Charley's Aunt (1925)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Comedy of Errors, Farce  |   Run Time - 75 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Sidney Chaplin, Charlie's talented half-brother, was well known on the Hollywood-party circuit for his devastating female impersonations. It was only natural, then that Chaplin should star in the 1925 filmization of the evergreen Brandon Thomas stage farce Charley's Aunt. The story should be familiar enough by now: two Oxford undergraduates invite their girl friends to their quarters. The ladies have no chaperones, so twitty Oxonian Lord Fancourt Babberly (Chaplin) is strong-armed into donning a wig and dress and posing as "Charley's aunt...from Brazil...where the nuts come from." Not the most inspired of the many movie adaptations of the Thomas play (some prefer Jack Benny's version), Charley's Aunt is at its best whenever Sidney Chaplin engages in the healthily vulgar pantomime he did so well.

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Keywords

aunt, chaperone, charade, courtship, cross-dressing, mistaken-identity, student, Victorian