Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose of Doozy #5: Cleaning Up His Act: Charley Chase

Recommended Posts

Background music at help with our exploration & celebration of slapstick comedy.  heustess.com/music

Our Gang (The Little Rascals) Music

(The Beau Hunks recreated the original LeRoy Shield music.)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think others have already replied with all the things I would have said about the 3 questions.

 

What struck me, though, was that, while there was dialog, sound effects and background music, it added little if anything that wouldn't have been there in a silent film with piano or organ accompaniment. There are really no dialog or sound gags as there would be in later sound comedies (and had already been present in some films like the Marxes' Cocoanuts). The added humor that could come from the verbal is only hinted at in this Chase clip.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many of the gags are exaggerated, notably the dispensing machine and the routine when he shaves.  The length he went to just to shave- from stating he left his glasses so the man could read the paper and hide his movements in getting the shave accomplished.  Really no painful/violent element in the clip.  His face reflected on the man's jacket was an element of make-believe; shiny material makes for an easy mirror.

In just a few minutes you get his exasperation and I noted he briefly looks at the camera with that exasperation.  I recall Oliver Hardy giving the same glances as if  waiting for the audience to reply OR wanting to include the audience in whatever predicament is ensuing.  Those brief glances add to the repetition/ritual criteria.

Sound was a novelty in early cinema and to finally involve hearing to the film experience, the directors and actors took full advantage.  The music is so evocative and reflective of the era reminding me of the music in the early "Little Rascals" shorts.  For me, at least, the music is nostalgic and what one could have heard at a club.

It is refreshing in this course to be introduced to other comedians that otherwise many of us would never have heard of and Charley Chase is one of them!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will be very honest and tell you all that I have watched allot of slapstick in my life but until this course I have never seen a film of Charley Chase's before so here goes:

1) Looking at the five conditions of slapstick, I find Chase's style to be not very physical.. no banana peel falls or walls falling around him; I see repetitiveness / ritualistic in this clip with the pay perfume dispenser over and over again; the closest I see to painful I think is getting perfume sprayed in your eyes; make believe in that would anyone go through all this in reality and as far as exaggeration one could say everything about it is exaggerated. We see exaggeration in the too shiny  suit coat back being used as a mirror, breathing into his male friends face, having punch poured on the shaving brush,  etc.

 

2) I see Chase being very exasperated with the others around him: mad at his tailor, repulsed by the "pip" and the perfume machine.  I think Mast has it correct in that Chase exhibits "less clash, zip and fervor" then the geniuses we have been watching.  

 

3) I don't see the use of sound making that much of a difference in this clip. Does it make that big of a difference if we hear the sound of the perfume spray out of the machine? The music in the background sounds like 1930's muzak music in a restaurant. The sound to me did not make that big of a difference is this entry of sound transition clip.  :mellow:

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3. As an early talkie that is transitioning from the "silent film era," how well do you think this scene uses synchronous sound and music in the construction of its gags?

 

I don't think the film makes full use of the advantage of synchronous sound. The dialogue is standard fare to move the plot along and set up the gags, nothing pertinent and nothing that couldn't be inferred through body language, action, etc., or stated through title cards.  The perfume and shaving gags are completely silent gags anyway.  There is no wit or character personality really expressed through the actual words.  The one area Charley does take advantage of is in the use of various voices/accents, but this feels forced and just added to exploit synchronous sound.  The sound effects do add some elements to the atmosphere of the scene and the construction of the gags (coin and spraying sounds, newspaper rustling).  The music sounds almost like diegetic music coming from the establishment's speakers or musicians, adding a little to the creation of the scene and atmosphere and ambience, but adding nothing to the situation or gags.  It feels like it was just slapped on after the fact.  Nondiegetic music (not heard by the characters) could have possibly added to the gags. But, as stated, this is a transitional period in the development of the use of sound.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I could easily find the slap stick gags in A pip from Pittsburg,but did not find myself really relating to the character.I felt he was flat and not really funny,but someone posted the Wooden wedding-in their coments, this I could not stop laughing at out loud-the pace seemed more upbeat and the gags were more well rounded. I think I would need to see more of his work to really judge.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I admit, I have never seen this movie or have heard of Charley Chase, I will definitely set this movie to record! If there is one thing I love more than talking about classics, is discovering new classic gems! (This course just keeps getting better and better!)

