Kelly the Second
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In Kelly the Second (1936), comedienne Patsy Kelly plays a drugstore lunch-counter manager who winds up turning an out-of-control truck driver (Guinn Williams) into a boxer by becoming his trainer -- with Kelly's boss (Charley Chase) serving as manager. And that's just the beginning of a 70-minute piece of Hal Roach-produced silliness.
This was Kelly's first starring feature for Roach after having famously co-starred with Thelma Todd in 21 comedic short subjects. Kelly had replaced Todd's original partner in those shorts, Zasu Pitts, when Pitts left the Roach studios in 1933. When Todd died in 1935 under mysterious circumstances, Kelly made a few more shorts and a feature with other co-stars before being given her own leading role in Kelly the Second.
42-year-old German-born director Gus Meins already had well over 100 films to his credit by the time of Kelly the Second; most of them were short subjects including many "Our Gang" titles. He would direct sixteen more films before committing suicide in 1940.
1940 also saw the death (by heart attack) of Charley Chase, who co-stars here but had earlier been one of the great silent comedy stars. Soon after Kelly the Second, Chase was dismissed by Roach and migrated to Columbia Pictures, where he directed and starred in several more comedy shorts before his death.
Producer: Hal Roach (uncredited)
Director: Gus Meins
Screenplay: Jeff Moffitt, William Terhune; Tom Bell, Arthur V. Jones (dialogue); Jack Jevne, Gordon Douglas (adaptation)
Cinematography: Art Lloyd
Music: Leroy Shield (uncredited)
Film Editing: Jack Ogilvie
Cast: Patsy Kelly (Molly Patricia Kelly), Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams (Cecil Joseph Callahan), Charley Chase (Dr. J. Willoughby Klum), Pert Kelton (Gloria), Edward Brophy (Ike Arnold), Harold Huber (Spike), Maxie Rosenbloom (Butch Flynn), DeWitt C. Jennings (Judge), Syd Saylor (Dan).
by Jeremy Arnold