The Sprocket Vault made available this past week (Jan. 16) a double-disc DVD set containing a whopping 18 short films (talkies) starring comedy legend Charley Chase.
Titled Charley Chase at Hal Roach: The Talkies, Volume One – 1930-1931, the collection begins with the February of 1930 theatrical short, The Real McCoy, which co-stars Thelma Todd. Also from 1930 — and also co-starring Thelma Todd — are Whispering Whoopee, All Teed Up and High C’s, plus Dollar Dizzy and Looser Than Loose (Todd appears with Chase, but did not receive billing).
Rounding out the comedy shorts from 1930 starring Charley Chase are Fifty Million Husbands (with Ruth Hiatt and Christine Maple), Fast Work (featuring June Marlowe) and Girl Shock (with Carmen Guerrero).
In 1931, Charley Chase and Thelma Todd teamed up for The Pip from Pittsburg (which is also presented here in the Spanish-language version titled La Señorita de Chicago) and Rough Seas. Also from 1931 featuring Charley Chase are Thundering Tenors (with Dorothy Granger), One of the Smiths (featuring Louise Carver), The Panic Is On (opposite Virginia Whiting), Skip the Maloo! (with Julie Bishop, who was billed as “Jacqueline Wells”), What a Bozo! (with Gay Seabrook as “Gay, the Bozo”) and The Hasty Marriage (Gay Seabrook returns and is joined by Lillian Elliott).
Each of the short films presented in this two-disc collection feature commentary from film historian and Hal Roach authority Richard M. Roberts (author of “Smileage Guaranteed: Past Humor, Present Laughter, Musings on the Comedy Film Industry 1910-1945, Volume One: Hal Roach”).