Chasing Husbands (1928)

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This comedy was one of Charley Chase's last films of the silent era -- within a few months he (and just about everyone else in Hollywood) would be switching over to talkies. It's unusual in that Chase makes a rare appearance in drag. Gertrude Astor plays an angry wife who wants to divorce her womanizing husband (Kalla Pasha). She hires a detective (Edgar Kennedy) to snap an incriminating photo of her spouse so she has evidence for the court. The detective decides to dress his bashful assistant (Chase) as a flapper to win the husband's interest. Unfortunately, scrawny Charley leaves something to be desired in a women's bathing suit. To fill out his figure, the detective puts sponges in the suit to give Charley a bosom and hips. The husband takes a liking to the full-figured dame -- until "she" falls into the ocean and the sponges swell. Chase's weak excuse is "I come from a big family" (the sponge gag is similar to one used in 1926's Bromo and Juliet). Somehow Charley gets mixed up in a beauty contest and faints. He is carried unconscious to the women's bath house and when he wakes up he panics and heads for the men's dressing rooms. The men panic and leap through the windows. Eventually, the detective gets the needed photo, which earns him 500 bucks. He gives Charley his share -- all of one dollar. The disgruntled Charley grabs his boss' take and tosses the bills in the air. A crowd quickly scrambles for the money and Charley cheerfully walks off.