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Many Sappy Returns (1938) Online

Many Sappy Returns (1938) Online
Original Title :
Many Sappy Returns
Genre :
Movie / Comedy / Short
Year :
Directror :
Del Lord
Cast :
Charley Chase,Ann Doran,John T. Murray
Writer :
Charley Chase
Type :
Time :
Rating :
Many Sappy Returns (1938) Online

Charley mistakes a lunatic as the father of the girl he's interested in.
Complete credited cast:
Charley Chase Charley Chase - Charley Chase
Ann Doran Ann Doran - Mary Benson
John T. Murray John T. Murray - Mental Patient
Fred Kelsey Fred Kelsey - Finnegan

User reviews



Charley Chase is given the opportunity to take credit for the story and screenplay of this short, produced later in too-short life for Columbia Pictures, as well as associate producer. At Hal Roach he had become a well-known screen personality but usually taking credit only for acting, and using the name Charles Parrot when he directed. It seems Columbia was more willing to capitalize on his well-liked name by giving more credit where credit was due.

I'm not sure Chase had more actual influence over this short than he did over most of his other work, and the title is very likely attributable to some in-house Columbia people (who seemed to love referring to people as "saps" in short subject titles), but certainly bears his hallmarks -- including that of being very funny indeed.

"Many Sappy Returns" starts with some slower-developing scenes of Charley as a new cab driver for whom things generally go wrong, which allows for some very nicely witty writing and the setting up of some great running gags. Soon enough the central problem of the short occurs -- the father of Charley's prospective father-in-law is mistaken for an escaped madman and vice versa. This leads to some very funny situations, and since in this case Charley remains totally unaware of the humiliation that should be being heaped upon him, the film becomes almost a classic farce folded into twenty minutes. A lot of humor comes from dramatic irony as Charley unknowingly keeps digging himself deeper and deeper. It's becoming cliché, but it's hard not to see shorts like this as antecedents of some better modern comedies such as "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Of course, sue to the nature of the story we get the a double sources of comedy of the situation and gags on their own, plus that generated by the presence of a madman (and Charley's second perspective, seeing his ramblings as wise or charmingly eccentric). Fortunately he's played in a very good, funny manner, with a glib deadpan the enhances the humor or whatever's saying.

The direction of comedy veteran Del Lord keeps this well-timed and -paced, and in the end Charley Chase, a naturally funny farce story, and an amusing madman come together to make an excellent two-reel short.
Light out of Fildon

Light out of Fildon

As soon as I saw the first taxi, I said to myself "With Del Lord directing there's got to be a great auto-crashing gag in this movie." Well, there isn't. It's Charley Chase all the way -- he even reuses an old plot in which which he mistakes a madman for the father of his girlfriend. He did this every seven or eight years without repeating more than the basic structure. An old pro in writing, directing and performing screen comedy for a quarter of a century he had thousands of funny ideas.

Despite the typically random Columbia shorts department title, this is a Chase production all the way, with some good production values,including a nice line wipe in the editing and fine comic support from John T. Murray. Ann Doran plays the girlfriend and there are some very nice gags set through this one -- the scene in which Chase and Murray hold a conversation while eating crackers is very funny. I've yet to see a bad Chase comedy, so find this one for yourself if you can.


Charley has a new job driving a cab. However, being an idiot who seems to attract trouble, naturally he makes a mess of things. Not all of it is his fault, however. On the way to pick up the company's owner, a guy on a street corner tosses a match and catches the back seat on fire (oddly, this badly burned portion just magically becomes okay just a bit later in the film). But he is an idiot when an escaped mental patient tells him that HE is the boss and invites him to lunch. It's obvious to anyone but Charley that the guy is nuts! So, when he 'gives' Charley the cab as a wedding present (because Charley is infatuated with the boss' daughter), Charley thinks it is really his. Not surprisingly, the cops and his boss soon are on his tail and it's up to the daughter to try to make sense of all this.

Like most of the Columbia shorts starring Charley Chase, this one is pretty uneven. Quite a bit of it is funny but the cracker eating scene in the restaurant is embarrassingly bad. Worth seeing if you are a huge fan, otherwise you could do better.