Smile when the Raindrops Fall: The Story of Charley Chase
At the age of 10, Charley Chase was singing and dancing on the street corners of Baltimore. The coins that tenement dwellers tossed his way helped the young boy support his impoverished family. 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 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 shaping the evolution 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. Writer, producer, director, and comedian, Charley Chase may have been the most versatile performer in the history of motion pictures. Smile When the Raindrops Fall examines the life and career of one of Hollywood's great comedy innovators.
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