Smile When the Raindrops Fall (Hardcover)

The Story of Charley Chase (Scarecrow Filmmakers #58)

By Brian Anthony, Andy Edmonds

Scarecrow Press, 9780810833777, 320pp.

Publication Date: December 23, 1997



At the age of ten, Charley Chase was singing and dancing on the street corners of Baltimore. Charley eventually became a local vaudeville attraction, but Baltimore could not contain the ambitious young man. After a brief, but memorable, stint in New York, Chase finally landed in Los Angeles in 1912. His timely arrival coincided with the birth of the film industry, and Charley Chase became a major force in the shaping of motion picture comedy. A human dynamo, Charley's talent and creativity seemed inexhaustible. As a writer/director/actor, Charley started out at Mack Sennett's Keystone Studios. Working with Fatty Arbuckle and Charlie Chaplin, Chase quickly became one of Sennett's top directors. Later, at other studios, he directed, then starred in his own series of funny and inventive two-reelers. Behind the scenes, Charley Chase was instrumental in shaping the careers of both Laurel & Hardy and The Three Stooges. Chase's personal life paralleled his film work. At first he was energetic and optimistic--as was the infant film industry itself. As the movie grew up, Charley got older too. Chase's career, marred by family problems and alcoholism, mirrored the decline of the short film. Includes photographs and a detailed filmography.

About the Author

Brian Anthony is an independent filmmaker and served as writer/producer/director of the award-winning feature film "Victor's Big Score." He is a veteran motion picture historian and film preservationist. Andy Edmonds has worked as a writer, producer, and investigative reporter in the Los Angeles area for the past eighteen years. She has authored five books, including Frame-Up! The Untold Story of Fatty Arbuckle.