1. How well do the slapstick elements of this clip match up with the five conditions of slapstick proposed in Module 1 (exaggerated, physical, repetitive/ritualistic, make believe, painful/violent)?

I have to say that the painful/violence in this clip would have to be his attitude towards things, since violence doesn’t have to be just physical. Repetitive/ritualistic would have to be the bit where Chase lulls the man into reading the newspaper so he grab the utilities he needs to shave. Physical would have to be the bit between him and the dispenser scene, since he was splattered multiple times on the eye by it, make believe would so have to be the piece where Chase looks at himself on the man’s coat, and it giving off his reflection perfectly like a mirror. For exaggeration, I have to give it to the bit where Chase is so freely shaving in a public area, without anyone noticing or saying a thing.

2. Do you find the clip confirming or challenging Gerald Mast's description of Charley Chase? Even in a short clip, do you get the sense that his greatest emotion is "exasperation?"

I have to say that I agree with Mast’s description of Chase, unlike Keaton, Chaplin or even Lloyd, Chase is like the yin to their yang or so to speak? It was easy to spot the difference on one clip alone, since the three silent film comedian’s, while they are not all smiles, their body language alone gives of a happy go carefree expression, they make fun of their situations, where as Chase, he gets angry with them, which is amusing and enjoyable to see, especially since his frustration like their  relaxed attitudes is what gets them into more sticky situations. It’s thrilling to see the “opposite” but equally as funny character in a slapstick gag.

3. As an early talkie that is transitioning from the "silent film era," how well do you think this scene uses synchronous sound and music in the construction of its gags?

While I do believe that it would have done well without the voice‘s, I think that the transition went very smoothly. The music and sounds where very spot on to the visual’s throughout the clip, and I think it was well done, not too fast of a change, slow and traditional to make the audience comfortable with the changes/shift from silent to talkies.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the first time I've ever heard of Charley Chase and am so glad to have my knowledge of slapstick film comedians broadened like this!

 

The clip shows some exaggeration but it's more muted.  You can see it in the way Charley turns his face away  and twists his face when answering Thelma's questions.  Also, it can be seen in the way he tests his breath on the unsuspecting guy to make sure the perfume has really covered up his garlic breath. 

 

There's really not much in the way of physicality in this clip.  No crazy Chaplin and Keaton antics!

But the ritualistic is there in the way he tries to get the perfume in his mouth and fails.  All of the attempts he makes to clean up have a make believe quality to them.  How could he possibly pull all of this off in the middle of this rather elegant setting, from the perfume dispenser to being able to successfully give himself a shave, using the shiny back of someone's jacket as a mirror, no less!!  I love the way he looks into the camera at times, engaging the audience directly!

 

The only hint of violence is the way he raises his hand with an angry expression on his face, directed at Pip's back as she walks away.

 

Charley does seem to be exasperated much of the time but to me it seems appropriate in the context of what is happening.  He realizes he has messed up, and is under a serious time constraint to improve his appearance has discreetly as possible.  It seems natural that he would be exasperated and frustrated each time something goes wrong to delay him.  I also noticed that also he shows relief when the "mouthwash" scheme finally works and is able to complete his shave, including "aftershave."  So the reactions I saw seemed normal for the situation.  This is the only time I've seen him act, though, so I'll have to see if he's always exasperated even when the situation doesn't call for it.

 

To me, the music was soft and pleasant but was almost like "filler."  For me, it didn't add or detract to the story.  There was no tailoring of the music to what was happening in the scene.  No music with a light comedic touch when he kept getting squirted with the perfume, no "Oh No" music when Pip unexpectedly shows up, no "success" notes when Charley finally accomplishes his cleaning up and goes off, I assume, to sit with Thelma.  I would love to know at what point film scores developed as an integral part of the story telling.  (Hint for a future course:  A course about  the history of music in films and including the great film composers!!)

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the first time I have ever seen a Charley Chase film but it was quite interesting to see him try to clean himself up in a most unusual way. He does seem quite exasperated especially with the perfume in his mouth. This is defintely more suttle than our silent stars Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd but is still very funny.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) How well do the slapstick elements of this clip match up with the five conditions of slapstick proposed in Module 1 (exaggerated, physical, repetitive/ritualistic, make believe, painful/violent)?

 

There is exaggeration where Charley Chase looks uncomfortable, especially with trying to keep had breath away from his date. He doesn't want to scare her away, so he tries everything he can not to screw up. There is the physical layer where he goes back and forth while the water is spraying him from the wall. The repetitive/ritualistic element is where he puts on more and more perfume, to get rid of the horrible smell of his breath. The make believe nature is a little farfetched because I don't think that someone would go to huge lengths to impress someone, maybe unless the date is worth it. The 'violence' is purely non-physical, since he is basically assaulting everyone with his breath.

 

2) Do you find the clip confirming or challenging Gerald Mast's description of Charley Chase? Even in a short clip, do you get the sense that his greatest emotion is "exasperation?"

 

In terms of the clip and Mast's interpretation, I have to agree. Chase does look a more exasperated than anything else. He has to do all of these to and for himself so that the date can go well. He seems really annoyed at what's happening around him. He looks a lot more unsympathetic in his movies than Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd do in theirs. 

 

3) As an early talkie that is transitioning from the "silent film era," how well do you think this scene uses synchronous sound and music in the construction of its gags?

 

I really admired the way that sound plays a part in the clip. It seems to accentuate the action taking place. It was very surprising, considering the time and place where not much music was used. It sounded modern and privy.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The demeanor of the character is certainly more up-tight, stressed, and as such is not as engaging as Lloyd.  I think the use of the sound may have put a damper on some of the physical exploits.  While the scenes are humorous, I don't think they are played out to the full extent that a silent star would have done.  The background music is typical of what you would hear in a restaurant setting, and the gag sounds were there, but not exaggerated much.  I think it is interesting as work of transition.  

 

I agree with other comments about the use of music in film as an interesting topic.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like many others in this discussion board, this was also my first exposure to Charley Chase.

 

His exasperation is a bit subtle in comparison to the others. From the perfume dispensary to the unsuspecting **** to "test" his breath, Charley realizes his mistakes once he realizes who his blind date is---yet during the whole time she is watching him and is amused by his antics. The perfume dispensary is ritualistic; he tries to get the shot of perfume right where he wants it and it takes several attempts to do so. The make believe portion is definitely when Charley shaves using a guy's shiny suit as a mirror--there is no way one could see their reflection in someone's clothes.

 

The exasperation is especially visible when the less attractive girl shows up and when he turns around to see her he is definitely saying to himself "uggh, YOU!" It is indeed confirming Gerald Mast's description of Chase's best known characteristics.

 

We only hear subtle sounds such as background music, and the squirting of the perfume dispenser. I think the audiences wanted to hear the actors speak as they were used to hearing music from a pianist, organist or orchestra while watching silent films.

 

Lastly, Chase must have been very comfortable with his masculinity if he was bold enough to shave in public!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

That being said, I was curious to know:  several postings mentioned the "Our Gang (Little Rascals)" series--did Chase appear in those shorts as the exasperated Father?

 

Hal Roach Studios' leading cast members sometimes appeared in each other's films. Charley appeared in several "Our Gang" shorts (http://ourgang.wikia.com/wiki/Charley_Chase), and with Laurel & Hardy in the Max Davidson short "Call of the Cuckoo", and as the prank-pulling pest in Laurel & Hardy's "Sons of the Desert". These last two roles were very different from Chase's usual "domestic fussbudget" character.

 

And he wasn't just an actor. Under his real name (Charles Parrott), he directed some comedy shorts at the Roach Studios. It seems to have run in the family. His brother, James Parrott, was a director there too.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hal Roach Studios' leading cast members sometimes appeared in each other's films. Charley appeared in several "Our Gang" shorts (http://ourgang.wikia.com/wiki/Charley_Chase), and with Laurel & Hardy in the Max Davidson short "Call of the Cuckoo", and as the prank-pulling pest in Laurel & Hardy's "Sons of the Desert". These last two roles were very different from Chase's usual "domestic fussbudget" character.

 

And he wasn't just an actor. Under his real name (Charles Parrott), he directed some comedy shorts at the Roach Studios. It seems to have run in the family. His brother, James Parrott, was a director there too.

 

James also acted, but concentrated on directing. Died too young as he abused drugs. Charley, who was let go by Hal Roach when Roach gutted the shorts department, starred in shorts at Columbia. And he directed some of the funniest Three Stooges shorts. A great talent that also died much too young (from alcohol).

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1.How well do the slapstick elements of this clip match up with the five conditions of slapstick proposed in Module 1 (exaggerated, physical, repetitive/ritualistic, make believe, painful/violent)?

 

·      The only exaggeration I noticed was the scenario.  (A man shaving in a dept. store while hiding behind a man reading a newspaper.

 

·      There is a bit of physical humor (perfume squirting in the face)

 

·      The perfume squirting the face repeatedly (repetitive/ritualistic)

 

·      Again, the scenario of a man shaving in a dept. store is a bit make-believe.

 

·      Not the same level of painful/violent situations that appeared in Keaton’s films (or Chaplin and Lloyd for that matter).  Mild pain from perfume in the face.

 

2.  Do you find the clip confirming or challenging Gerald Mast's description of Charley Chase? Even in a short clip, do you get the sense that his greatest emotion is "exasperation?"

 

I guess I’m missing something in Chase’s performance. I thought it was amateurish, lacked personality, and was quite ordinary. Granted, Chase’s comedy style was considerably different than Keaton, Chaplin, and Lloyd.  But even in ordinary situations without exaggerated scenarios or violent/dangerous stunts, Keaton, Chaplin, and Lloyd’s personality would have shone through brightly had they starred in the film replacing Chase.  Not familiar with Chase’s body of work, but from this clip, it appears he was a one-trick pony (with exasperation being the trick).

 

As an early talkie that is transitioning from the "silent film era," how well do you think this scene uses synchronous sound and music in the construction of its gags?

 

It seems like I’ve heard the same or similar music in other Roach films (Our gang, Laurel and Hardy).  The vocals assists with character development (Chase’s exasperation, Thelma Todd’s coquettish-ness, and Kay Deslys’ dimwitted-ness).  Their vocal character's contribute to the gag.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) No violence, but much exeggeration. The mirror like reflection of the suit (blue serge? Groucho - Your eyes. They shine like the pants of a blue serge suit) must have been a good 1930's gag and reference. (Charley was never too physically violent in his films, but he expressed a-lot of exasperation.) He does make a fist at the "Pip", but this seemed forced to me. The perfume dispenser is ritualistic humor, as he fails a few times before getting it right. And doing all this with only Thelma Todd seeing it has a make believe quality to it. Charley does have a bit of Harold Lloyd to him here as he succeeds against the odds. Angry Charley is not as funny as beset upon Charley, at least to me.

 

2) In this clip, his greatest emotion is exasperation. Charley was great when he was embarrassed, too.

 

3) Sound effects are minimal here. Although I find the man's monotone delivery of a very boring article funny as he doesn't notice all the "bits of business" going on around him. He just goes on and on. The spraying perfume sound effect helped. To me, the music does not really move the story along, but this is not unusual. Many of Roach's comedies have similar music tracks within the shorts. Sometimes they enhance the action. Here it really didn't, except maybe to help establish this as a club. Interesting that this is a simple playing of "Gangway Charley", his theme song. We usually hear it with many more instruments and it sounds much more "full".

 

What is interesting in the full film is the interaction between Thelma Todd and Charley, seen for a bit in this clip. She was quite the attractive woman with a great sense of comedy and timing. She's obviously attracted to Charley, as he is to her. That comes out in full force. They had an affair together and the romantic looks in the film are real and hard to ignore. As those looks are real, they do enhance the film, giving it a sexual edge.

 

Charley was a triple on screen threat - he could sing, dance and be funny. Watch some of his other Roach shorts to see his full range of ability. What a shame he died so young. Even as a character actor, he would have enhanced so many films.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) How well do the slapstick elements of this clip match up with the five conditions of slapstick proposed in Module 1 (exaggerated, physical, repetitive/ritualistic, make believe, painful/violent)?

 

There is exaggeration where Charley Chase looks uncomfortable, especially with trying to keep had breath away from his date. He doesn't want to scare her away, so he tries everything he can not to screw up. There is the physical layer where he goes back and forth while the water is spraying him from the wall. The repetitive/ritualistic element is where he puts on more and more perfume, to get rid of the horrible smell of his breath. The make believe nature is a little farfetched because I don't think that someone would go to huge lengths to impress someone, maybe unless the date is worth it. The 'violence' is purely non-physical, since he is basically assaulting everyone with his breath.

 

2) Do you find the clip confirming or challenging Gerald Mast's description of Charley Chase? Even in a short clip, do you get the sense that his greatest emotion is "exasperation?"

 

In terms of the clip and Mast's interpretation, I have to agree. Chase does look a more exasperated than anything else. He has to do all of these to and for himself so that the date can go well. He seems really annoyed at what's happening around him. He looks a lot more unsympathetic in his movies than Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd do in theirs. 

