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Charley's Aunt

(1930 b 86')

En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on a play by Brandon Thomas, two college men get a friend to play an aunt for a chaperone so that they can propose marriage.

At Oxford Jack Chesney (Rodney McLennon) and Charlie Wykeham (Hugh Williams) plan to propose to Amy Spettigue (June Collyer) and Kitty Verdun (Flora Sheffield). If Kitty gets married, Stephen Spettigue (Halliwell Hobbes) loses his salary as her guardian; but she cannot get married without his written consent. Charlie gets a telegram his aunt is coming, and he invites Amy and Kitty to lunch. Babberly (Charles Ruggles) borrows champagne from Jack and Charlie, and they invite him to lunch. Babberly is playing an old lady and puts on the costume. Amy and Kitty arrive but will return when Charlie's aunt is there. Jack's father Francis Chesney (Phillips Smalley) gives Jack a check but says they will soon be poor. Jack suggests his father could marry Charlie's wealthy aunt. Charlie learns his aunt isn't coming. So Jack and Charlie ask Babberly to be Charlie's aunt.

Kitty and Amy come back and kiss the "aunt." Spettigue arrives, and the aunt gets rid of him by kicking his hat out the door. Francis returns to meet Charlie's aunt and tells Jack he is ready to sacrifice. During lunch Spettigue comes back and argues with the aunt; thinking she is a millionaire, he shows her the garden, followed by Francis. Charlie kisses Amy, and they are engaged, as are Jack and Kitty. Jack tells Babberly his father is going to propose. Francis also courts the aunt, who says no. Spettigue runs after the aunt.

Ela Delahay (Flora le Breton) tells the real Donna D'Avadores (Doris Lloyd) that she would like to see Babberly again. Donna meets Francis, and they remember their earlier romance. Kitty and Amy ask the aunt to help get Spettigue's consent to their marriages. Donna meets the aunt and says she knew her late husband intimately. After Ela meets the aunt, Babberly tells Charlie and Jack that he loves Ela. Amy and Kitty take the aunt to powder up, and his pants fall down. Spettigue sees Jack and Charlie fixing them. Ela tells the aunt that Donna and Francis were in love and that she loves Babberly. Spettigue kisses the aunt. Babberly takes the skirt off and is chased by Jack and Charlie. The aunt asks Spettigue for a letter consenting to the marriages of Kitty and Amy. He gives the letter for a promise of engagement and announces all the engagements; but Babberly has no skirt and takes off his wig. Donna takes the letter addressed to her. Ela recognizes Babberly and says he deceived her. He pretends to be hurt, and she kisses him.

Much slapstick fills this classic farce that satirizes the older generation having to approve the marriages and the social requirement for a chaperone.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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