2 February 2008 | MartinHafer
One of Charley's better sound shorts
In the 1920s and 30s, Charley Chase starred in many shorts and directed quite a few as well (using his real name, Charles Parrott). Because he made hundreds of films, by the time the sound era arrived, I think the quality of his output began to wane. Fortunately, however, this sound short from 1931 is one of his better shorts because it abounds with clever writing and wit.
Charley wants to marry a rich man's daughter, however the rich guy tells his daughter that any man who wants to marry her must be a real go-getter and have $50,000 before he'll give consent. Charley hasn't yet met his prospective father-in-law and through a misunderstanding he manages to rob him!! Later, fortunately, he is able to make things right and save the day.
What makes this film really unique is that during the Depression, very few films even mentioned it and those which did never considered using parody. The way this film made fun of the crash and its impact on America is very clever and gives rare insight into the era. Oddly, during 1930-35, the bulk of Hollywood's films seemed to show rich folks and the employed and you'd never have known by watching them that over 1/4 of all men of working age were unemployed. Here, at least, we have a film that dares to admit the truth AND make fun of it in a very clever fashion.