 

3) As an early talkie that is transitioning from the "silent film era," how well do you think this scene uses synchronous sound and music in the construction of its gags?

 

I really admired the way that sound plays a part in the clip. It seems to accentuate the action taking place. It was very surprising, considering the time and place where not much music was used. It sounded modern and privy.

"The make believe nature is a little farfetched because I don't think that someone would go to huge lengths to impress someone, maybe unless the date is worth it."

 

Thelma Todd was quite an attractive woman and her looks really shine in this short. Once Charley knew who his date was, he would do whatever he had to do to spruce up. I could picture someone doing this, as long as it was someone as pretty as Thelma. That's what makes this work for me. Charley had to have an attractive woman to do all this for and Thelma fit the bill! She was worth it.If it was a less attractive woman, I don't think the comedy would work as well.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. He exagerates his efforts to not talk directly to his date by squishing up his mouth trying to project away from her cause he can't walk away. He begins thinking what he can do to clean up and impress her. He keeps trying to get a squirt of mouthwash I guess even his aim is off. He does this 4 times till he gets it right. But then he wants to make sure it worked so he talks right in that guy's face and when the guy doesn't keel over Chase feels he pulled it off. Then he decides he can shave to look better so he needs to distract the guy in front of the shaving supplies. He also tries to find someone to trade suits with but no look. He believe that if he's clean shaven, fresh breathed and clean suit he'll get the girl. When he smacks his cheeks with aftershave lotion and when the mouthwash squirts in his eyes I would have thought that was painful but he didn't seem that bothered by it.

2. I felt Chase wanted to make a a good impression on the date he thought would be a dud. I guess he was exasperated as he did many things to "fix" his blunder.

3. The music sounds were just repeating. No one was dancing to really explain why the music was playing. It had nothing to do with the acting. No crescendo or surprise in the music to go with the actions. But I thought the sounds that occurred with his actions were good. He slapped his cheeks while putting on the aftershave lotion and the slapping sounds corresponded to his actions. I had never seen Chase before.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. How well do the slapstick elements of this clip match up with the five conditions of slapstick proposed in Module 1 (exaggerated, physical, repetitive/ritualistic, make-believe, painful/violent)?

I think this clip from The Pip from Pittsburgh matches the first four of five conditions of slapstick beautifully. Charley Chase definitely exploits the materials around him and exaggerates their use to the nth degree. His comedy is physical, the perfume gag is repetitive (it’s a variation on the carnation in the lapel that squirts), and the situation seems completely make-believe to me. But painful and/or violent? Not for me. And the make-believe was stretched too thin for me when Chase sees his reflection in another customer’s suit. Did anyone at any time really believe that gag?
2. Do you find the clip confirming or challenging Gerald Mast’s description of Charley Chase? Even in a short clip, do you get the sense that his greatest emotion is “exasperation”?

I get the sense that Charley Chase teeters between exasperation and self-satisfaction: He’s continually irritated by events around him, but he’s very satisfied that he resolves each one in his own way. He is easily exasperated by other people, which cannot be said of Harold Lloyd. In Lloyd’s films, other people are usually exasperated with Lloyd. I am thinking particularly of his stint as a cab driver in Speedy. Babe Ruth to Speedy: “If I want to commit suicide I’ll call you.”
3. As an early talkie that is transitioning from the “silent film era,” how well do you think this scene uses synchronous sound and music in the construction of its gags?

I’m not sure that all the technical and creative bugs were worked out quite yet. Instead of making certain plot details known via conversation or other methods, the actors occasionally addressed the audience/camera directly by making eye contact. (Were microphones completely stationary in the 1930s?) Thelma Todd, for example, lets the audience know that she knows what Charley Chase is up to by smiling coyly for the camera, whereas today, the narrative would likely take care of that. Todd and the audience are in on the gag, but not Chase. Hmm. That makes me think that Charley Chase is also self-centered: He’s completely unaware of people and their feelings and reactions, although he, too, is aware of the audience and the camera. That makes his gags funny, but it doesn’t help his likability quotient.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. This scene meets all 5 slapstick conditions: an exaggerated situation (trying to sober and clean up for his hot date), physical contortions more than pratfalls, repetitive attempts to rinse off and shave, a farcical situation, & more comic violence with the water and the quick she.

2. It confirms that exasperation tag. He look exasperated trying spruce up & blow off the pip. He didn't show much of a personality in this clip but you could see how harried he was.

