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Saturday, July 06, 2013

Exit Jimmy Jump


Charley Chase In Looking For Sally (1925)

Early among Charley Chase starring two-reelers and the last where he's "Jimmy Jump," a moniker I never liked, being too knockabout for a talent moving toward subtler forms of slapstick. Chase had settled into congenial partnership with Leo McCarey by time they'd look for Sally and find a formula ideal for CC shorts to come. Charley dresses natty, is viewed first aboard ship and prosperous, the sort who'll get the girl if only they surmount webs of misunderstanding set up within moments of a main title. Clean-cut and presentable Chase was among few such who'd engage roughhousing the usual preserve of comedy's freak populace, so it startles to see him in a nice suit of clothes plunging into the bay to retrieve a girl interest's calling card. A story simple and straight-forward as Sally's might struggle at filling two reels, thus flashbacks (or was it a dream sequence?) to wildness that little relates to narrative I was sorry to leave. One extended bit with hotel clerk Charley trying to put a horse to bed felt cribbed from earlier, maybe discarded, go at a different short, Chase and McCarey freewheeling still as Jimmy prepared for his jump to Charley. Looking For Sally is one of many shorts included in a terrific four-disc set called Becoming Charley Chase, produced by David Kalet and distributed by VCI. Splendid accompanist Ben Model provides music for Sally, and there is fine audio commentary by Model, Yair Solan, and Bruce Lawton.

2 Comments:

Blogger coolcatdaddy said...

Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, I wind up in this one.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Kevin K. said...

is Charley Chase a taste that must be acquired? I've seen a bunch of his Hal Roach shorts on TCM and YouTube and have never laughed once. I always enjoy his musical numbers -- I'm a sucker for singing comedians -- but I always sit there, wondering what everyone sees in him. The only Chase appearances that have made me laugh are those in "Sons of the Desert" and the his Columbia short "The Heckler," both of which are atypical of his usual performances.

8:54 AM  

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