Monday, January 13, 2014
ROUGH SEAS is a Charley Chase comedy with Thelma Todd. It is a sequel to HIGH C'S, and like it is three reels in length and has a story that is set in the first World War, with Charley an American soldier and Thelma his French sweetheart. Thelma Todd doesn't actually have a lot to do in this film.
One scene that has frequently been remarked upon has Charley Chase trying to smuggle her on board the ship that is taking him back to the US when her leg pokes out of the bag.
Bill Ward's ACK-ACK ANNIE reused the gag where the soldier is trying to smuggle his girlfriend on board ship and her leg sticks out of the bag, although he didn't necessarily get it from this film.
The film opens with a title that informs us that the war is over and then goes on to tell us that several second Lieutenants fell overboard as part of the festivities. I had a brother who served in the army who said that second Lieutenants were considered a joke because they were the lowest ranking officers. So I get the idea that it's a joke, but it doesn't strike me as actually being funny. Later in the film there is also a reference to second Lieutenants in the dialogue.
Charley Chase sang in a number of his films in this period, and he does so in this one, accompanied by "The Ranch Boys", all of whom also seem to have been in the previous film. The musical element helps to make up for whatever shortcomings there may have been in the script.
The World of Charley Chase: