926
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 2hr 1min
Screens: Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 7
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Silence Please--Genius At Work.
peterfromkanata | Kanata, Ontario Canada | 09/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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 !

The Return Of Charley Chase.
Chip Kaufmann | Asheville, N.C. United States | 08/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Most people familiar with silent comedy are not familiar with Charley Chase. They recognize the face but not the name. Chase is probably best known as the obnoxious conventioneer in Laurel & Hardy's SONS OF THE DESERT. He was a hard working, driven individual who died in 1940 at the age of 46. His real name was Charles Parrott and in addition to being a performer he was also a gag writer, a producer as well as a director of his and other people's shorts. During the 1920's he was the most popular performer in comedy shorts until the advent of Laurel & Hardy. This new collection from Kino International and Lobster Films allows us to see Chase in his prime. What we see in these shorts is a man who while not a topflight comedian like Chaplin, Keaton or Lloyd, could be uproariously funny at times depending on his material.

The director on most of the shorts in this collection was Leo McCarey who would go on to become one of Hollywood's major directors with features like DUCK SOUP and GOING MY WAY. Start off your viewing with MIGHTY LIKE A MOOSE which is undoubteedly the best short in this collection. The plot of an ugly married couple who undergo plastic surgery unbeknownst to each other and then proceed to fall in love with their new selves is a true classic which has appeared elsewhere. Follow that up with CRAZY LIKE A FOX which shows the full range of his inventiveness as Charley pretends to be crazy to get out of an arranged marriage. The one reel ALL WET contains one of the more imaginative sequences in all of silent comedy as Chase repairs a car while underwater.

The remaining titles all have something to recommend them so hats off to Lobster Films for allowing us the opportunity of seeing an undeservedly forgotten comedian as well as giving us shorts by Harold Lloyd and Stan Laurel (before Hardy). These three sets are part of a new series called SLAPSTICK SYMPOSIUM from Kino International who continue to provide us with quality silent film releases."
Charley's Back!
Thomas Degan | Goshen, NY United States | 10/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's really kind of sad to think that the name Charley Chase barely registers with anyone nowadays. Sad because in an era of great comics, he was one of the greatest. One of the reasons, probably, is the fact that Charley didn't have the clown persona of a Chaplin or a Keaton. He was much more of a regular guy type, comperable to Harold Loyd although I always thought that Chase's character was much more believable than Loyd's. The release of this DVD is a cause for celebration among all lovers of great comedy. I hope it's the first of many more.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY"
Mine Played Fine
Wayne A. | Belfast, Northern Ireland | 10/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Look right below me. Since when did this stop being a review symposium and start being the Complaints Department at Macey's? I'm here for the reviews, not for some dopey quality-control issue that should be brought up with the manufacturer and one that the manufacturer and distributer would certainly fix pronto. I hated Don Quixote because of a bad binding? I honestly expect more sense from a Top 500 reviewer. I just came from a review of a Hammer Film (The Devil Rides Out) where some loon from Italy goes on and on about all the DVDs that Amazon sends her are "100% Damaged" including the replacements!!! She's ordering DVDs from the US and she lives in Italy?! A Region Coding problem perhaps? Please visit the review and hit inappropriate, then go to her other reviews and do the same (They all complain about "100% Damaged" DVDs!!). Lets clear out the deadwood.

Anyway, I highly recommend this collection. Chase is a real surprise if you've been stuck with the usuals for silent comedy--his work almost seems like fun rips on Silents that would've been made in the Fifties for, say, "Singin' in the Rain." He especially had an acute eye for an outrageous site gag that somehow made sense. In one film (name forgotten) he's getting out of his car with his golf clubs and a women whizzes by him and nearly misses him. The golf clubs fly way too far up in the air and scatter ridiculously. It's a subtle bit of extra oomph that makes his work so enjoyable.

Thanks Kino--great job!!"