Friday, January 19, 2018

New On DVD: Pre-Code Gems by Silent Comedy Great Charley Chase

"The 18 short comedies from 1930-31 are a sheer delight, each a perfect showcase for Charley's brilliant comic timing and breezy personality. An added bonus are the appearances in these films of Charley's frequent screen partner, the wonderful Thelma Todd. The icing on the cake are the amiable commentaries provided by Richard Roberts, one of the leading comedy film historians and an authority on Charley Chase's life and career. Roberts' relaxed style brings a refreshing personal touch; it's more like chatting with an old friend who's freely sharing what he knows, and that's always a good thing. I can't recommend this set highly enough, and hope many more people will discover the great Charley Chase in these hilarious films. May there be a Volume Two, and many more to come!" -- Edward Watz (noted Author and Film Historian)

The classic movie and comedy aficionados who write this blog are thrilled and delighted to hear about the release of this 2-DVD collection of early 1930's films starring the director/writer/comedian Charles Parrott a.k.a. Charley Chase (1893-1940).

New Blu-ray/DVD collections of Charley Chase, one of the most popular comedy stars in both the silent and sound eras, but neglected for decades, are most welcome!

We love the silent 2-reelers Charley and Leo McCarey collaborated on in the silent era and also love his pre-code talkies, 18 of which will be on this 2-DVD set.

Chase talkie shorts produced by the Hal Roach Studio have never been collected into a comprehensive collection before and this set includes some of the funniest and most delightful of all pre-code films made in the early 1930's.

Many of Charley's best films were made with the vivacious actress and comedienne Thelma Todd. They were the equivalent of a comedy team in their many appearances together in 1929-1931.

See Charley co-star with the wonderful Thelma in two of their best films, The Pip From Pittsburg and Looser Than Loose!

See Charley sing! See Charley annoy everyone on a golf course by just wanting to be liked in All Teed Up!

See Charley do a "wrestling women" routine 50 years before Andy Kaufman in the hysterically funny Thundering Tenors!

See Charley anticipate screwball comedy and the classic film humor his friend and collaborator Leo McCarey would later create with that unique combo of dashing leading men and brilliant light comedian, Cary Grant (seen here with Irene Dunne in The Awful Truth).

Charley Chase: At Hal Roach: The Talkies Volume One 1930-31 can be ordered now and is available exclusively on Amazon.

We're big fans of the inventive, hilarious Charley Chase at Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog and look forward to this release, which can be ordered here.

The lineup of films on Charley Chase: At Hal Roach: The Talkies Volume One 1930-31 is as follows:

The Real McCoy
Whispering Whoopee
All Teed Up
Fifty Million Husbands
Fast Work
Girl Shock
Dollar Dizzy
La SeƱorita de Chicago (Spanish version of "The Pip from Pittsburg")
Looser Than Loose
High C's
Thundering Tenors
The Pip from Pittsburg
Rough Seas
One of the Smiths
The Panic Is On
Skip the Maloo!
What a Bozo!
The Hasty Marriage

We tip our brown derbies respectfully to Kit Parker and Richard Roberts, the masterminds behind this set for , and also to the source of the links and screen captures in today's post, Dave Lord Heath, who has done top-notch work for years on his Another Nice Mess: The Films Of Laurel & Hardy website. At Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog we consider Dave Lord Heath's website, along with the work of film historians Randy Skredtvedt and Richard Bann, the last word on the Hal Roach Studios.

We send readers to Dave Lord Heath's website, Another Nice Mess: The Films Of Laurel & Hardy because the generally reliable Turner Classic Movies database frequently offers nothing beyond a title, release date, director and cast on the Charley Chase comedy shorts, while Wikipedia entries can vary and imdb too often is riddled with factual errors and glaring omissions.

In the silent film comedy pantheon, Charlie Chaplin was the most elegant, Buster Keaton the most brilliant, Harry Langdon the most original, Harold Lloyd the greatest at presenting sight gag humor within a winning Douglas Fairbanks style action/adventure storyline, Madcap Mabel Normand the prettiest/spunkiest/brightest and Lloyd Hamilton the quirkiest, but Mr. Chase gets bigger, louder belly laughs from this blogger than all of them.

If enough comedy fans and classic film aficionados purchase this set, it will be possible to look forward to a Volume 2. For more info, go to The Sprocket Vault website and also check out the Sprocket Vault Classic Films Facebook page.

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