Charley Chase: From Keystone To Hal Roach 1915-1926 (Silent)

The master comedian stars in six rare films spanning his time from Keystone to Hal Roach Studios.
Charley Chase: From Keystone To Hal Roach
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Format:  DVD-R
sku:  ALP 8016D
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DVD-R Details

  • Run Time: 1 hours, 23 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: November 30, 2017
  • Originally Released: 1924
  • Label: Alpha Video

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring , , , , &
Directed by &

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“Charley Chase is my inspiration as a filmmaker and historian because he didn’t have to wear makeup or outrageous costumes to be funny! He was just a ordinary guy who found himself in “tricky” situations (usually involving women) and then got out of them by using his own ingenuity. And he always spiced up those situations in his films by sprinkling them with meticulously constructed gags that built to an uproarious climax.” – John K. Carpenter, “The Movie Man”.

Charley Chase (1893-1940) is widely considered by film fans to be one of the geniuses of silent comedy. Born Charles Parrott in Baltimore, Maryland, a brief career in vaudeville led to bit parts at Keystone Films. Unhappy playing second fiddle to luminaries such as Chaplin and Arbuckle, Parrott famously approached Hal Roach, telling him, “I can play anything!” Rechristened Charley Chase, he was soon starring in his own series of two-reel comedies for Roach. In these films, Charley usually played a sophisticated young man (sometimes a harried husband, or an overworked businessman) plunged into an unfortunate succession of embarrassing incidents. Most of the Chase shorts were directed by Leo McCarey, later to be famous for the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup and an Academy Award winner for Going My Way (1944).

HASH HOUSE MASHERS (1915): A non-mustachioed Charley stars in one of his few solo comedies at Keystone. He gets in trouble when he stops paying the rent and starts romancing the landlord’s daughter.

LOVE IN ARMOR (1915): In another early Keystone short, Charley becomes a knight in shining armor when girlfriend Mae Busch is snatched by oily Baron Von Hasenpfeffer (Fritz Schade).

A TEN-MINUTE EGG (1924): For his first films at Roach, Charley played the role of “Jimmie Jump”, a put-upon everyman. Here Jimmie tries to convince people he’s a tough guy by handing them a card that says he’s “Dreadnaught Danny Dugan, Bouncer at the Bucket of Blood Cafe.” When his girlfriend and her mother are threatened, he’ll have to become a bruiser for real.

OUTDOOR PAJAMAS (1924): Jimmie Jump overslept on the day of his wedding and has to run to church in his pajamas. That’s just the set-up for some of Charley’s most innovative gags as he runs into cops, horses and encyclopedia salesmen on the way.

BIG RED RIDING HOOD (1925): Now an academic (but still dirt poor), Jimmie Jump is asked to translate “Little Red Riding Hood” into Swedish by a representative of their government. When the book is stolen, a riotous chase ensues that surely ranks among the greatest in silent comedy.

TELL ‘EM NOTHING (1926): Charley is a successful lawyer desired by all the most beautiful women – To help them divorce their husbands! The shoe’s on the other foot, however, when Charley’s wife Gertrude Astor thinks he’s cheating on her with Vivien Oakland.

BONUS: MABEL’S BLUNDER (1914): A Mabel Normand comedy in which our heroine dresses as a man to spy on her two-timing boyfriend. Charley, in one of his earliest roles, plays a boy she gets into a fight with at a party.

From the Collection of John K. Carpenter, “The Movie Man.”


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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 4,737
  • UPC: 089218801692
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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