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Dog Shy (from the Charley Chase Collection Vol. 2) (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

April 3, 2010 by  



He may not be as recognized as Charlie Chase, Buster Keaton or Harold Lloyd but Charley Chase’s comedy shorts are just entertaining and fun!  “Dog Shy” is a great example of Chase’s comedy work and is featured in the second volume of KINO Video’s “The Charley Chase Collection Vol. 2”.

Images courtesy of © 2005 Kino Intl., Corp. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Dog Shy (from the Charley Chase Collection Vol. 2)

DURATION: 22 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: 1:33:1, Black and White, English Intertitles

COMPANY: Lobseter/Kino Video

RATED: NOT RATED

RELEASE DATE: 2005

Directed by Leo McCarey

Titles by H.M. Walker

Produced by Hal Roach

Music by Ben Model

Cinematography by Floyd Jackman

Edited by Richard C. Currier

Musical Score by Ben Model

Starring:

Charley Chase as Charley

Stuart Holmes as The Duke

Mildred June as The Girl

Josephine Crowell as The Girl’s Mother

William Orlamond as the Girl’s Father

Buddy the Dog as Duke the Dog

THE CHARLEY CHASE COLLECTION II, an all-new DVD bringing six two-reelers (all between 20 and 25 minutes-long) and an eight-minute, special-feature montage about Chase’s life and his slapstick work. Having worked in front and behind the cameras, Charley Chase became famous for starring in comedies populated with surreal misunderstandings originating from mundane situations. Known as the master of the comedy of embarrassment, Charlie Chase’s nonchalant mannerisms, as well as his good looks, made him one of the most seductive silent-comedy heroes of the 20s. Here are some of the many shorts available in this second Charlie Chase DVD collection: SHINE ‘EM UP (1922), HIS WOODEN WEDDING (1925), ISN’T LIFE TERRIBLE (1925), INNOCENT HUSBANDS (1925) and DOG SHY (1926).

From 1912-1940, Charley Chase was known for his comedies.  Having worked in vaudeville at a young age, Charley Chase was known for his work at Hal Roach Studios during the ’20s as he supervised the “Our Gang” series and then eventually moved away from supervising and directing and went back to acting.

Known for his emphasis on characterization and farce than slapstick, Charley Chase’s comedies were different than what one had seen from Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd.  But unlike the three, Charley Chase’s comedy work were basically shorts and not feature films and unfortunately, Chase had been a forgotten silent comedy actor until his videos were released in the ’90s and on DVD courtesy of KINO VIDEO.

As part of their “Slapstick Symposium”, KINO has released a first collection for the “Charley Chase Collection” which included hits such as “Mighty Like a Moose” (1926), “Crazy Like a Fox” (1926) and several other titles released in 2004.  The following year, KINO released the second volume of the “Charley Chase Collection” which includes six comedy classics including his 1926 short “Dog Shy”.

In “Dog Shy”, a woman is arranged by her parents to marry a noble man.   Unfortunately, she doesn’t want to while the sly man looks for an opportunity to marry into a rich family.  As the noble man tries to contact his betrothed, he needs a dime to continue his call but only has a dollar.  So, the man goes into a shop to get the change and leaving the phone still open for anyone to pickup.

Meanwhile, a man named Charley (played by Charley ChasE) who has been afraid of dogs since a young age, is running away from a dog and finds safety inside a telephone booth.  When he picks up the phone, he hears a young woman on the other line.  The woman then tells him of her problem about being forced to marry a man she doesn’t like.  Needless to say, the two have a good conversation on the phone but are interrupted by the girls’ mother.

As he leaves the phone booth, Charley is chased one again by the dog and while trying to escape the dog, he manages to find a paper dropped by a man he briefly met.  While holding the paper, the butler assumes that Charley is the new help they hired and is taken into work at the home as a servant.  Charley realizes that the house he is working at is where the girl he talked on the phone lives.

Charley tries to help the girl while trying to maintain his job as a servant but with a bunch of misunderstandings in place, will Charley be able help the woman in need and eventually win her heart?

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Dog Shy” features films that were carefully handled by Lobster (known for their great restoration work for silent films).  “Dog Shy” is presented in sepia but for a 1926 short, for a film nearly 85-years-old, although the film does have scratches and speckles throughout the film.  Definitely not too bad as this print is actually very good.  The scratches and dust are not distracting at all.  So, for the most part, this silent short looks very good for its age.

AUDIO & INTERTITLES:

“Dog Shy” features music (a piano score) by Neil Brand.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“The Charley Chase Collection Vol. 2.” comes with a rare comedy titled “Shine ‘Em Up”(1922)  starring Charley’s younger brother Paul Parrott and a “Charley Chase Biography”.

Recently, my interest in silent comedies have led me to watching films and shorts from the popular three kings of silent comedy: Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd.  But I realize there are two comedians that have been forgotten and were quite popular during the ’20s and that was Harry Langdon and Charley Chase.

So, as I tried to look for Charley Chase films, I realized there weren’t any but there were Charley Chase shorts.  Fortunately, KINO Video were selling both volumes at a reasonable price and sure enough, after watching several shorts, I have become quite a fan of Chase’s work.

But also the film is for those who are fans of director Leo McCarey (“An Affair to Remember”, “Make Way for Tomorrow”, “Duck Soup”, “Rally Round the Flag, Boys”) who directed many of Charley Chase’s films and also worked with Hal Roach and Harold Lloyd and this collection is a great way to find Chase and McCarey’s earlier works.

“Dog Shy” is an entertaining and hilarious film as we Charley Chase playing a character hired to become a servant at a home in which the girl in distress (that he must help) lives.  But to make things worse, his first job is to give the family’s dog a shower and the dog named Duke is kind of a rile, energetic dog that likes to nip people.  And with Charley being afraid of dogs, it doesn’t make his job any easier.  So, needless to say, Charley has his work cut out for him during his first day on the job.

Overall, “Dog Shy” was an enjoy silent comedy film featuring many laughs, misunderstandings and even beautiful Flappers during that era.  If you have been curious about Charley Chase’s films, the two Charley Chase Collection DVD’s are worth checking out!  Definitely recommended!

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