The Big Squirt (1937)

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In his fifth two-reeler for Columbia, Charley Chase plays a soda jerk with an overwhelming passion for detective magazines. In spite of this, he doesn't recognize notorious bank robber Lucky Lapidus, who visits the drug store. Later on, though, Charley's mother-in-law spies the crook on the streetcar and he is captured. But not for long -- Lapidus breaks from prison and swears revenge on the woman who identified him! So Charley teams up with a cop who's not much brighter than he is (Bud Jamison), and they try to track him down. Charley -- in a marvelous bit of cinematic humor -- disguises himself as a blind one-man band and sings a nonsense song, "I'm a Daring Drugstore Desperado" (a tune, incidentally, which Chase penned himself). Although Charley does identify Lucky this time, his only reward is to get collared by one of the men in blue for pretending to be blind. Columbia remade this picture as The Awful Sleuth in 1951.



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