14 May 2010 | hte-trasme
Enjoy it in good health
"Nurse to You!" is another big winner from Charley Chase's two-reel comedy series. Directing himself towards the end of his run at Hal Roach, Chase injects a real freewheeling sense of fun into this, without losing any of the tightness and compactness of his comedy construction.
He begins the film, as he sometimes would, as his usual character but with one big twist. This time he's a big cheapskate, and the resultant sequence of dry, absurd visual gags is as funny as you'll see anywhere, as his thriftiness is demonstrated with ingenious schemes in which he saves on gas by allowing momentum to roll his car to the office, splits a newspaper with one guy and a shoeshine(!) with another, etc. Something about Charley Chase's great use of running-gags and character-based humor always reminds me a little of Jack Benny's radio/TV, and here he handles material on Benny's most-trod subject with huge facility.
The film then changes to a great iteration of a personality-change plot -- with the worried cheapskate to well and economically established -- as Charley becomes a brash spendthrift when his diagnosis is switched with that off old Mr. Case and he is lead to believe he has only sic months to live. Charley's comic acting pulls this off wonderfully and really makes this short come alive. In addition Muriel Evans is, as usual, a great leading lady for him, and Billy Gilbert is nice as an uncharacteristically subdued doctor. Unlike a lot of Charley's movies, the title actually comes from a clever pun in the script.
This is another little gem of a twenty-minute film for Charley Chase; at this point he was the real master of the form at the greatest studio for them, and it showed.