3. The music, especially with its repetitive themes, helped set a tone. Hal Roach productions often used the same music for its films; you could hear the same music in Our Gang & Laurel and Hardy films. The sound was mostly conversational (not great quality even when I cranked it up) but it was probably the best that could get done at the time.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1.      The clip meets some of the definitions but not all, in my opinion. I see exaggerated gestures, repetition (e.g., especially in the gin-dispensing vending machine); the physicality is present, but more subdued that with Keaton or Lloyd. 

2.      Yes, Chase seems exasperated by almost every encounter – including the girl he is trying to avoid. 

3.      The music is reminiscent of another Roach staple, The Little Rascals. Light hearted but synchronized with the routine.

  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that the comic elements of this clip are somewhat confusing to me but  as far as I can see is that he makes several trips to the dispenser on the wall and he desperately tries to hide the fact that he ate garlic because he really wasn't looking forward to the date.

This clip confirms Gerald masts description  of Charley Chase where his greatest emotion is exasperation. This scene I think does a remarkable job using synchronous sound and music in the transition process.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it matches all the slapstick points but one violence it conforms to Gerald mast description well it blends well from the silent era to the talkies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1.  Chase uses facial expressions as part of his slapstick humor. He doesn’t do them in a flashy way, but he uses them extensively throughout the clip. The second element is repetition which Chase uses with both his physical humor and as a recurring theme throughout the film. The main story revolves around his repetitious attempt to make sure he looks and smells good. The third element that I could see present was make believe. This is evident when he sees his face in the jacket of the man standing in front of him.

 

2.  I think it challenges Mast’s description. In the clip, Chase appears to be someone who is self-absorbed rather than someone who is fastidious. He doesn't seem to be the least bit picky about the looks and habits of other people or in his surroundings. Also, he doesn’t seem to display any one dominant emotion in the clip. He portrays several including nervous, embarrassed, happy, vain, and irritated.

 

3.  I think they did a very good job of synchronizing the music and sound. The music, while playing continuously, wasn’t overbearing so it was still possible to hear the sounds that were created specifically for the gags.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I decided to read everyone's comments and watch not only the clip but the whole film before adding my own comments. Before he meets Miss Todd he is very snide and irritating on the phone to her but does agree to go to a dance. It is his friend who suggests he should try to look totally disagreeable to her though the garlic is his own idea.This whole sequence is quite exaggerated both in actions and words.They actually meet when he and his friend pick them up and the shock of it causes him to fall through a door into a bathroom where another woman is in a bathtub. Again the exaggerated actions of slapstick. But going to the clip, Charley knows that Miss Todd is joking with him about his suit and so, seeing a woman using a perfume dispenser, he gets a great idea and the game is afoot. Three eyeshots, each getting faster with his exasperation growing shows the repetitive gag, but then we see the lightbulb come on. If he aims for his mouth he hits his eye, so he'll aim for his eye and voilà, he hits his mouth. The gag gets a twist added on. He seems to check for approval of concept before breathing on the passing stranger. The Pip showing up let's us know why he was so reluctant to trust a blind date from Pittsburgh and adds to the overall plot(to be realized later, after this clip ends.) The show of suppressed violent emotion also shows he needs a shave and the running gag of making himself presentable continues. The-oh-so-shiny coat adds a note of make believe but still allows the plot to continue. Now, there are many times when it seems he is "breaking the fourth wall", but I also think the audience is kind of standing with Miss Todd as she is enjoying his clever actions to spruce himself up. He may be interpreted as looking at her as he shows off his skills in making the most of a strange situation, and we all watch to see just what he will do next. If you haven't seen the rest of this film I definitely recommend doing do, I don't want to spoil the fun. So I definitely find all five of the slapstick conditions to be present in this film.

I also do agree with Mr Mast's description of exasperation as being Mr Chase's greatest emotion. His facial expressions are usually low key, but can get quite animated.His great exasperation presents itself most apparently with the perfume dispenser gag.

As to this transitional time between silent and sound, I found the music well suited the storyline,and the voices and sound effects well synchronized with the actors and actions. There is still a long way to go before the music will really add to the build up of tension and excitement, but now that it's there it won't take long before it's potential will be more fully realized.

And many thanks to the poster who shared The Wooden Wedding movie source! What a great movie, I couldn't stop laughing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
×
×
  • Create New...